Ottawa Double Book Launch for Over the Rainbow and We Shall Be Monsters

By Derek Newman-Stille

It was extremely satisfying and exciting to have the chance to launch both of my new anthologies in Ottawa. There is something incredibly magical about seeing one’s work come together and bringing together numerous voices that were part of these books. I always find that there is much more context that an author’s voice adds to their story, so I was excited to get the chance to hear so many works in their own voices. I was able to get a sense of the nuances of their stories and the feeling behind their words.

We had multiple readers at our Ottawa launch, each adding new voice to their stories and answering questions about their tales from the audience (and occasionally from me as well). We were able to alternate back and forth between stories from each anthology – fairies and monsters, fairies and monsters, allowing the audience to dip into multiple magical worlds and spaces of imagination. We had the chance to listen to slam poetry as part of our tale, to listen to the words of a professional storyteller, and to hear academic perspectives on these texts in addition to the readings.

The launch took place at the Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin Street in Ottawa.

There were readings by Nicole Lavigne, Ashley Caranto Morford, Liz Westbrook Trenholm, Victoria K. Martin, Kate Heartford, Arianna Verbree, and Richard Keelan. We also had Sean Moreland in attendance to sign books. Not everyone was able to make it, so I want to also acknowledge that Nathan Frechette and Cait Gordon were there in spirit, but not in physical form.

Derek Newman-Stille

Nicole Lavigne

Ashley Caranto Morford

Liz Westbrook Trenholm

Victoria K. Martin

Kate Heartfield

Arianna Verbree

Richard Keelan

Over the Rainbow authors

We Shall Be Monsters authors

All of our Ottawa Authors

Taela Smith reviews Over the Rainbow

In her Amazon Review, Taela Smith states

 

“Over the Rainbow » was a very rare find for me – a short story collection with no weak spots.

“Some of the authors I recognized going in as long-time favourites: Fiona Patton, whose story « I Am Not Broken » was an intricate and entertaining blend of fairy tale and science fiction; Kate Story, whose story in this collection entitled « Martinis, My Dear, Are Dangerous » is the perfect blend of creepy and lovely.

“Others I was delighted to be introduced to here for the first time, like Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, whose story « White Rose, Red Thorns » introduces a universe of interconnected fairy tales and a love story whose happy ending was decades in the making.

“Overall, the collection was an excellent look at the relationship that stories have to the categories that define us and how we can overturn those categories to make the story our own. With a mixture of short, often humorous tales and longer, more literary gems, each story seems carefully chosen to both stand strong on its own merits while simultaneously strengthening the collection as a whole.

“The stories inside offer a unique, and uniformly well-written take on fairy tales . . . from the margins.”

 

You can find her original review at https://www.amazon.ca/Over-Rainbow-Fairy-Tales-Margins/dp/1550967126

These Beans Lost Jack

Speculating Canada reviews Ace Jordyn’s “The Story of the Three Magic Beans” from Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales From The Margins

Speculating Canada: Canadian Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

These Beans Lost Jack

A review of Ace Jordyn’s “The Story of the Three Magic Beans” in Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins (Exile Editions, 2018)

By Derek Newman-Stille

Do magic beans ever get tired of granting wishes? Do they ever get frustrated with having to fulfill everyone else’s dreams instead of their own? Do they ever crave a normal life without all of that magic where they can just soak up some water, nest in the soil, and get warm in the sun? Ace Jordyn’s “The Story of the Three Magic Beans” answers those questions with a resounding “YES!”. Where Rati Mehrotra’s story took readers into the animal world, Ace Jordyn’s tale brings us into the vegetative world.

