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Black Swan, White Raven [Hardcover]

Ellen Datlow , Terri Windling


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Book Description

June 1997
A fourth anthology from the editors of Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears presents contemporary retellings of traditional fairy tales, in Gregory Frost's ""Sparks,"" ""The Dog Rose"" by Sten Westgard, and other works by Jane Yolen, Joyce Carol Oates, Nancy Kress, and John Crowley."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (T) (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380975238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380975235
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,142,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

This is the fourth volume in Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling's ongoing anthology series that invites modern authors to rewrite classic fairy tales. Like many of the original stories themselves, these retellings are often dark, and many contain erotic subtexts. While some of the authors choose to stick to the more traditional aspects of folklore, others reinvent their tales entirely, such as the seven dwarfs who turn into "Three Dwarfs and 2000 Maniacs" at the hands of author Don Webb. As usual, Datlow and Windling have managed to enlist an impressive roster of professional writers for their project, with headliners such as Joyce Carol Oates, John Crowley, and Jane Yolen. These seasoned veterans are mixed in with some relative newcomers to create a collection that is as diverse as it is unique. --Craig E. Engler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The fourth book in Datlow and Windling's anthology series of well-known and obscure fairy tales retold by contemporary writers, this collection features 19 short stories and two poems about Snow White, the fisherman and his wife, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and others. Writers like Joyce Carol Oates, Pat Murphy, Don Webb, and Jane Yolen put interesting twists to the sanitized Victorian versions we have, proving that these tales, along with the originals, aren't really for children. Highly recommended for fantasy and short story collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff May 25 2001
By Ashareh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Black Swan, White Raven is an excellent anthology of new fairy tales based on the traditional stories. In this series, all the stories are dark, based on the fact that fairy tales were originally written/told for adults, and their relegation to the the nursery occurred with the Victorian era. Particularly strong and memorable stories are the Rapunzel one by Anne Bishop, the Snow White one by Pat Murphy, and the Tin Soldier one by Nancy Kress.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than SNOW WHITE, BLOOD RED Feb. 19 2003
By Lea Dimarucut - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Why is this fairy tale anthology out of print? It's got a great collection of stories! I liked practically everything that was in here. SNOW WHITE, BLOOD RED may have been the first volume in editors Datlow and Windling's series of such books, but this fourth one is hands-down more gripping... the stories are better written, in my opinion.
Among my favorite selections from this volume are:
SNOW IN DIRT by Michael Blumlein
SPARKS by Gregory Frost
THE REVEREND's WIFE by Midori Snyder
THE TRUE STORY by Pat Murphy, and
GODMOTHER DEATH by Jane Yolen
I hope BLACK SWAN, WHITE RAVEN is published once more so I can grab my own copy. I have the first three anthologies and haven't read number 2 and number 3 yet, but that was only because I had to finish this one in time to return it to the library. Thank goodness they have it!
If you like this series, then I definitely recommend getting your hands on this one.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant series keeps getting better March 31 1999
By M. Browning - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The team of Datlow & Windling have put in their 4th collection of adult retellings of classic fairy tales, and this is the best yet. Strong, haunting tales that are truly not the Disney fluff we grew up on are what this collection is made of. Stories are drawn from many different cultures, not just the familiar Brothers' Grimm type; they also end up in many times/places, not just the dragons and castles type. The entire series is well worth your time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, As Usual. Dec 17 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Datlow &Windling have once again delivered perfect set of re-imagined folk tales that will take your breath away. The story of the sleeping beauty as a supermodel was heartbreaking.
4.0 out of 5 stars One to stay on my bookshelves for years to come! Oct. 5 2014
By Ria (Bibliotropic) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Fairy tales are interesting, both in their original form and the more sanitized happy versions we tend to grow up with today, and the differences between them. They resonate with so many people, no matter which form they’re in. From cautionary tales to hopeful visions of one’s future, there’s a place for fairy tales in our lives.

Which is why this collection is such a great one. It’s the sort of thing that can appeal to so many, not just fans of genre fiction. Though that is their primary appeal, since the overwhelming majority of the stories feature a sci-fi or fantasy bent, some read more like historical fiction or contemporary fiction, so there’s a range in here that’s fitting with the range of authors.

As with just about any anthology I read, though, some stories and some presentations hit harder with me than others. Particular favourites in this collection were Michael Blumlein’s Snow in Dirt (a sci-fi story involving a man who finds a strange comatose woman buried in his yard, then proceeds to revive and live with her), Esther M Friesner’s No Bigger Than My Thumb (a very twisted story of revenge), Gary Kilworth’s The Trial of Hansel and Gretel (exactly what it sounds like, portrayed as a medieval courtroom drama), Anne Bishop’s Rapunzel (a take on the classic story in which adversity builds character and everybody is more deeply flawed than you expect), Midori Snyder’s The Reverend’s Wife (a hilarious tale of ignorance and infidelity)… Okay, I’m starting to realise that there are more favourites in this collection that I first thought. Maybe it would be easier to say that there were really only 2 stories that I didn’t enjoy as much as the others rather than list all the ones I did like. And the ones that I didn’t find so appealing weren’t indicative of the quality of the story or the writing so much as they were just stories that didn’t really click with me. This happens a lot when I read anthologies with a mix of authors; inevitably there’s something that doesn’t appeal as much as the rest. Can’t win ‘em all.

I understand that this isn’t the first collection in the series, and that there are plenty of other dark retellings of fairy tales edited by Datlow and Windling that I can look for now, and believe me, if this collection is indicative of the others, I’m going to have a damn good time reading through them. If you’re looking for a trip into a disturbing twist on the stories you grew up with (assuming you didn’t grow up with the Grimm versions, that is; they’re disturbing enough on their own), then I highly recommend Black Swan, White Raven. You’ve got a star collection of authors contributing here, and it really shows in the fantastic diversity of content and style. This is one to stay on my bookshelves for years to come!

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