Friday, November 21, 2014

Witches: Wicked, WIld & Wonderful edited by Paula Guran (2012)

A couple of great short stories, a hefty helping of good short stories, and a couple of clunkers.  Weirdest story has to be awarded to "Catskin" by Kelly Link, which was well written and interestingly bizarre.  Tanith Lee's "Mirage and Magia" was like some sort of erotic entry in the Oz series, but what less could you expect from Tanith Lee?  I can vaguely remember checking out a Tanith Lee book from the library at some early age, and feeling very prudishly wide-eyed.  Tanith Lee books and short stories are always erotic.  The few stink stories don't detract from a strong collection.  Although the cover art, jeesh.  My favorite witches, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, would make mincemeat out that sexy Goth witch on the cover (in fact, they'd be more than a match for almost all the witches in the book).  The unexpected and very "un" Madaleine L'Engle story, "Poor Little Saturday," was worth the purchase alone.  It pre-dates A Wrinkle in Time by six years, and is also about witches, although far different from the Wrinkle witches.  Drawing lines between the witch woman in this short story and the later, greater Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which would make an interesting parlor discussion for L'Engle-philes and L'Engle-ologists.

Witches: Wicked, Wild & WonderfulWitches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful by Paula Guran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The unexpected and very "un" Madaleine L'Engle story, "Poor Little Saturday," was worth the purchase alone.  It pre-dates A Wrinkle in Timeby six years, and is also about witches, although far different from the Wrinkle witches.  Drawing lines between the witch woman in this short story and the later, greater Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which would make an interesting parlor discussion for L'Engle-philes and L'Engle-ologists.  That story stood out for me, as did Tanith Lee's "Mirage and Magia," which was like some sort of erotic entry in the Oz series.  "Catskin" by Kelly Link was refreshingly bizarre.  My only complain was the Halloweenish cover.  My favorite witches from literature, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (see Wyrd Sisters) would make short work of that Goth vampira, if not actually injuring her, then making her cry and give up her poseur ways.


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