cover image Trenchcoats, Towers, and Trolls: Cyberpunk Fairy Tales

Trenchcoats, Towers, and Trolls: Cyberpunk Fairy Tales

Edited by Rhonda Parrish. World Weaver, $15.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-73405-455-2

Parrish’s latest anthology (after Dark Waters) brings together 12 entertaining stories that evoke classic fairy tales but dress them up in cyberpunk dazzle. In the strongest selections, the bones of the tales that inspired them show through. Angus McIntyre’s “In the Belly of the Whale” nods knowingly to “Snow White” in its account of a systems hacker who thwarts her nemesis on an offshore mining rig with the aid of seven “drones, ROVs, bots and servos.” In Alena Van Arendonk’s “***********SK.IN,” a clever riff on “Rumpelstiltskin,” an imprisoned hacker is allotted 72 hours to guess the passcode of the hacker who’s extorting her. Nicola Kapron, in “Three,” outfits a bridge troll with teleportation skills. The charm of these stories lies in the way their authors work hard science incongruously into scenarios from high fantasy, making them appealing for fans of both types of writing. The resulting genre mash-ups offer plenty to enjoy. (Jan.)