Fantastic Alice Mass Market Paperback – Dec 12 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
The current spate of themed, written-to-order anthologies leaves us awash in mediocrity; Fantastic Alice, in which 17 authors rework material by Lewis Carroll, is only a partial exception. Only Bruce Holland Rogers in the touching "A Common Night"-the best story here, despite an unconvincing close-illuminates what he borrows. He makes intriguing connections between Carroll and Emily Dickinson, and his verse is impressively clever. Several stories bring Carrollian characters to the real world; the best is Peter Crowther's eerie, disturbing "Conundrums to Guess," in which the Red Queen shows up (with an ax), but it's undeveloped and rushed. Lawrence Watt-Evans, Jane M. Lindskold and Esther M. Friesner bring to reality the Cheshire Cat, the Dormouse and the Duchess's pig-baby, respectively, with some cleverness and imagination. Most of the stories that put characters into versions of Carroll's worlds, though, fail to one degree or another. The late Roger Zelazny contributes turgid and violent mythopoeia, Janet Pack a whimsy-slaying and sloppy "It was all a dream-or was it?" cliche; Mickey Zucker Reichert's and Connie Hirsch's takeoffs are flat-footed and laborious. While the writing here is generally professional and there is some cleverness throughout, too often we feel we're seeing an old-time star spliced into a low-budget remake.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In this anthology, seventeen bold and practiced explorers of the literary genre have dared to journey back into madness in quest of...what? Wonder? Truth? And the remarkable thing is that each one of them brings us back something different, because, of course, Wonderland is never the same twice...
There are stories in this book that will arouse your interest. There are stories that will bore or annoy you with their approach. And there are some that will terrify you with a moment of insight that will take you back to Wonderland all over again. I particularly enjoyed "A Common Night" but that will vary...
Welcome to Wonderland. Don't bother preparing yourself because here is where all structures break down. Prepare to lose yourself in a world of puns and nightmarish absurdity. Or, as I suppose the Mad Hatter would put it...
"Abandon all mope, ye who enter here!"
Posted by Poor Richard's daughter
A collection of short stories based around characters and Wonderland, this book breaks the childhood fix and reveals the darker, more sinister side of what it's like down the rabbit hole. Some stories follow new characters who end up in Wonderland or interacting with familiar faces. Others are simply steeped in references, comparing people and everyday lives with the extraordinairy events that we know to have happened on Alice's travels.
This book is not for children. It's not for people who are happy and comfortable with Alice the way it is. This book is for people who, although appreciate the original text, have grown away from it and seek something new with familiar reference points. Some of the stories are not top quality, but don't let that put you off. More than half of them are, and are extremely thought provoking (did you know the White Rabbit turned out to be gay?).
It's a challenge to readers who know Alice well. And definitely worth the trip to Wonderland.