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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

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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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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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Over the Rainbow Table of Contents

Here is our Table of Contents for Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales From The Margins (Exile, 2018).

Introduction: Fairy Tale Transformations – Derek Newman-Stille

Skin – Nathan Caro Frechette

I Am Not Broken – Fiona Patton

The Half Courage Hare – Rati Mehrotra

The Story of the Three Magic beans – Ace Jordyn

Iron Jenny and the Princess – Robert Dawson

The Waltzing Tree – Richard Keelan

Fairest Find – Nicole Lavigne

White Rose, Red Thorns – Liz Westbrook-Trenholm

Path of White Stones – Kate Heartfield

The Page of Cups and the Star – Evelyn Deshane

Unearthing History – Lisa Cai

Half Gone Dark – Tamara Vardomskaya

None of Your Flesh and Blood – Chadwick Ginther

Pied – Quinn McGlade-Ferentzy

La Bete Sauvage – Karin Lowachee

Martinis, My Dear, Are Dangerous – Kate Story

Daughter Catcher – Ursula Pflug

As Never Bird Sang Before – Sean Moreland

The Canadian Response to Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms

A review of Lindsay Carmichael’s The PRince and the Hedgewitch that I posted on Speculating Canada

Speculating Canada: Canadian Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

A review of Lindsey Carmichael’s The Prince and the Hedgewitch (in Canadian Tales of the Fantastic, Red Tuque Books, Penticton, BC, 2011)

By Derek Newman-Stille

To anyone who has read Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms series, Lindsey Carmichael’s The Prince and the Hedgewitch will strike a familiar cord. Like Lackey’s series, Carmichael’s short story plays with the idea of a world that is entirely draped in the trappings of fairy tales. Like Lackey’s ‘The Tradition’ that shapes events in her world, making them conform to the traditions of stories that have already been written (i.e. a third son will always become king after undergoing a quest), Carmichael’s ‘the story’ has a similar way of making the world around it conform to story archetypes. In the worlds that both authors create, there is a sense of the inevitability of fate and a fundamental lack of agency.

There are a lot…

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