The Huntsmen was one of those stories that I wrote because the general concept wouldn’t stop nagging at me: how did the princess of the original tale, collected by the Grimm brothers back in the early 19th century, manage to find eleven women who looked just like her? (It was only after I finished the story that I remembered that the majority of people at the time had no access to corrective lenses, so many people would have been too nearsighted to tell the difference.) And why go to so much effort just to get an unfaithful lover back?
I was so focused on those questions that I more or less ignored the other oddity of the tale – the sudden, never explained entrance of a talking lion. But as I shuffled the lion to the side, he started nagging at me too.
This is the result.
It’s an example of how very often, when writing one story, another one appears. At least in my case.
The third issue of Truancy is out, and with it, the second part of my short story, “The Huntsmen,” a retelling of “The Twelve Huntsmen,” a tale originally collected by the Brothers Grimm in the early 19th century.
As a kid, I loved the story because it featured girls Doing Things – cross dressing, tricking lions, hunting, tricking adults – all great stuff. It took me years to realize just how weird the story is, even apart from the cross-dressing, and to find myself asking questions. A lot of questions. Which turned into several short stories, with at least one more coming up in Daily Science Fiction next year, and this one:
The latest in my series of flash fairy tales, “Hundreds,” just went up today at Daily Science Fiction. You can read it here – I promise, it won’t take long.
Since a couple of people have asked, all of these flash fairy tales are part of a collection/larger mosaic project that I am hoping to finish….one day. In the meantime, enjoy this tidbit.
A tiny new poem from me, up at Mythic Delirium today, After Midnight.
Another tiny story from me up at Daily Science Fiction today. A little watery moment that shouldn’t take too long to read.
An Alphabet of Embers, with my little fairy tale “Mistletoe and Copper,” is finally out.
The anthology has already received quite a bit of praise from early reviewers, and also includes works by Nisi Shawl, Zen Cho, Yoon Ha Lee, Kari Sperring and Amal El-Mohtar. I received an early copy, and found that it’s a book that is probably best sipped and read in small doses – easy enough since the pieces are all very short, between 500 to 1500 words. I’m biased, of course, but it’s a lovely anthology to be part of.
The latest issue of Fireside Fiction just went live, and with it, my short story, The Middle Child’s Practical Guide to Surviving a Fairy Tale, the story I read at last year’s World Fantasy Con and this year’s ICFA. Originally written as a Twitter joke, it slowly grew into a blog post, as these things do, and then mutated into a short story.
Also just going live, the latest issue of Lightspeed, available for subscribers or as an individual issue, which includes my short story, “Deathlight,” along with new short stories by An Owomoyela, Seanan McGuire, and Wole Talabi, reprints from a number of well known names including Tim Pratt and Elizabeth Hand, and Hugh Howey’s “The Plagiarist.”
I may have a bit more to say about this one once my individual story goes live on the web on May 17, but for now, I’ll just note that the two stories are, I think, quite different – and not just because one is more or less fantasy (if a bit snarky about it) and the other marks my return to hard science fiction.