I’m by no means a fantasy/science fiction connoisseur (the fact that I ignorantly lump the genres together like that should instantly give me away), but I sprinkle some into my reading every few books or so. To this point, most of what I’ve read has been fairly mainstream and has often contained no more than trace amounts of fantastical elements, like some undead fellas here or a schtickle of magic there. In music terms, I’m the dilettante buying CDs at Hot Topic while the true aficionados are buying vinyl at underground indie stores with storefront signs stating “The rims of your hipster glasses must be this thick to shop here.” While there’s nothing wrong with skimming the surface, there are usually richer rewards in the depths, and perhaps I’m ready to Cousteau my way to them.
Being a NAAIPBAPATS (Not At All Important Person, But a Person All the Same) in the book world sometimes has its perks, one of which is being made aware of upcoming first-rate stuff well before it’s released. Through the deep connections afforded by my profound personhood, I found out about Fae, an anthology of fairy stories edited by Rhonda Parrish due out July 22. In my mind, fairies are more quintessentially fantasy than the contents of the fantasy fare I typically read, which is what makes the idea of reading this book so intriguing, as well as a bit intimidating to a metathesiophobe* like me. After all, the entirety of my knowledge of fairies essentially comes from only two fairies, though I suppose they are two of the biggest rock stars of the fairy ranks: Tinker Bell from Peter Pan and Navi from the Legend of Zelda games. A humorous excerpt from the book has led me to understand that Tink and Navi are classified as air fairies, who are “always whispering about what needs fixing around the house.” That sounds spot on to me.
In addition to fairy classification education, Fae boasts “stories that honor [fairies’] rich history while exploring new and interesting takes on the fair folk from castles to computer technologies and modern midwifing, the Old World to Indianapolis,” and it “covers a vast swath of the fairy story spectrum, making the old new and exploring lush settings with beautiful prose and complex characters.”** Based on the excerpts I’ve read, I can assure you it delivers. Its fairy tales are sure to please fantasy buffs as well as dabblers, like moi, looking to submerge their toes a bit deeper into the enchanted waters of the genre. I, personally, am ready to plunge in, though I’ll do so respectfully so as not to disturb the selkies.
*That’s a six-dollar word for someone who fears change. Though I’d like to tell you it resides in my vocabulary, I definitely had to look it up.
**Taken from the book description