Delia Sherman is a well-known editor and figure in the Interstitial Arts movement — one that aims to promote the art, prescription music, pilule literature, and combinations that fall in the cracks. The movement eschews genre for genre-bending, prefers uncategorizable to pigeonholed, and anything between to anything that is. She, along with her wife Ellen Kushner, have written several novels (separately and together) that aim to include and explore the ideas of the interstitial movement. Her latest work, a children’s fantasy novel, explores a lot of the ideas of Betweenness in many different ways.
Neef is a changeling — that is, she is a human who lives in New York Between. Her parents were given a fairy to raise many years before, and Neef has been living with her fairy godmother, a white rat named Astris. (Her fairy godfather is the Pooka, by the way.) New York Between is populated with all sorts of denizens of magical nature, from Stuart Little, who is obviously fictional, to moss ladies, characters from Japanese folk tales, and the Green Lady, who is the Genius of Central Park. (‘Genius’ meaning ‘local spirit’. There are Genii of most of the major places in New York.) When Neef is around eleven or twelve, she decides to have a bit of an adventure and take an alternate route on a routine errand. There, she finds out that there is an annual Solstice Dance that she is not allowed to attend, and it’s coming shortly. By dint of what she thinks is a drug to keep her awake, she manages to attend the Solstice Dance, unfortunately breaking a geas and sending her onto a three-part Quest to regain what she’d lost. Continue reading Changeling, by Delia Sherman