cumuluscastle: (slithytove)
From this list of the Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Here are some more stories I really enjoyed:

The Contrary Gardener by Christopher Rowe: Kay Lynne keeps a small garden in this futuristic tale. She is very meek and quiet and intimidated by her father. She just wants to be left alone in her own little house to tend her garden.

Immersion by Aliette de Bodard: This story takes place in a future where people use technology to filter the world around them and give them social cues so that they can perfectly fit in at every sort of social event, only this fluency comes with a cost.

The Education of a Witch by Ellen Klages: What if a little girl feels neglected by her parents? What if she sympathizes with the witch and not the princess?

Swift, Brutal Retaliation by Meghan McCarron: This story ponders a more realistic treatment of an angry ghost. How do you appease this kind of spirit, especially when it has a penchant for twisted practical jokes?
cumuluscastle: (slithytove)
Check out this short prequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making at TOR.com: The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland -- For a Little While

I really enjoy Valente's whimsical writing in these tales. Here she takes her whimsy and love of words to their outer limits and creates a rollicking tale that has a lot in common with Alice in Wonderland.

Mallow is a practical young lady and she doesn't take any guff:

Mallow knew better than to get into a strange carriage with a strange man who might or might not love thievery better than his own mother, but no other seemed forthcoming, and attendance was, after all, mandatory. She felt that if she had to, she could thump this skinny fellow solidly, get out, and walk the rest of the way if the whole business became entirely too winning.

Valente catalogues all of the wonders of Fairyland in a jumbling list of odd and interesting things, like when she describes Pandemonium, the capital of Fairyland:

But the sky shone glassy and gleaming on the day Mabry Muscat and Mallow rode into the capital, quite late, having started so far away. Only two days remained till Applemas and the Tithe. The Carriageless Horse clopped over a charming ivory bridge spanning the spinning Barleybroom River which surrounds the city, pointing and marveling and grinning wide-eyed at the great number of creatures flying, swimming, riding, striding, and leaping across to Pandemonium. Overhead, a huge, motley-colored, silk-ballooned zeppelin drifted majestically over the river. From a hanging basket beneath it, an Ifrit girl with burning hair played a fiery and furious mandolin. Music came from all corners, barghests squeezing accordions, satyrs blowing pipes, and drums everywhere, pounded, tapped, rat-a-tatted, and booming out across the plain where Pandemonium had come to rest, chained to the earth with long bronze links.

Go, check it out. It's a nice little story and you won't regret it.
cumuluscastle: (Default)
Two painting based on The Stolen Child, by Yeats.

My concept here is what if faeries stole human 'children' away when they were young and sometimes also when they were very old. I imagine to a fairy, any human counts as a child. Perhaps this is even the same person in both images.


The Stolen Child by *marybethcragg on deviantART


Stolen Child II by *marybethcragg on deviantART
cumuluscastle: (slithytove)
The Stolen Child
William Butler Yeats

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.
cumuluscastle: (bad sheep)

Will-O'-The-Wisps by *marybethcragg on deviantART

I wanted to do something simple. I might have been influenced by Brave just a little. Those wisps were so cute! But I like the combination of pretty but dangerous. Also, it reminds me of LotR "Don't follow the lights!"

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