Monday, May 09, 2011

Short Story Monday - The Very Best of Charles de Lint Part 5

At turns whimsical, dark, and mystical, this extraordinary collection of retold fairy tales and new, modern myths redefine the boundaries of magic. Compiling favored stories suggested by the author and his fans, this delightful treasury contains the most esteemed and beloved selections that de Lint has to offer. Innovative characters in unexpected places are the key to each plot: playful Crow Girls who sneak into the homes of their sleeping neighbors; a graffiti artist who risks everything to expose a long-standing conspiracy; a half-human girl who must choose between her village and her strange birthright; and an unrepentant trickster who throws one last party to reveal a folkloric tradition. Showcasing some of the finest offerings within the realms of urban fantasy and magical realism, this essential compendium of timeless tales will charm and inspire.
Today is the 5th edition of my buddy read of The Very Best of Charles de Lint with Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings.

Stories Read This Week:
'Winter was Hard'
'The Conjure Man'
'We Are Dead Together'

1. What did you think of the supernatural species, the Gemmin, in 'Winter was Hard'? How do they compare to other species?
I really liked this story. The Gemmin were fun characters. They played off of Jilly nicely. She obviously felt a connection to them and was sad when they had to go away, like they are always meant to eventually do. I actually read this story back in Dreams Underfoot and it has stuck with me so well I didn't feel the need to skim through the story to write about it. I think they are also very comparable to de Lint's characters. It seems when they are not evil and are a species related to fairies, they are always a lot of fun. The details have been tweaked a bit, but it is still essentially the same.

2. Another story with a tree connection, what did you think of the use of the tree in 'The Conjure Man'?
This story really got to me. I mentioned in a previous installment how I am big on trees and how we have one in our back yard that the guy wants to cut down, but I hate to see it go. There are reasons to cut down trees, but they have lasting effects. I would miss the tree, but the connection goes a lot deeper in this story. I feel like if I get into any details I am ruining the magic of the story, because in the beginning it seems like something else entirely. I think this is one of my favourite de Lint stories.

3. Do you think the character in 'We are Dead Together' was doing the right thing?
This story was actually a bit typical. It's not that I didn't like it, but I found that it wasn't as good as other stories by de Lint. It is representative to another style of writing and I am more a fan of his Newford stories. This one didn't exactly click with me and I actually had a hard time coming up with a question. It was the first time I actually wondered why a story was in the collection. Anyway, the best I can say for my lame question is she thought she was doing the right thing and I can see how she thought it was. It was a very predictable story, though, and was missing de Lint's magic.

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