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Godfather Death (Continued) 2

by Terri Windling In contemporary fiction, a number of writers have drawn from death folklore and folk tales, creating stories and characters that are both memorable and thought—provoking. The Farthest Shore, the third book in Ursula K. Le Guin’s excellent "Earthsea" series, is an extraordinary meditation on death and how we confront it in our […]

The Arabian Nights:The Tale of the Puzzle of the Tales

by Gregory Frost The Arabian Nights If someone says those three words to you, what do you think of? Aladdin and his Magical Lamp, either in the flesh or in Disneyesque celluloid with an overly garrulous genie? Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, perhaps, complete with the cave that only reveals itself in response to […]

A Chorus of Clowns (Continued)

by Midori Snyder As popular as the Atellan farces once were until the close of the first century, afterwards these stock characters diminished from the broad public stage. Scholars don’t know precisely why they disappeared, but given that they reappeared years later in Commedia dell’ Arte,it is believed that they returned to their rural roots […]

Italian Fairies (Continued) 2

by Raffaella Benvenuto According to the Penguin Dictionary of Symbols, fairies seem to have originally been emanations of the Earth Mother that subsequently became water and vegetation spirits, appearing frequently on mountains,in woods or forests, or near water–courses. This is particularly true of all those areas of the Italian territory where medieval legends merged with […]

Daughter of the Sun (Continued) 2

by Carolyn Dunn The Sun grieved and grieved for her daughter. She would not come out, no matter how her grandchildren pleaded. Bowlegs searched for Redbird in the ash trees until he became gaunt and a ghost himself. Heartbroken, Nanyehi begged the Little Ones one more time for peace among the People. The Little Ones […]

The Story of Snow White (Continued)

by Terri Windling Illustration by Gustaf Tenggren Whether mother or stepmother, the murderous queen remains one of the most vivid villains in folkloric history. She orders the death of an innocent girl, demands her heart (or liver, or tongue), then boils, salts, and eats the tender organ with a gourmand’s pleasure. "The term ‘narcissism’ seems […]

Geraldine McCaughrean’s The White Darkness

by Colleen Mondor McCaughrean knows though that this Oates is her twist on the myth and through her research for the book came to a very different conclusion about the man himself. ". . .thegenuine article would not have been at all easy to get along with. A serious sociopath. He was either fooling about like an […]

Hawk Totem

by Jeanie Tomanek The tinge of the red tail, oddly clear from so far below. Only a glimpse, yet it is her spirit guardian, gliding, closing circle upon circle. She was once a raptor too, awl–eyed breast fiercely full and certain of the prey. Now hunter’s hood masks, jesses bind, she perches, hobbled, blind, love […]

The Shape of Things (Continued) 2

by Ellen Steiber That evening Nonie shows up at my house, carrying a cardboard box she can barely lift. I see her struggling with it as she comes up the walk. She has to set it down to ring the doorbell. By this time, I’m downstairs, opening the door. "What is that?" "I told you," […]