Short stories and the Journal of Mystic Arts

Via things mean a lot – I found out that there is a free online short story in Holly Black's Tithe/ Valiant/ Ironside universe called "Going Ironside". It's very short and bittersweet, from the point of view of an exiled faerie, hitting hard times in the city. I didn't know about it so thought I would link to it here.

The website the short story is on is the Journal of Mystic Arts (aka JoMA) which is an online magazine having it's final issue after many years:

JoMA is sponsored by the Endicott Studio, a nonprofit organization dedicated to literary, visual, and performance arts inspired by myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the oral storytelling tradition.

Endicott & JoMA have been online since 1997. JoMA's last issue is the Summer '08 issue, but our extensive archives of 10+ years of mythic arts material will remain online as an on-going source of mythic arts information & resources.

Founded in 1987, the Endicott Studio is directed by Terri Windling & Midori Snyder.

Other stories by familiar (to me) authors I wanted to point out:

"Silver and Gold" by Emma Bull

The Tale of the Mountain King and His Sky Bride” by O. R. Melling


Some Poems:

"Bone Mother" by Holly Black

"The Step-sister's Story" by Emma Bull

"Boys and Girls Together" by Neil Gaiman

"Instructions" by Neil Gaiman

Ok there is so much more by Neil Gaiman and Jane Yolen and Charles de Lint and Terri Windling and Delia Sherman and others. Worth spending some time there if you haven't been.

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The Hunter’s Moon by O. R. Melling

This is a young adult novel was recommended as being along the same lines as Holly Black's Faerie series, so I went to look for it. Findabhair and Gwenhyvar (Gwen) are two cousins (one Irish, one American) who want to believe in Faerie and to have adventures. Gwen visits Fin one summer and they plan to tour Ireland together, centering around famous Faerie related places, but soon after their tour begins Finabhair is stolen by the Faerie, leaving Gwen to seek her. Gwen pretty much gets guided by helpful strangers to chase her cousin, the king of Faerie, and his court across Ireland.

While the writing was really lovely and magical, especially in describing the scenery, the story felt predictable – a quest story, sort of mirroring fairytales of snatched princesses and the brave journeyer who uses their resourcefulness to save them. It started to get repetitious – Gwen catching up with Fin, then losing her again, then following her again to the next site. The characters themselves were also a little flat. I found myself bored several times and putting the book down. What I felt redeemed this book were those beautiful descriptions (especially of Faerie) I mentioned and all the references to Irish myth. You could tell the author knew what she was writing about. Here's an example of a passage when Gwen is asked to dance with the fairies:

"Parting leaf from twig and eyelid from slumber, anyone and everything was awake in the night. To life we wake from the long forgotten dream, the beautiful mystery. The taste of existence is a drop of honey on the tongue. So very sweet and very old, we have gone to seed and run wild in the wind. It ws a dance of stars and flowers and souls. Gwen stepped into the chain to become part of the whole. How long she danced she couldn't know. Time branched like a tree and each bud was eternity. She could feel the world dissolve into myth."

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