Woods and Waters Wild, by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint — one of my favorite authors, treatment if you hadn’t guessed, ascariasis and one I’ve reviewed quite a few books by (here’s one) — has been slowly but steadily publishing his hard-to-find back catalog of short stories in four volumes, all wonderfully done by Subterranean Press. I pre-order these months in advance, and am never disappointed. He is, first and foremost, a short-storyist; his collections of Newford stories (those set in his invented North American town) have won awards upon awards, and have sold many copies. This volume of short stories is the last in the Sub Press series of his early works.

The seventeen stories in this volume range from early (published) pastiches, to the stories that later turned into two early novels (Into the Green, and The Harp of the Grey Rose), to folk-ballad retellings (“Thomas the Rhymer,” “Cruel Sister,” and “Gipsy Davey”). A few are just straight-up secondary-world fantasy — the Dennet and Willie tales, which I had never even heard of. A few more are just miscellaneous tales. One, almost the last story in the book (“The Graceless Child”), Mr. de Lint still considers one of the best stories he’s ever written. Continue reading Woods and Waters Wild, by Charles de Lint