cover image I Stole You: Stories from the Fae

I Stole You: Stories from the Fae

Kristen Ringman. Handtype, $15 trade paper (116p) ISBN 978-1-941960-04-2

Ringman (Makara) has woven her recollections of personal experiences with “fae creatures” into these 14 lyrical, disturbing first-person tales, all told to victims by vampiric shape-shifting beings drawn from various mythological traditions. Ringman, who is Deaf, postulates telepathic fae-to-human connections as well as signed communication with emotional overtones that no auditory vibrations can match. Among the more unsettling of these stories, the touching “A Real Dog” presents a fae creature locked in the body of a shelter dog who steals a person with its eyes, and “Love Within Tangled Branches,” voiced by a birch tree spirit out of Icelandic saga lore, shows that love can make fae and human alike take risks. All fae creatures, Ringman suggests, come from humans, through dreams that are humans’ way of seeing other realities. Closing with a painful vision of suicidal humans who inevitably destroy themselves and their world, this fantasy collection poses otherness that simultaneously attracts and repels, couched in an occasionally brutal modern idiom. Ringman successfully brings readers a few steps out of everyday reality. (July)