Book of the Day
Mad Hatters and March Hares:
All New Stories from the Word of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
Mad Hatters and March Hares:
All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
“Disagreements, it seems, are like boats. Once you are in one, it is impossible to get out again without falling into deep waters.” (“My Own Invention,” Sherman)
A red knight traveling the Wabe, accompanied by an Alice that transitions between female and male appearances (Not Alice/Not Josh); Two sisters, Lilly-White and Ruby-Red, are on a case to solve the disappearances of local Chesire animals; a seemingly gentle, yet intelligent orangutan sneaks out into the night, leaving behind the rowdy Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum and fellow circus kin for a peaceful zoo to call home. A smooth plan, until the great ape is lured into recruitment for the Red Queen as her champion – now he must defeat the formidable Jabberwocky, or die in the trying.
This is but a glimpse into editor Ellen Datlow’s new anthology, based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland series. Beautifully stitched together, it’s a storybook of strangeness, of oddities and weird concoctions, and I’m confident critics and fans of the original Alice books will fall in love with it. New adventures await readers in Datlow’s project, as well as new art (book cover included) created by Dave McKean.
I would highly recommend this anthology to any reader passionate about Carroll’s literature. Filled with dark psychological thrillers, hallucinogenic imagery and landscapes, and satirical undertones on the worst of societies habits–Datlow’s book includes stories by eighteen of today’s renowned sci-fi and fantasy authors. Below includes a blurb from some of the author’s fantastical tales about Alice and the Wonderland that awaits you, dear reader:
“My Own Invention” by Delia Sherman: A clumsy red knight and his companion Alice who takes both male and female identities (Not Alice/Not Josh) find themselves on an adventure towards reinvention.
“Lilly-White & the Thief of Lesser Night” by C.S.E. Cooney: Sisters Lilly-White and Ruby-Red must put I-owe-you’s aside and join together to catch a mysterious thief, one who collects Cheshire animals teeth.
“Conjoined” by Jane Yolen: The narrator, a gentle and intelligent orangutan, who tries to escape the craziness of circus life one quiet night ends up, by strange circumstance and with the help of a Cheshire cat, fighting the terrible Jabberwocky on behalf of Wonderlands Red Queen.
“Mercury” by Priya Sharma: Alice and her father are stuck in a debtor’s prison. Her father slowly falling into madness from years of infusing furs with mercury to create top quality hats. How much is Alice willing to sacrifice to save her father’s business while striving to keep her own sanity?
“The Flame After the Candle” by Catherynne M. Valente: The author blends the classic tale by J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan, with Carroll’s characters. A young Alice Hargreaves meets shy Peter Llewelyn Davies in one story while the reader simultaneously follows the adventures of Olive, a strange but brilliant child caught up in her own Wonderland. Practically a novella, the ending will surprise readers who dare take on this challenge of a read.
“Moon, and Memory, and Muchness” by Katherine Vaz: A modern take on Alice and her journey. I recommend caution while reading this chapter, which includes topics on eating disorders, thoughts of suicide, and personal loss.
Saving the best for last, let’s not forget “Run, Rabbit, Run,” a poem by Jane Yolen to conclude this maddening journey of Carroll’s trilogy and Datlow’s brilliant collaboration. Stories in this anthology also include authors Richard Bowes, Stephen Graham Jones, Jeffrey Ford, Angela Slatter, Matthew Kressel, Seanan McGuire, Andy Duncan, Ysabeau S. Wilce, and Genevieve Valentine.
Bree Goodchild is a recent graduate of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville with a BA in English and Theatre Arts. She currently lives in Washington state with her beagle mix, Molly. A fan of a wide genre of books and authors, most recently Temple Grandin, Ira Glass, Terry Moore, Sebastian Barry, and Zora Neale Hurston.