{download pdf} Snow White, Blood RedAuthor Ellen Datlow –

Once Upon A Time, Fairy Tales Were For Children But No LongerYou Hold In Your Hands A Volume Of Wonders Magical Tales Of Trolls And Ogres, Of Bewitched Princesses And Kingdoms Accursed, Penned By Some Of The Most Acclaimed Fantasists Of Our Day But These Are Not Bedtime Stories Designed To Usher An Innocent Child Gently Into A Realm Of Dreams These Are Stories That Bite Lush And Erotic, Often Dark And Disturbing Mystical Journeys Through A Phantasmagoric Landscape Of Distinctly Adult Sensibilities Where There Is No Such Thing As Happily Ever After

10 thoughts on “Snow White, Blood Red

  1. says:

    A very adult collection of fairy tale re tellings From Little Red Riding Hood to Snow White, these are not stories that I d share with my child or any impressionable young mind.Fairy tales haven t always been exclusively for children as Terri Windling explains in the introduction ..most fairy tales were never initially intended for nursery duty They have been put there, as J.R.R Tolkien so evocatively expressed it, like old furniture fallen out of fashion that grown ups no longer want And like furniture vanished to the children s playroom, the tales that have been banished from the mainstream of modern adult literature have suffered misuse as well as neglect pg 2But fairy tales are important because they touch on dreams, archetypes, and the psyche However, these re workings were far bleak than I expected The fairy tale journey may look like an outward trek across plains and mountains, through castles and forests, but the actual movement is inward, into the lands of the soul pg 10 And personally, I think that the soul is a rather light place.The most disturbing of the bunch, in my mind was, Little Red by Wendy Wheeler, which told a tale of sexual relations between a mother wolfish boyfriend daughter A warning for any sensitive readers, triggers abound in these stories from rape to physical sexual emotional abuse towards adults as well as children Before she climbed in, Helen looked in my face as though something in my smile disturbed her I ve never noticed before what white teeth you have, Josef, she murmured So large and white pg 140 The only saving grace for the darkness of these tales are that they re short and you re soon on to the next one.My favorite was Puss by Esther M Friesner an excellent but nightmarish re imaging of Puss n Boots Help Help, ho My paws flailed the air I brandished my plumed hat to make the coachmen see so small a creature as a cat before the horses trampled me Robbers, thieves, rascals and hounds They have despoiled my good master, the Marquis of Carrabas pg 319A close second was Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman, based on The Three Billy Goats Gruff His depiction of a troll was creepy but magical, that curious blend of two unrelated traits that Gaiman crafts so well Trolls can small the rainbows, trolls can smell the stars, it whispered, sadly Trolls can smell the dreams you dreamed before you were ever born Come close to me and I ll eat your life pg 286Recommended for ages 18 and the brave at heart Some read alikes, if you dare The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess, Alice by Christina Henry or The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins.

  2. says:

    Sigh Aside from a few surprising gems, like Neil Gaiman s thing about a troll, and something else that I forget this book is disappointing The trouble with modern fairy tales is people think that the only way to make a fairy tale adult or dark is by involving lots and lots of rape and molestation of little girls, and while I suppose that sort of thing works for a while, there s a point at which I have to say, I m sorry, your deep inner meaning was lost in the ICK Get a damn imagination, people Or stop having horrible erotic fantasies about Snow White and Rapunzel, whichever applies.

  3. says:

    M ost fairy tales were never initially intended for nursery duty They have been put there, as J R R Tolkien so evocatively expressed it, like old furniture fallen out of fashion that the grown ups no longer want And like furniture banished to the children s playroom, the tales that have been banished from the mainstream of modern adult literature have suffered misuse as well as neglect Terri WindlingMany adults dismiss fairy tales as being too childish, too sweet and innocent, but fairy tales are far from that The ones that touch us most deeply are often blunt about the darker side of human nature, filled with violence and atrocities Ellen DatlowIT WAS the middle of winter, and the snow flakes were falling like feathers from the sky, and a Queen sat at her window working, and her embroidery frame was of ebony And as she worked, gazing at times out on the snow, she pricked her finger, and there fell from it three drops of blood on the snow And when she saw how bright and red it looked, she said to herself, Oh that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the embroidery frame Not very long after she had a daughter, with a skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony, and she was named Snow white And when she was born the Queen died Snow White and the Seven Dwarves , collected by the Brothers GrimmFor me, the above paragraph represents the quintessence of fairy tales the purity of white versus the feral beauty of red, and blackness that hides just beneath Because fairy tales are not the sanitized stories which we have read in comic books and children s collections they are far removed from the bowdlerised fantasies presented by Disney Fairy tales are primal they are frightening they talk of taboo subjects like childhood sexuality, cannibalism, mutilation and the link between pain and pleasure Blood features in them as prominently as snow because fairy tales are not meant for children, but adults.My first experience with the serious analysis of fairy tales was Bruno Bettelheim s The Uses of Enchantment I considered that the definitive work in the field Now, however, I am better informed There are a lot of dissenting views from that of Bettelheim see the SurLaLune website for one example Ellen Datlow, one of the editors of the book under discussion, says in disagreement to Bettelheim s specifications as to what a fairy tale ought to be We ought not underrate the subtlety of fairy tales, for their power emerges from the lack of a single, unique meaning in each tale Every listener finds within it something different and personal Perhaps we must let fairy tales define themselves through the infinite variety of commonalities among them It is to Bettelheim s contention that a fairy tale must necessarily end happily that Datlow makes the above reply She confesses herself to be an admirer of the disturbing and distressing aspects of fairy tales Terri Windling is also of the opinion that fairy tales cannot be limited to saccharine tales for kids One significant result of the bowdlerization of the old stories is that the term fairy tale, like the word myth, can be used, in modern parlance, to mean a lie or an untruth A proper fairy tale is anything but an untruth it goes to the very heart of truth It goes to the very hearts of men and women and speaks of the things it finds there fear, courage, greed, compassion, loyalty, betrayal, despair, and wonder It speaks of these things in a symbolic language that slips into our dreams, our unconscious, steeped in rich archetypal images The deceptively simple language of fairy tales is a poetry distilled from the words of centuries of storytellers, timeworn, polished, honed by each successive generation discovering the tales anew This collection is yet another instance of that new discovery Windling and Datlow have collected tales from a fair cross section of today s foremost fantasy authors most of them retelling old favourites in new light It is a testament to the strength and endurance of these stories that one can still discover new angles You will come across many old favourites such as Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel as you travel through these pages also many of the lesser known characters will make their appearance However, whatever be the story, there is always the lofty white sky of fantasy above and the blood red earth of horror below and the guilty pleasure of sex in the hidden crannies and crevices As the editors say It is this interplay of light and shadow that we have sought to explore in creating this collection of stories, combining the Snow White of high fantasy fiction with the Blood Red of horror fiction Some of the stories contained herein fall easily into one or another of these camps others choose instead to tread the mysterious, enchanted path between the two both bright and dark, wondrous and disturbing, newly fashioned and old as Time As with any collection of stories, this one too, is a mixed bag I found some really excellent ones here, along with some indifferent fare to be fair, none of the offerings are very bad The authors have been faithful to the cause these are indeed fairy tale retellings except for the first story Like a Red, Red Rose by Susan Wade which is a sort of meta fairy tale combining many motifs The emphasis is on an alternate point of view, or a subtle or not so subtle, as in the case of Little Poucet by Steve Rasnic Tem enhancement of dark sexuality or horror I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood by Kathe Koja The editors provide a brief introduction to each story which allows the reader to understand which fairy tale is being retold This helps a lot with the less familiar ones, as Charles de Lint s retelling of The Dead Moon the story The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep.To enumerate a few there are two retellings of Rapunzel, one in tragic vein and one in comic two of Little Red Riding Hood, one highlighting the traditional sexual angle of the story and the other, the horrific but with a twist There is the Frog Prince on a psychiatrist s couch and Thumbelina There are Andersen s Wild Swans on a baseball field, a vampiric Puss in Boots Puss by Esther M Freisner, where the hero of the original story is turned into a despicable villain , a licentious Jack of the Beanstalk fame and the Snow Queen.The stories which stood from the rest for me were Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman A retelling of the Three Billie Goats Gruff , the tale is given a twist in the way only Gaiman can do it It is a fantasy, and at the same time a statement of the human condition Snow Drop by Tanith Lee Here, in a futuristic SF fantasy setting, the grim story of death and sex between the evil queen and the innocent girl is played out However, the queen is not so evil, and the girl is not so innocent This new take on Snow White fascinated me Like Angels Singing by Leonard Rysdyk The POV Point of View is the thing This story is a striking example of how a turning of the camera changes the movie Very powerful The Changelings by Melanie Tem The myth of the changeling is ever present in Europe, where fairies steal away one s human child and put one of their own in its place This legend has always creeped me out, and so does this story.However, if I am asked to award the crown for the best story in the collection, it will go to the last one Breadcrumbs and Stones by Lisa Goldstein This is not a fantasy, but the brutal reality of one of the darkest periods of human history the Nazi regime It is the story of a survivor, and her terrible loss what Hansel and Gretel could have been without the magical elements This story left me with a lump in my throat, and I understood how Bruno Bettelheim could survive a concentration camp on the strength of fairy tales The last paragraph of the story captures it all It seemed to me that all my life my mother had given me the wrong story, her made up tales instead of Hansel and Gretel, had given me breadcrumbs instead of stones That she had done this on purpose, told me the gaudiest, most wonder filled lies she knew, so that I would not ask for anything and stumble on her secret It was too late now I would have to find my own way back But the path did not look at all familiar.Yes, we do need those breadcrumbs, so that we are never lost in the woods.

