Thursday, June 28, 2012

Graham Joyce's Top 10 Fairy Fictions


So what do all of these titles have in common? They are on Graham Joyce's top 10 fairy fictions. Well, I'm missing one for which I couldn't find a good image and link.


From the article:

I'm very careful to avoid the "F" word. They don't like it. And anyway, I've stepped away from the obvious "retelling of fairytale" candidates. Recasting fairytales has become a publishing sub-genre in itself, and has been done both well and to the point of entropy. More interesting are those works where the structures of fairytales are abandoned but the world of "fairy" is imported as a delicate spice. In these fictions, magical and impossible content tends to be offered in a more naturalistic mode of storytelling. The effect for the reader is that of riding a shuttle between natural scepticism and open credulity. If there were a film paradigm it would start with Pan's Labyrinth. All of these authors are rule-breakers. I'd call them "fantasists" except that it's a word with an unstable currency; but a sense of awe and dislocation is upheld here, and a new way of knowing is always the prize.

You'll have to click through to read about each title. I can't copy the entire article! But here are US covers and links--and I was happy to see that I already owned several of these. My wishlist is thankful.

And I like that he breaks his own rules. No retellings, he says? But then we are offered Briar Rose. What titles about fairy/faerie would you put on the list? My first thought was Pamela Dean's Tam Lin. Then Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock and Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard and Franny Billingsley's The Folk Keeper and MOST DEFINITELY War for the Oaks by Emma Bull and The Grey Horse by R. A. MacAvoy. And probably about 20 others I will remember when I walk away from my computer. Because my brain does that... (And, yes, I have already noticed my list is dominated by Tam Lin. I'm not surprised. Are you?)

Okay, I should do my own post with my titles--and yours--so comment away and we'll try to make a nice, long list! Why should we stop with 10?



  1. I adore the story The Stolen child by Keith Donohoe, Kelly Link is also wonderful, her ideas are so delightfully far out. I also enjoyed The Owl Service, and I think Neil Gaiman recently wrote something on how wonderful a writer Garner is.

  2. I imagine you must've read Sleeping Helena by Erzebet Yellowboy. I read that recently and really liked it. I can see I have a lot more reading to do. Love this list and shall bookmark it.