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Cabinet des Fées
a journal of fairy tale fiction
Recent Entries 
15th-Dec-2011 02:54 pm - Scheherezade's Bequest 14


Finally! The latest issue of Scheherezade’s Bequest and its companion non-​​fiction articles are online. This issue was a long time in coming: due in September, posted in December — somewhere along the way we got lost in the woods and for that, we apologise. First let’s talk about the fiction. This 14th issue of Scheherezade’s Bequest is dark like the longest night, humorous and difficult and full of everything that makes a fairy tale real. These stories and poems hearken back to the original tales, and this issue is not for the faint of heart.

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30th-May-2011 08:43 am - Issue 13 — A Tricky Number
This issue of Scheherezade's Bequest, with its companion updates from Cabinet des Fées, is being brought to you live from Deux-Sevrés, a place saturated in folklore and fairy tales. Situated in the Poitou-Charentes region of France, where the landscape alternates between agricultural patchworks and forested hills, Deux-Sevrés is home to the the 16th-century château d'Oiron, where Charles Perrault based his story "Le Chat Botte" (Puss in Boots). Mêlusine, a European spirit of springs and rivers, created the city of Parthenay (located in the center of Deux-Sèvres) with a wave of her fairy wand. From the looks of this place, I'd say there are quite a lot of spirits still hard at work around here. The region also hosts the Angoulême Folklore Festival, where performers from all over the world gather to celebrate the traditions of their homelands amidst a bounty of wine and cheese.

It is with a celebratory spirit that we bring you this issue of Scheherezade's Bequest -- it is our 13th issue after all, and thirteen is a number of some import to fairy tales.

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28th-Jun-2010 12:41 pm - Good things come in threes
And we have three good things to announce today. The first thing we have to share is the long-awaited release of our third issue in print. This is the last issue of the first volume, published by Prime Books. With cover art by Charles Vess and twelve short stories by some of today's finest authors in the fantasy genre, we're sure there will be something about this issue to delight you. Please visit Cabinet des Fées 3 for more information and to order a copy for yourself.

The second announcement we have to make is that this will not be our final issue in print. Helen and I have decided to continue the publication of our print issue and we are working out the guidelines now. We are not yet open for submissions for the first issue of Volume 2, but we will let you know when we are ready to begin reading. Scheherezade's Bequest will continue on as usual and those guidelines remain unchanged.

Third, we have a new website. We've been experiencing a lot of technical glitches lately and have been very unhappy with the way our host has been handling certain things. Because of this, we decided to move the website to a new host and with that move we have given the site a new domain. We apologise again if this causes confusion, but we believe it was the best thing we could do for the site and for you, our readers. The full announcement can be found on the old website here, while the new website can be found at www.cabinetdesfees.com.

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18th-May-2010 06:28 pm - New issue of CdF online
The tenth issue of Scheherezade’s Bequest is now live, offering stories and poems by Eric Marin, Claire Massey, Joshua Gage, Sonya Taaffe, Bruce Woods, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Patricia Russo, Rachel Manija Brown and more. In this issue we introduce you to the art of Lucy Campbell, whose work illustrates Olivia V. Ambrogio’s The Handless Maiden (revisited). Lucy captures the fearful wonder of the dark forest in vivid colours and firm strokes, using fairy tales and myth as her inspiration. We’ll be seeing more of Lucy’s art here on the site, as she has agreed to talk with us about our shared love of fairy tales.

We’d like to especially thank Nurul Huda for allowing us to publish her essay The Heroic Journey in Shirley Lim’s Princess Shawl which explores Campbell’s monomyth as it applies to the young Mei Li and why stories such as Princess Shawl serve as important tools in the preservation of Malaysian culture. Nurul Huda Binti Abdul Mutalib received her Bachelor in English Language and Literature at the International Islamic University of Malaysia and is now working on her dissertation for Masters in English Literature at University of Malaya and we hope to see more of her here on CdF. From east to west we go with From Folklore to Literature: The Märchen and the German Romantic Movement by Charles Haddox.