  4. says:

    These are retellings of classic Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales that we re all familiar with with adult twists and turns put on them, some of them reworked in a modern setting, some not Some of them are horror stories, some of them are suspense thrillers, all of them are at least mildly creepy I enjoyed all of them, if only for seeing how all the tales I grew up with were subverted and twisted around I also enjoyed learning that these tales are probably closer to the original way that they were told, before parents and the Grimms and Anderson cleaned them up for children And of course before Disney whitewashed all of them Some of them are really entertaining Recommended for those who enjoy having their innocence somewhat corrupted or just want to sock one to Walt Disney.

  5. says:

    These are mostly a little too nonconsensual for my taste Too much stuff in here made me feel really icky, and not in a good, scary horror way In a this is practically child porn kinda way Not good Skip it and read a different Datlow collection The extra star is for the other stories, the ones that were very good and should ve been put in a better collection.

  6. says:

    It has been a long time since I sat down and read this book, and so I can barely remember a lot of my impressions and thoughts about it However, it retains a place in my book case for several reasons.The first reason why it will never leave my bookcase is because it contains a story called A Sound, Like Angels Singing This story, written by an author who I had not heard of at the time Leonard Rysdyk , is pure genius It is visceral, haunting, and touching and outshines every story in this collection.Other stories in here still recall a fond smile The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep by Charles de Lint is one of those Certainly I can t forget Tanith Lee s chilling Snow Drop Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman is definitely worth a read And I still will remember bits of The Snow Queen by Patricia A McKillip.But one of the other reasons why this book will never leave my bookshelf is because Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have done such a fine job of editing it Each of their introductions is compelling and fascinating to read They have included concise and interesting biographies of each of the contributing authors And they have placed the stories together in a way that truly makes this collection a vibrant family of stories.

  7. says:

    Very disappointing first installment, and that was a big negative surprise In hindsight, it s turned out to be for the better that I got into these fairy tale anthologies picking the books out of order, because had I started with this, the sheer mediocrity of the stories would ve probably thrown me off of reading further volumes, and it d have been a great loss, for there s dozens of amazing stories in this collection s books.As positives the short story I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood by Kathe Koja, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, with a Red that s very unusual and a Wolf figure that s roguish than sinister, that was extremely good and enjoyable in my opinion That was about the only short story I liked, and needless to say, my favourite also And then, there s Breadcrumbs and Stones by Lisa Goldtein, a Hansel and Gretel reimagining in a Holocaust setting, the same premise as Louise Murphy s The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, but different in plot and characterisation Not that much to my taste, but one has to respect the author s creativity.

  8. says:

    Of the various fairy tale anthologies in this series that I ve read, it is certainly the darkest and most unsettling I really enjoyed Charles de Lint s story, The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep, and I liked Patrica McKillip s The Snow Queen, but other than that, I thought that a large number of the stories were too dark for my taste.Trigger warnings Little Red contains implied seduction of a minor by a wolf In I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood, it is implied that the narrator is intending to rape a woman The Root of the Matter contains sexual child molestation I m not sure how to categorize it, but I found Little Poucet too disturbing for my taste Puss contains forced sex The Glass Casket contains rape If you like fairy tales for adults, I would recommend the other anthologies in the collection, unless you have a much stronger stomach than I do.

  9. says:

    A terrific collection of fairy tales told and retold in the fashion of the originals Violent with adult themes of angst and sexuality This is Snow White before Disney diluted the tales A fun and exciting read.

  10. says:

    The original, or older, or simply non Disney versions of most fairy tales are highly disturbing It seems that half the authors in this collection took that as a challenge to make modern fairy tales five times as disturbing as the disturbing originals This does not mean the tales are bad These are very good authors, with a highly developed sense of writing, of the magical, of imparting ideas without spelling out every minute detail, of leaving the audience with a good starting point for discussion But the tales are often not always very difficult to read to to content Consider that a disclaimer, or the rated R rating for content.As with all collections of short stories, it is impossible to judge the whole by the parts Here are my favorites Troll Bridge by Neil GaimanThe Princess in the Tower by Elizabeth A LynnThe Moon is Drowning While I Sleep by Charles DeLintI Shall do Thee Mischief in the Wood by Kathy KojaLike a Red, Red Rose by Susan WadeThe Snow Queen by Patricia McKillipAs a side note, I wonder if Breadcrumbs and Stones by Lisa Goldstein was the inspiration for The True Story of Hansel and Gretel , which was published about a decade later If you read both you will see what I am talking about.