Faeries, or creatures like them, can be found in almost every culture the world over—benevolent and terrifying, charming and exasperating, shifting shape from country to country, story to story, and moment to moment. In The Faery Reel, acclaimed anthologists Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have asked some of today’s finest writers of fantastic fiction for short stories and poems that draw on the great wealth of world faery lore and classic faery literature. This companion to the World Fantasy Award–winner and Locus bestseller The Green Man is edgy, provocative, and thoroughly magical. Like the faeries themselves.
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Grade 9 Up–The editors state in their preface that fairies are as individualistic as humans, with a variety of names, shapes, sizes, customs, habitats, and local histories. This collection includes fairy songs and poems by Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, and Nan Fry; and stories about fairies that live in magical handbags, elves in the Philippines who bewitch and sicken young girls; and futuristic urban societies where fairies siphon people's dreams. Twenty writers contributed tales, including Tanith Lee, Gregory Maguire, Patricia A. McKillip, and Ellen Steiber. Delia Sherman's "CATNYP" concerns a feisty changling girl who helps a changling boy return to the "real" New York City from the parallel fairy world where they were both raised. In the story, the New York Public Library's automated catalog called CATNYP is a real lion and a library page is literally an animated piece of paper that retrieves books. In Bruce Glassco's "Never Never," Captain Hook and his pirate gang find themselves repeatedly resurrected for the amusement of their eternal foe, Peter Pan. Gregory Frost's scary Japanese tale, "Tengu Mountain," is about an evil goblin that disguises itself as a priest or monk to attack and kill unsuspecting travelers. All but one of the 20 stories are new and each one offers an intriguing look at many different kinds of fairies. Teen characters are often featured, but even the selections without them will appeal to fantasy lovers.–Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
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Gr. 9-12. This lively anthology brings together 17 original stories and three poems with the common theme of fairies and other nature spirits. Windling leads off with a fine introductory essay on the origins, varieties, and attitudes toward fairies in different cultures and, in particular, their treatment in English literature and art. Among the authors represented are Neil Gaiman, Patricia McKillip, and Gregory Maguire, though less-well-known writers contribute some of the most imaginative and edgy pieces. Most of the stories bring magical elements into modern settings, including New York City, an English village, a Brazilian city, a Japanese mountainside, a French farm, and L.A. Datlow and Windling, who edit the annual adult anthology The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, call this a companion volume to The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest (2002), which was published for teen readers. A rewarding choice for those who like the traditional with a twist. Carolyn Phelan
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