The Starlit Wood (Anthology)

The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales

Starlit Wood (1)

Release date: October 2016

Publisher: Saga Press (Imprint of S&S)

Edited by: Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe

Cover by: Benjamin Carré

Interior artwork by: Stella Björg

About the Book

Once upon a time in the desert, in a tower, on a spaceship, in the Other Country…

For centuries, storytellers have crafted timeless tales that have always found a place in our hearts. Here, a new generation of critically acclaimed, award-winning writers have taken up their mantle and shaped traditional and extraordinary fairy tales into something startling and electrifying.

From castles to canyons, a post-human landscape to a pixelated dungeon, from the far future to fantastical realms, The Starlit Wood transforms seventeen stories you thought you knew and takes you on a journey at once unexpected and familiar across time, space, and amazing new worlds.

Table of Contents

  •  The Super Ultra Duchess of Fedora Forest by Charlie Jane Anders
  •  Pearl by Aliette de Bodard
  •  Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar
  •  The Thousand Eyes by Jeffrey Ford
  •  Giants in the Sky by Max Gladstone
  •  The Other Thea by Theodora Goss
  •  Even the Crumbs Were Delicious by Daryl Gregory
  •  Reflected by Kat Howard
  •  Some Wait by Stephen Graham Jones
  •  When I Lay Frozen by Margo Lanagan
  •  The Briar and the Rose by Marjorie M. Liu
  •  In the Desert Like a Bone by Seanan McGuire
  •  Penny For a Match, Mister? by Garth Nix
  •  Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
  •  The Tale of Mahliya and Mauhub and the White-Footed Gazelle by Sofia Samatar
  •  Underground by Karin Tidbeck
  •  Badgirl, the Deadman, and the Wheel of Fortune by Catherynne M. Valente
  •  Familiaris by Genevieve Valentine


  • Shirley Jackson Award Finalist, Anthology
  • Locus Award Finalist
    • Anthology
    • Short story: “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
    • Novelette: “Pearl” by Aliette de Bodard
    • Novelette: “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik
  • Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Collections and Anthologies 2017
  • Nebula Award Winner, Short Story
    • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • Hugo Award Finalist, Short Story
    • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • Eugie Foster Memorial Award Finalist
    • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Finalist
    • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • Aurora Award Finalist, Short Story
    • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • Aurealis Award Finalist, Best Horror Short Story
    • “Penny for a Match, Mister?” by Garth Nix
  • Aurealis Award Finalist, Best Fantasy Short Story
    • “Penny for a Match, Mister?” by Garth Nix
  • Stabby Award finalist, Anthology
  • The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (Paula Guran) reprint
    • Amal El-Mohtar’s “Seasons of Glass and Iron”
    • Naomi Novik’s “Spinning Silver”
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (Jonathan Strahan) reprint
    • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar’s
    • “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik’
    •  “Even the Crumbs Were Delicious” by Daryl Gregory
  •  Best Science Fiction of the Year (Neil Clarke) reprint
    • “Pearl” by Aliette de Bodard
  • Locus Recommended Reading List
    • Anthology: The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales
    • Short story: “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
    • Short story: “Even the Crumbs were Delicious” by Daryl Gregory
    • Short story: “The Tale of Mahliya and Mauhub and the White-Footed Gazelle” by Sofia Samatar
    • Novelette: “Pearl” by Aliette de Bodard
    • Novelette: “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik


The modern revival of fairy tale fiction for adults began in the 20th century (with the stories of Angela Carter and Tanith Lee), and The Startlit Wood is proof that the revival is still going strong. Editors Parisien and Wolfe have brought a wide range of writers together to blaze new trails through the dark of the woods. Whether you’re passionate about fairy tales, like I am, or haven’t read them since childhood, I recommend this excellent anthology. I simply loved it.

  • Terri Windling, World Fantasy Award-winning editor of the Snow White, Blood Red series

“A classy, smart, and entertaining volume of stories put together with consummate care—and featuring the best and most exciting fantasy writers working in the field today.”

  • Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times-bestselling author of the Southern Reach trilogy

Lots of strange and wonderful goings-on in THE STARLIT WOOD. Fairy tales you thought you’d left behind in childhood are back in some very poignant, sly and original versions that will touch the “Wow!” in most readers.

  • Jonathan Carroll, World Fantasy-Award winning author


  • Booklist: This anthology is consistent throughout, with well-crafted writing and a tantalizing taste of each author’s unique journey into reimagining classic fairy tales for a new audience.
  • Library Journal: A great pick for readers looking for a fresh, diverse spin on standard fairy tales.”
  • Publishers Weekly: A rich sample of what awaits us in the world of fairy tales…well worth making time to read.
  • Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog: For fairy tale aficionados, this volume is a must-read; for those interested in sampling the work of some of the best short fiction writers in sci-fi and fantasy today, it is no less essential.
  • Locus Magazine: A first-rate anthology of reimagined fairy tales.
  • Portland Herald Press: Clever, touching, frightening, funny and frequently surprising, “The Starlit Wood” shines with magical possibility.
  • Romantic Times: Its stories strip old tales down to the bone and build from those frames new, relatable, yet still magical stories
  • The Starlit Wood furthers the conversation that surrounds the evolution of fairy tales in the context of a society that’s removed itself significantly from the world these tales originated from. What are our needs, now, as an audience? You’ll have to wander through the woods (and beyond) to find an answer, but it will be a wondrous journey.
  • Charleston Gazette-Mail: “The Starlit Wood” provides readers a strong, often surprising, sampling of modern fairy tales. Many stories draw on dark themes of folk tales, creating a creepy sensibility that will thrill readers. Parisien and Wolfe obviously focused on choosing top-notch creative writing to offer up a package that is fresh, varied and bewitching. 
  • Black Gate Magazine: Are you searching for that fairy tale feeling in your own reading life? That deepening, that enrichening, that gilding and scarifying and ensorcelling of your inner landscape that changes the way you see the outside world in a myriad small ways?  If so, then The Starlit Wood is the marvel-limned, shadow-skinned, witch-infested, magic-invested place to start.
  • The Little Red Reviewer: If you were ever fascinated by fairy tales as a child, if you have ever read a fairy tale to a child and watched their face light up, this is an anthology for you.
  • The Green Man Review: The Starlit Wood combines superb stories with truly amazing design.
  • Jonathan Strahan: This was the best original fantasy anthology of the year, with really strong stories by Amal-El-Mohtar, Aliette de Bodard, Garth Nix, Daryl Gregory, Margo Lanagan, Naomi Novik and others[…]  a terrific read and well worth buying.