Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy

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"Gaslamp Fantasy," or historical fantasy set in a magical version of the nineteenth century, has long been popular with readers and writers alike. A number of wonderful fantasy novels owe their inspiration to works by nineteenth-century writers ranging from Jane Austen, the Brontës, and George Meredith to Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, and William Morris. And, of course, the entire steampunk genre and subculture owes more than a little to literature inspired by this period.

Queen Victoria's Book of Spells is an anthology for everyone who loves these works of neo-Victorian fiction, and wishes to explore the wide variety of ways that modern fantasists are using nineteenth-century settings, characters, and themes. These approaches stretch from steampunk fiction to the Austen-and-Trollope inspired works that some critics call Fantasy of Manners, all of which fit under the larger umbrella of Gaslamp Fantasy. The result is eighteen stories by experts from the fantasy, horror, mainstream, and young adult fields, including both bestselling writers and exciting new talents such as Elizabeth Bear, James Blaylock, Jeffrey Ford, Ellen Kushner, Tanith Lee, Gregory Maguire, Delia Sherman, and Catherynne M. Valente, who present a bewitching vision of a nineteenth century invested (or cursed!) with magic.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013

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About the author

Multiple award-winning editor ELLEN DATLOW has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for almost thirty years. She was fiction editor of OMNI magazine and SciFiction and has edited more than fifty anthologies. She lives in New York City.

TERRI WINDLING is a writer, artist, and book editor interested in myth, folklore, and fairy tales. She lives in a little village at the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, England.

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3.8
16 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Tor Books
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Published on
Mar 19, 2013
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781429960915
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Enchanting, witty” fairy tales for adults from Peter Straub, Daniel Quinn, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede, and other modern-day Grimms and Andersens (Publishers Weekly).

World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling return with another superb collection of wonders and terrors. In Black Thorn, White Rose, the magical tales we were told at bedtime have been upended, turned inside out, reshaped, and given a keen, distinctly adult edge by eighteen of the most acclaimed storytellers ever to reinvent a fairy tale. Our favorite characters, from Sleeping Beauty to Rumpelstiltskin to the Gingerbread Man, are here but in different guises, brought to new life by such masters as Nancy Kress, Jane Yolen, Storm Constantine, and the late, great Roger Zelazny.

These breathtaking tales of dark enchantments range from the tragic and poignant to the humorous to the horrifying to the simply astonishing. The story of an aging woodcutter persuaded to help a desperate prince make his way through the brambles to save a sleeping beauty twists ingeniously around like the thorny wall that impedes them. The fable of an all-controlling queen mother who faces her most fearsome adversary in a sensitive princess who appears mysteriously during a storm is a dark, disturbing masterpiece. And readers will long remember the exquisite tale of Death, his godson, football, and MTV.

Anyone who has ever loved or even feared the old tales of witches and trolls and remarkable transformations will find much to admire in this extraordinary collection—happily ever after or not.
Nineteen writers dig into the imaginative spaces between conventional genres—realistic and fantastical, scholarly and poetic, personal and political—and bring up gems of new fiction: interstitial fiction.

This is the literary mode of the new century, a reflection of the complex, ambiguous, and challenging world that we live in. These nineteen stories, by some of the most interesting and innovative writers working today, will change your mind about what stories can and should do as they explore the imaginative space between conventional genres. The editors garnered stories from new and established authors in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, and also fiction translated from Spanish, Hungarian, and French. The collection features stories from Christopher Barzak, Colin Greenland, Holly Phillips, Rachel Pollack, Vandana Singh, Anna Tambour, Catherynne Valente, Leslie What, and others.

"A wildly varied cacophony of a book, by turns beautiful, funny, frightening, frustrating, and baffling, but never boring."
—New Haven Review

"Odd, Deep, Delightful"
—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"This idea of playing with genre conventions is interstitiality's charm and what makes it a movement for the hypertext age. We want words to do more now and for our time not to have been spent with just one idea."
—Adrienne Martini, Baltimore City Paper

Delia Sherman was born in Tokyo and brought up in New York City. She earned a PhD in Renaissance studies at Brown University and taught at Boston and North-eastern universities. She is the author of the novels Through a Brazen Mirror, The Porcelain Dove (a Mythopoeic Award winner), and Changeling. Sherman co-founded the Interstitial Arts Foundation, dedicated to promoting art that crosses genre borders.

Theodora Goss was born in Hungary and spent a peripatetic childhood in various European countries. She teaches at Boston University, is completing a PhD, and is introducing classes on the fantastic tradition in English literature. She is the author of a short story collection, In the Forest of Forgetting.

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