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THE GREEN MAN by Ellen Datlow


Tales from the Mythic Forest

edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 20th, 2002
ISBN: 0-670-03526-2
Publisher: Viking

The spirit of the forest is celebrated in stories and poems by 18 well-known authors and talented newcomers, in another fine fantasy collection by Datlow and Windling (A Wolf at the Door, 2000, etc.). The leafy incarnation of the title appears in various guises in most of the stories; sometimes mischievous or vengeful, for the most part he brings healing and renewal, often to troubled contemporary adolescents. Others take a sideways slant on nature magic: Jane Yolen (“Song of the Cailleach Bheur”) invokes a dangerous Scottish winter fairy; Carolyn Dunn (“Ali anugne o chash”) reworks an eerie Choctaw legend of the river panther; and Kathe Koja (“Remnants”) balances recycling on the fine line that slices between madness and genius. Tree-women also have their say, both in ancient Greece (Michael Cadnum’s “Daphne”) and in modern New York City (Delia Sherman’s “Grand Central Park”). On the lighter side, Gregory Maguire (“Fee, Fie, Foe, et Cetera”) wonders what Jack’s family was up to while Jack explored that beanstalk; M. Shayne Bell (“The Pagodas of Ciboure”) examines the intersection between musicological history and obscure French legend; and Katherine Vaz (“A World Painted by Birds”) ventures into magical realism with a lyrical fairytale of political revolution. Overall, the tone is dreamlike and meditative, like a drowsy afternoon in the woods. Best taken in small doses, this collection is a treasure trove for teens and teachers exploring themes of ecology and folklore. Illustrations by noted fantasy artist Charles Vess not seen. (introduction, author notes and biographies) (Short stories. 12+)