Terribly Twisted Tales
. Daw Books, $7.99 (303pp) ISBN 978-0-7564-0554-0
A few weak outings barely detract from the strong majority in Rabe and Greenberg's anthology of fairy tale retellings. Masterworks include Michael A. Stackpole's ""The Adventure of the Red Riding Hoods"" with its Holmesian wolf and Jody Lynn Nye's ""No Good Deed,"" a science fiction re-envisioning of the thorn-stuck lion. Happily ever after isn't inevitable, as in Chris Pierson's compelling ""Once They Were Seven,"" featuring an evil Snow White, and Paul Genesse's grim ""Revenge of the Little Match Girl,"" but Brendan DuBois's ""princess"" Patti proudly rescues herself in the gritty urban ""Rapunzel Strikes Back."" The prose and ideas are outstanding; only a handful of poorly thought-out endings, as when Pinocchia the puppet returns to an abusive Gepetto in Ramsey ""Tome Wyrm"" Lundock's ""Clockwork Heart,"" keep this anthology from the top tier.
Reviewed on: 05/04/2009