A little while ago, FableCroft author Faith Mudge guest posted at SF Signal on the topic “Feminism in Fairytales”. Faith’s excellent story “Oracle’s Tower” (in To Spin a Darker Stair) is a very clever reworking of a traditional tale, and her beautiful piece in One Small Step also subverts fairytale tropes. Faith blogs frequently on fairytales at her own blog, and she really knows her stuff! From the article:
I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but I’m pretty sure 2012 was the Year of the Fairy Tale. There wasn’t an official announcement or anything, but the nod was clearly given in secret circles and the retellings spread outwards like ripples on the waters of speculative fiction. Novels such as Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens, Sophie Masson’s Moonlight and Ashes and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder were released, there were big movie adaptations Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, there was even a TV series. Hell, there were two TV series! I’m a fiend for fairy tales; I was in paradise. And I was seriously impressed by the ingenuity of all these storytellers for finding something new to say about stories that have been retold over so many years.
But there was also a bitter aftertaste that’s been bothering me for some time. It was so subtle, and so pervasive, that it is difficult to pin down when exactly I first noticed it – in the reviews? The promotional interviews? The posts I read afterwards? What I noticed was this: that when people spoke about a fairy tale adaptation, the assumption was that it would be better than the original. Specifically, that the women would be better.
I highly recommend the post to you, if you’re at all interested in the resurgence of fairytale retellings in all media, and particularly the portrayal of women in these.
We would like to congratulate all our authors whose works will appear in the 2012 Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror (from Ticonderoga Publications, July 2013). In particular, three stories first published by FableCroft will be reprinted! Well done to Thoraiya Dyer (“Sleeping Beauty” from Epilogue), Faith Mudge (“Oracle’s Tower” from To Spin a Darker Stair) and Tansy Rayner Roberts (“What Books Survive” from Epilogue). Lovely news!
Speaking of news, we’ve started a new page on this website called “FableCroft Books in Review“, where we link to online reviews of our books – check it out to see what reviewers have been saying about us!
People have been tweeting about receiving their copies of To Spin a Darker Stair, and they are saying such lovely things!
Faith Mudge, one of the authors, sent me a beautiful note, and I hope she won’t mind me quoting her description: “The book is gorgeous – so small and sweet, a bookling really!” I LOVE it – bookling indeed!
Artist Kathleen Jennings talks us through the process of the cover art on her blog – so PRETTY.
DarkMatterzine has already reviewed it! Nalini says: ”I’m charmed by the book … these are re-imaginings from the dark side.” (among other nice things).
And on Twitter, Tansy Rayner Roberts called it, “a fairy cobweb of a … book.” Beautiful!
And finally (for now!), author Catherynne M Valente also had some things to say on Twitter – I’ve captured it as a picture to have forever! My favourite bit? “… a beautiful, delicate, strange book…”
If you’d like a copy too, pop over to the Shop and pick one up!
Sneak peek at part of the gorgeous cover art for To Spin a Darker Stair (art by Kathleen Jennings)
It occurred to me today that I have a marvellous opportunity to give readers (even more) incentive to pre-order their copy of FableCroft’s forthcoming gift book, To Spin a Darker Stair. The book features stories by Catherynne M Valente and Faith Mudge, and is illustrated by Kathleen Jennings.
Last month I accidentally ended up with an extra copy of Sea Hearts, the newest novel from the marvellous Margo Lanagan (I reviewed it here). I highly recommend it, so I’m offering it up as a pre-order prize! One lucky person who pre-orders To Spin a Darker Stair before March 15, 2012, will win Sea Hearts as well (drawn randomly from all pre-orders).
So, for just $7.95 (Australia), $8.95 (New Zealand) or $9.95 (rest of the world) you have the chance to get not just one but TWO awesome (beautiful) books! Don’t miss out on your chance to win - pre-order now! **
** Winner will be drawn from all pre-orders prior to March 15, 2012, including those already placed.