Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

If I Were A Rich Man: The Library: Post-Modern Folklore and Deconstruction

You know if I'm looking for just random stuff to put on the blog this is a long overdue idea. A list of books to read between seasons of my favorite TV shows. It's not exactly an original idea. Every season after Game of Thrones there's a billion lists of what can tide fans over but why not. TV takes a long time to produce.

Stuff to read you dig the fairytale deconstruction of Once Upon a Time.

Standard disclaimer. Most of these aren't books I've read but books I've want to read. While I'm at it this list is based on my personal list which was greatly influenced by a Goodreads list though I don't remember exactly which one so here a few worth mentioning.

Fables by Bill Willingham

I don't know if I want to include comics but Fables basically is Once Upon a Time if Once wasn't contractually obligated to pimp Disney so hard.  Moreover, Taletale made a video game adaption which is pretty inexpensive if you want to get your feet wet. It's an episodic game and normally the first episode is free though I don't know if that's still the case for The Wolf Among Us

The Bloody Chamber By Angela Carter
One of the reoccurring themes of this list is going to be that it chaps my hide that for the past century Disney has more or less had a monopoly on these stories.  And the obvious answer to that conundrum is go back to Grimm, Anderson, and Perrault. But then I have the same problem with a new name. Specifically a lot these stories were part of a pre-existing tradition of oral storytelling and I hate that they've been locked in place by not only film but previous to that the written word itself.  They are supposed to change. WHY DO THEY NEVER CHANGE!

The Bloody Chamber is a salve to that wound.  It makes the old tales interesting again. Also one of it's stories was adapted into movie. "The Company of Wolves" which is based on Little Red Riding Hood.

The Hard Facts of Grimm's Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar
Any story that can be so ingrained in the public conscious deserves some study and analysis and Maria Tatar is one of the best academic in the field of studying the cultural significance of fairy tales. This is basically a work where she anotates Grimm. I also recommend Off With Thier Heads: Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood.

My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales (Anthology)
Finally some new fairytales rather than recycling the old stuff. Oh who am I kidding I love recycling the old stuff that's why this list exists but like I said we've told the stories over and over again in more or less the same way they are getting a bit stale.

Wicked by Gregory McGuire
McGuire has also made a career out of reworking and revising folk stories. His most well known and well-regarded work is Wicked but he's done a bunch of other stuff.  Some would argue Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister is more interesting.

Daughter of the Forest By Juliet Marillier
The Six
Swans is one of the fairytales that didn't get a flashy Disney movie so if you want to stick it to the Mouse by divorcing lore from Disney it's a great one to do that with.

Daughter of the Forest seeks to retell The Six Swans as a Celtic folktale. One of the more interesting aspects of the book is that the main character fairly early on realizes she is in the type fairy story she tells her family regularly and has a pretty decent knowledge of DA RULES (particularly when dealing with the fair folk).  She spends more or less the first third of the book, without irony or snark, describing said rules to another character as she tells him various Irish folktales.
Princess of the Dancing Ball by Jessica Day George
You know how I said the "Six/Wild (it's complicated. Hey once you get past a few details Snow White basically is Sleeping Beauty) Swans" is a good way to stick it to the Mouse. So is "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". YOU HEAR THAT MICKEY! YOU AIN'T GETTING A DIME OUT OF ME FOR THIS CRAP!

Enchantment By Orson Scott Card


Orson Scott Card has said and done a lot of horrible stuff since his heyday as sci-fi nerd king. ... but I just can't bring myself to hate Enchantment the first book of his I've ever read which retells the story of Sleeping Beauty with Baba Yaga playing the role of Maleficent and a time-traveling Ukrainian-grad student, NAMED IVAN, reluctantly playing the role of Prince Phil.

The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman
Reworking old stories into something new is Gaiman's bread and butter it's what the man does.  Seriously, SandmanAnansi BoysAmerican Gods, Norse Mythogy. But I'm trying to stick to fairytales so The Sleeper and the Spindle it is.

The Princess of Thorns By Stacey Jay
Because of Disney there almost always is some confusion over what the name of Sleeping Beauty is. Aurora or Briar Rose. Post-modern adaptations split the difference by making them two different characters with similar stories. This Aurora is the daughter of sleeping beauty and she's more action-oriented than her mother.

Briar Rose: A Novel of the Holocaust by  Jane Yolen
I haven't read it and I want to be careful what I say about it because of the setting. But I hear it's really really good.

Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter byAdeline Yen Mah
Everything I just said.

The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge


I've got a thing for clones. They help me work out my junior issues. Vinge reworks the Snow Queen into space opera about predestination as our Kai this time around IS the Snow Queen... at least genetically.

The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

Cindy's got a brand new bag. Again a lot the books I'm recommending I haven't read but come on it's Mercedes Lackey. She probably set the gold standard for this kind of thing.

People have had beef regarding Cinderella's passivity and lack of agency for a long time and the point of the story is to basically rewrite her happy ending into something a bit more modern.

The Stepsister's Scheme by Jim Hines
Another post-script to Cinderella. The step-sister's strike back.

Mechanika by Betsy Cornwell

It's a steampunk Cinderella. It's CInderalla if Cinderella was also Girl Genius.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

You know how a few years back everybody was pissed that they basically turned Snow White into a Lord of the Rings style fantasy epic that didn't work. This is that... but good.

Uprooted by Niomi Novick

It's a bit removed but it's Beauty and the Beast with more or less the same dynamic as in Once.

P.S. Screw the mouse.

The Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
It's an epic Lord of the Rings style fantasy of Beauty and the Beast

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Remember how I talked up that Sci-fi space oppera of the Snow Queen. Well here is one riffing on Snow White and the Author Managed to do another one for The Six Swans by the way there are a lot of good adaptions of The Six Swans floating around.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Facebook Comments

Note: These Comments are from all across this blog.