Plants and plant products play an important role in fairy tales. They are often catalysts for change and transformation, but they don’t often get the credit they…

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People as Magical as the Fairies They Enounter

People As Magical as the Fairies They Encounter

A review of Tom Dawe’s Spirited Away: Fairy Stories of Old Newfoundland (Running The Goat, 2018)

By Derek Newman-Stille

A man who makes his shoe-laces out of dried eel skins, another who can make an instrument of any object he finds, an old woman who goes from house to house asking for bones, children who fear dragonflies – and these are just the human characters in Tom Dawe’s Spirited Away: Fairy Stories of Old Newfoundland. Dawe weaves together fairy tales told in Newfoundland with a bit of the eccentricities of the island, creating a dynamic set of stories. Dawe explores tales of landscapes come alive with mischief, of homes made unfamiliar by the presence of the fairies, of animals who can sense otherworldly presences, of mysterious strangers showing up to play music and just as soon disappearing, of fairy rings, and of babies hurt by fairies appearing as green butterflies.

Dawe draws on the Newfoundland Fairy Tale telling tradition, but transforms it from a primarily oral narrative tradition into a solid set of tales to entertain and intrigue. Dawe wraps these tales of the otherworldly in the realm of humans, giving context to the characters involved in a way that is rarely done in such detail in the Newfoundland Fairy Tale telling tradition.

Like most who draw on the fairy tale traditions, Dawe’s stories aren’t light and fluffy tales of encounters with magic, but frightening tales of danger, tales of angering the fairies, tales of fairy blasts, and tales of people dancing to fairy music until they collapsed.

To discover more about Spirited Away: Fairy Stories of Old Newfoundland, visit http://runningthegoat.com/spirited-away-fairy-stories-of-old-newfoundland/

To find out more about Tom Dawe, visit https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/arts/tom-dawe.php

A Fable About Overcoming The Odds

Speculating Canada reviews Rati Mehrotra’s “The Half Courage Hare” in Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales From The Margins

Speculating Canada: Canadian Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

A Fable About Overcoming the Odds

A review of Rati Mehrotra’s “The Half Courage Hare” in Over The Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins (Exile Editions, 2018).

By Derek Newman-Stille

Animals offer a fascinating element to folklore and fairy tales, often grouped into their own category of “animal tales”. These tales often use animals as symbolic representations of human characteristics, hyper-accentuating these characteristics. The animals are anthropomorphised (given human characteristics like speech, human cultural customs, and human behaviours) as part of this rendering of animals into the symbolic realm to speak about human experience. From Aesop’s fables to medieval bestiaries to the plethora of cartoon animal stories, we have been fascinated by our relationship with the animal world and with our belief that animals can reveal something about us and our experiences.

Fables are a form of folk tales that uses animals to convey lessons to people about…

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Not Malfunctioning

Speculating Canada reviews Fiona Patton’s “I Am Not Broken” from Over the Rainbow

Speculating Canada: Canadian Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

Not Malfunctioning

A review of Fiona Patton’s “I Am Not Broken” in Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins (Exile, 2018)

By Derek Newman-Stille

In our ableist society, disability is treated as a flaw, as a malfunction. In “I Am Not Broken”, Fiona Patton explores the problematic assumptions about disability by abstracting the image of malfunctioning onto a robot who has been deemed to be malfunctional and is preparing for disassembly. By making this parallel, Patton explores the way that our society assumes that disabled people are “broken” and not capable of fulfilling a social role. Patton critiques ideas of bodily conformity by pointing out production lines and challenges ideas of standardized testing by pointing out that it can’t encompass the complexity of individual value. Her tale is a challenge to power structures that try to force a singular normative system and fail to recognize the power…

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Skin Deep

Speculating Canada reviews Nathan Caro Frechette’s story “Skin” from Over the Rainbow

Speculating Canada: Canadian Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

Skin Deep

A review of Nathan Caro Frechette’s “Skin” in Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins (2018, Exile)

By Derek Newman-Stille

Selkies are creatures from Scottish folklore (but also noted in the Orkneys and Shetlands) who are capable of transforming from seal to human by shedding their skin. In many selkie tales, female selkies are stolen from their watery home when a man steals their seal skin and then keeps the skin hidden away, forcing his new selkie bride to do his bidding. These are generally coercive tales where women (or their children) have to escape from the control of the skin thief by finding out where the skin is hidden and stealing it back to disappear into the ocean.

Nathan Caro Frechette reshapes the selkie mythos in his story “Skin”, which plays with the idea of skin and identity, turning the tale into a Trans…

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