Please visit Cabinet des Fées for more.
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Here we come at last to the end of April, the month we all began as fools. Do we now end as hermits, the secluded wise? We may or may not; however, in our concluding installment in honor of National Poetry Month in the United States, we do have a modern urban anchorite to see us off into the lusty month of May. Catherynne M. Valente joins us today with a poem of blood and glass, of the love among sisters, and of a certain cinder-maid.

Catherynne very nearly needs no introduction here: her short piece "The Maiden-Tree" helped inaugurate Scheherezade's Bequest, while her column Child's Play concerning the Child Ballads did the same for Cabinet des Fées in print . A mythpunk activist, she has written the Tiptree award-winning The Orphan's Tales, the Hugo-nominated Palimpsest, and is currently working on novels inspired by Prester John and Koschei the Deathless (in Stalinist Russia!) respectively. She's also published several volumes of poetry and been nominated for several awards in poetry; in 2008, she took a Rhysling with her The Seven Devils of Central California. Most recently, she has been working on two crowdfunded projects: The Omikuji Project: Cycle I and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. She accomplishes all this while living on a small island off the coast of Maine, surrounded by her Carnival of Beasts, with a kitchen full of witchery and a basket full of textiles. We can imagine her knitting there, by the sea, but we have to wonder: what exactly is she knitting with?

[Follow the link to read "Glass, Blood, and Ash" and a short interview with Catherynne!]
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29th-Apr-2010 10:58 pm - "Orpheus" by Amal El-Mohtar
Two more days in April: two more poets to celebrate what is the close of National Poetry Month in the United States. Today, we welcome Amal El-Mohtar, no stranger to the digital pages of Cabinet des Fées - she has been published in Scheherezade's Bequest, she writes book reviews for the site, and has been interviewed in her fearsomely mischievous guise as one-half of the Goblin Queen duo with Jessica P. Wick, editing the succulent poetry quarterly Goblin Fruit. She won the 2009 Rhysling Award with her poem "Song for an Ancient City" and her poetry and prose have ranged the zine-seas, from Mythic Delirium to Sybil's Garage, from Shimmer to Strange Horizons and beyond. She currently lairs in an Old Library built from dismantled ships, pursuing a PhD in English literature and convincing all the local poor souls that she's not actually a Queen of Tea and Mischief come among them to steal all their honey.

Today, she gives us a poetic salute to bereft and destroyed Orpheus; this poem was previously published in Sybil's Garage No. 5.

[Follow the link to read "Orpheus" and a short interview with Amal!]
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28th-Apr-2010 11:03 pm - "Baba Yaga Said" by Seanan McGuire
In these last few days of April - which is National Poetry Month in the United States - I would like to share with you some fine poetry by some enchanting poets. To begin with, we have a poem by Campbell award-nominated Seanan McGuire featuring the fearsomely strange figure of Baba Yaga. But first, allow me to introduce the poet:

A folklore maven and woman of the beautiful weird, Seanan burst onto the urban fantasy scene last year with Rosemary and Rue, the first book in her October Daye series. As her first series proliferates (Rosemary and Rue was recently joined by A Local Habitation, with An Artificial Night forthcoming in September), Seanan is also writing a year-long American folkpunk piece entitled Sparrow Hill Road at The Edge of Propinquity and has just published Feed, the first part of a zombie politico-thriller trilogy, under the pseudonym Mira Grant. In addition to this, she is a well-known filker, a semi-regular cartoonist, and still manages to take daily walks. Most of us are quite sure that Seanan never actually sleeps and has, perhaps, secretly perfected human cloning.

[Follow the link to read "Baba Yaga Said" and a short interview with Seanan!]
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22nd-Apr-2010 09:51 am - The Wild Hunt: A Mythic Webseries

Next month, InByTheEye Films will debut a new webseries inspired by the Wild Hunt of folklore and the Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo. Infused with a Victorian aesthetic, the series follows the trials of a troubled young wife (Marie) and a sarcastic butler (Sullivan) who find themselves the prey of the Hunt. In order to elude the Captain of the Furious Host and their fate at his hands, each must beat him at his own game and discover what importance Daphne - once the Captain's prey, now his muse - holds to their own stories. In the end, only one will triumph... and survive.

Although the trailer is not yet available, - we'll be sure to post it here as soon as it is - I was able to sit down with Lisa Stock, the creative powerhouse behind InByTheEye Films, to talk briefly about The Wild Hunt.

