Today I’m cheating a bit by focusing my monthly discussion on an upcoming event here at ECBR: Witch Week. From October 31 to November 5, we’ll be celebrating our favorite fantasy books and authors. Last year we focused on the wonderful world of Diana Wynne Jones, and it was a terrific week! This year the theme is “New Tales from Old,” and I want to know what you think about this genre — fiction derived from fairy tales, folklore or myth, or other old stories (actual witches need not be involved). Is it one of your favorites, or does the appeal of such tales escape you? What are your favorite titles, past and present? Is there anything you’ve been meaning to read for ages, or a recent release that’s caught your eye?
The week will conclude with a readalong and I’m looking for some suggestions for what we should read together. I’d also love to hear about any ideas you have for your own posts: lists, cross-genre reflections, thoughts about a favorite story, single-book reviews… the possibilities are endless. Let me know what you’re up to, and I’ll be sure to feature you in my own posts about the week.
Here are some of the possibilities I’ve already thought about:
- The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones (guest appearances by Prometheus, the Flying Dutchman, and the Wandering Jew)
- Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (based on the myth of Cupid and Psyche)
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adhieh (Thousand and One Nights retelling)
- Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff (Arthurian historical fiction)
- The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (dark, feminist fairy tale retellings)
Besides the readalong, the week will start off on Halloween with a post from me on the campus landmarks of “Blackstock College” from Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin (IRL Carleton College, my alma mater). There will also be an author interview, a giveaway, a Top Ten list, guest posts, and more — with opportunities for participants to link up their own posts as well. I do hope you will join us, and please help spread the word. #WitchWeekECBR is the tag to use on Twitter.
What “new tales from old” are you itching to read, either on your own or as a readalong? Do you have any plans for posts on your own blog? How else would you like to participate in Witch Week?