So Fey: Queer Fairy Fictions

Steve Berman, Editor
Steve Berman, Editor . Haworth $19.95 (370p) ISBN 978-1-56023-590-3
Paperback - 348 pages - 978-1-59021-228-8
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Despite its provocative title and aggressive opening vignette, sex and sexuality fade into the background of Berman's quiet compilation of fantasy tales. The modern urban and suburban settings that dominate the anthology may be partly responsible. Two of the 22 stories feature New York backdrops, and a number of others occur in unnamed cities that might as well be the Big Apple. Most tales also feature classic Shakespearean or Celtic-inspired faerie folk, though Eugie Foster's “Year of the Fox” and Craig Laurance Gidney's “A Bird of Ice” draw effectively on Asian motifs, and Christopher Barzak nods toward Egyptian myth in “Isis in Darkness.” The tone is mostly light, often with more than a touch of ironic humor, as in Elspeth Potter's “Detox”; hauntingly tragic romances from Kenneth D. Woods (“The Kings of Oak and Holly”) and Laurie J. Marks (“How the Ocean Loved Margie”) provide some ballast. Neither pornographic (despite a handful of explicit sex scenes) nor militant, this anthology is wholly readable and likely to engage general readers as well as its target audience. (Nov.)

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