cover image Snow White, Blood Red

Snow White, Blood Red

. William Morrow & Company, $22 (411pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10913-4

The dark and shadowed aspects of well-known folk stories and fairy tales are explored in updated retellings by such writers as Gahan Wilson, Tanith Lee, Jane Yolen and Leonard Rysdyk in this anthology by the team that also compiles The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror volumes. In Esther M. Freisner's ``Puss,'' one of the finest contributions, an ancient being dons boots with his feline guise to discharge a blood debt to a hated and brutal master. Patricia A. McKillip's ``The Snow Queen'' tells of a young woman who finds her real identity while her bored husband and their sophisticated friends nearly lose their souls to the eponymous enchantress. In a lighter vein, Caroline Stevermer and Ryan Edmonds write about an irritated stepmother who turns a baseball-mad family of boys into ``The Springfield Swans.'' Blanche, a witch's daughter raised in isolation in Susan Wade's ``Like a Red, Red Rose,'' finds tragedy when she reaches out for love. In ``I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Woods,'' Kathe Koja shows what Little Red Riding Hood really was doing on her way to her grandmother's. Some of these tales are enchanting; some are horrifying; most, like the originals, offer insight into human nature. (Jan.)