Literary Matters: Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland novels

Twisted fairy tales, revisions and reversions of old legends and mythologies, turning everyday life inside out and at odd angles to itself, bringing Old Magic into a Today World–it’s all the province of names like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett–and Catherynne M. Valente. As with those authors, Valente has already established cross-media ties; notably, songs by . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland novels

On Kristian Blak and Faroe Islands music

Barb Truex penned this lovely commentary for us.

A few months ago I had my first exposure to music from the Faroe Islands, a small group of Nordic islands that lie between Iceland and the Scottish Shetland Islands. I reviewed three recordings from the group Spælimenninir. Getting to know artists better over time as . . . → Read More: On Kristian Blak and Faroe Islands music

John Barleycorn Reborn

Objectivity be damned, it just can’t be done! When presented with a collection of tracks dubbed Dark Britannica, comprising two CDs that when purchased entitles you to 33 extra downloadable tracks (the equivalent of two more CDs), which collectively prove satisfying time after time — sorry, but all pretence at neutrality must be abandoned. This . . . → Read More: John Barleycorn Reborn

Brief Lines: Big Names

One of the benefits of the recent upsurge in novellas being published is the opportunity for big names to play in smaller sandboxes. Works that are perhaps too experimental or too insubstantial for full novel-length projects can get play now, providing readers with more of their favorite authors. Meanwhile, the authors themselves get a chance . . . → Read More: Brief Lines: Big Names

Colcannon: The Pooka and the Fiddler and Happy as Larry

Ahhh, there you are. I saw you sitting over in Falstaff’s Chair by the cheerfully cracklin’ fire on this cold, windy, and even rainy night. I see you’re enjoying your novel… Me? I’m reading de Lint’s Moonheart — perhaps his best known work. Not all great literature comes in the form of the printed page . . . → Read More: Colcannon: The Pooka and the Fiddler and Happy as Larry

Catching Up

We have reviews for you. Yes, indeedy, so, since it’s been a while, let’s get right to it.

Comics creator Joe Mignola ventures into the realm of “illustrated novel” with collaborator Christopher Golden in Joe Golem and the Drowned City.

Elizabeth Bear is back with another tale of Bijou the Artificer and her fellow adventurers, . . . → Read More: Catching Up

Celtic Colours wrap-up: Oct. 18-19 — In Good Company, Pipers’ Ceilidh

The final two days of the 2013 Celtic Colours International Festival were a whirlwind of activity – for us, anyway. On Friday we took a short trip along part of the Cabot Trail and a tiny section of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park before having dinner at the Glendora Distillery between Mabou and Inverness, . . . → Read More: Celtic Colours wrap-up: Oct. 18-19 — In Good Company, Pipers’ Ceilidh

Celtic Colours: October 16, 2013 — Louisbourg Crossroads

I headed off for this mid-week show with expectations that were not very high. Just goes to show how wrong you can be! By the end of the night, nay by the midpoint, it had become my favorite memory (so far) of the 17th annual Celtic Colours International Festival.

First, the venue. The Louisbourg Playhouse . . . → Read More: Celtic Colours: October 16, 2013 — Louisbourg Crossroads

Celtic Colours: October 15, 2013 — Dance Dance Wherever You May Be

It was an evening of dance and music from three different cultures – Nordic, Quebecois, and Cape Breton-style Celtic – at the handsome performance hall Strathspey Place in Mabou, a former coal mining center on Cape Breton Island’s north shore. The house was very nearly sold out of its approximately 500 seats for a program . . . → Read More: Celtic Colours: October 15, 2013 — Dance Dance Wherever You May Be

Celtic Colours: Free music events

If you were on a limited budget but still wanted to see and hear some of the world-class musicians who play at the annual Celtic Colours International Festival on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, you’d be in luck. Two daily events in Baddeck alone provide musical entertainment and education in intimate settings during the main . . . → Read More: Celtic Colours: Free music events