Deborah: Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind The Wild Hunt.

Lisa: I've always loved the legend. It's one of those you carry around inside and then when you're out in the forest alone you start to wonder who you might run into. Like a good ghost story you can't shake - and don't want to! Then you have to ask yourself - how much does myth and your belief in it really influence your life? Beyond spooking yourself at night. I've actually given this charge to the character of the Captain of the Wild Hunt. He finds it quite fascinating when someone believes he doesn't exist - and engages his victims in lively conversations about scientific facts vs. one's own beliefs. (Something I also address in Titania.) You can rationalize a fear away, but it always comes creeping back up to take hold of you again. So, let's talk about what's real and what isn't...



[Continue reading the interview with Lisa Stock at Cabinet des Fees! You can comment there as well.]
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Most of you are probably already aware of Syfy's new Saturday night original movie plans: seeking fertile ground after endless iterations of disaster movies and mega-monsters, Syfy has turned their sights on fairy tales, legendary figures, and classic children's literature.

It's not completely surprising: Syfy's airing of Tin Man in 2007 and Alice last year suggested a quiet testing of the waters, feeling for viewer response to dark re-imaginings of familiar childhood tales. I haven't seen Tin Man, the bleak and fantastical riff on The Wizard of Oz starring Zooey Daschanel, but I've heard it wasn't a waste. Its ratings were phenomenal (for Syfy) and it was nominated for several Emmys, one of which it won. This past December, I was fully immersed in the fan response to the grungy and noirish Alice starring Caterina Scorsone and Andrew Lee Potts -- Alice in Wonderland post-legendary age, basically -- and there is a relatively small, yet dedicated and thriving fanbase. Critical reception, on the other hand, has been much more tepid. (For my part, I thought Alice had great potential, but that's a topic for a future review.)

In case you haven't read the particulars of this new direction for Syfy, some of their ideas include Red, following the romantic misadventure of a woman from a long line of werewolf-hunters whose boyfriend contracts lycanthropy; Hansel, featuring an adult Hansel returning to the wood of his childhood travails to find Gretel is the new witch; and other action films seeking to reinvigorate the Sinbad and Aladdin stories. You can read a bit more about these and other potential films in this article on the Sci Fi Wire.

Beauty and the Beast - Film PosterTo kick off their fairy tale programming plans, Syfy purchased Limelight International's Beauty and the Beast, renamed it Beauty and the Beasts: A Dark Tale in all their network advertising, and aired it this past Saturday, February 27th as a "gritty celebration of Valentine's Day." In this retelling, Belle wears a cotton mini-dress under a leather bustier and makes usually good-smelling concoctions from local herbs for her washerwoman mother's business. (Her unusual concoctions explode, and thus she discovers smoke bombs. I'm not kidding.) The Beast is a somewhat slow, careless fellow who saves silly herb-gatherers from very obvious stalking wolves, but then doesn't have the sense to hide after killing it so she won't see his horribly disfigured face (although this latter is something he really wants to avoid). Then there's an evil sorceress (Lady Helen) who wants to marry an ambitious count (Count Rudolph) and help the count gain the kingdom so that she can rule, because, even though her "heart's as black as hell, and everyone knows it," she knows the people wouldn't approve of rule by a woman. And this completely black-hearted sorceress of not-inconsiderable power never thinks of subjugating them to her will or anything: no, she'll win her right to rule through marriage! Also, Lady Helen has created a troll that's made up of the Beast's life force. Did I mention that, of course, the Beast is a cursed prince cast aside to die as an infant due to his temerity in being born deformed? Or that the Lady Helen is the one that cursed him because the King spurned her? Anyway, she's used the Beast's life force to create a murderous, ravening troll who tears people limb from limb so that we have to endure a number of graphic spurting-blood shots that are more laughter-inducing than stomach-churning. The usage of this life force, nor the troll's subsequent pseudo-destruction seem to affect the Beast in any noticeable way.

Does that sound incredibly disjointed, overly confusing and, well, just plain ridiculous? I know it does. Also, it doesn't really cover the half of it.

[Continue reading this post at Cabinet des Fées; you can comment there as well!]
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