Editors: Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman
“I want to be wicked with you.”
From Bad Queens in Myth & Magic: Queer Fairy Tales edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman
Two of my favorite things to read are Fairy Tales and anything with LGBTQ people. So when I saw a collection of short stories from Bold Stroke Books that combined my two of my favorites, it was a no brainer to request a copy. If you are interested here is a link to read an excerpt from the collection.
Below is a list of the stories and the fairy tale they are based upon.
The Vain Prince- The Frog Prince
Beanstalk- Jack and the Beanstalk
SWF seeks FGM- Cinderella
A Hero in Hot Pink Boots- Alice in Wonderland
Red- Little Red Riding Hood
The Beanstalk Revisited- Jack and the Beanstalk
Heartless- The Snow Queen
The Ivy and the Rose- Little Briar Rose
Goldie and the Three Bears- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Final Escape- The Little Match Girl
Sneewittchen (Snow White)- Snow White
The Red Shoes- The Red Shoes
The Princess and the Frog- The Princess and the Frog
The Snow King- The Snow Queen
Riding Red- Little Red Riding Hood
Bad Girls- Sleeping Beauty and Snow White
It was a very diverse collection, with a pretty wide array of stories. There were some fairytale repeats (notably the two Jack and the Beanstalk ones so close together). Some of the stories were close to the traditional versions while others went in completely new directions. It is hard to talk about all the stories because they were so different, and some worked and others were a bit painful to get through. There is a little bit for everyone though; the styles, the fairytales, and who is involved in the romance (some were male/male and some were female/female).
Of the stories just a few really stuck out. My favorites were: A Hero in Hot Pink Boots, Red, The Snow King and Bad Girls. I really loved some of the dialogue in the last story, my favorite of which you can read below!
“‘May both princesses gain two hundred pounds overnight.’
‘May their tits sag down to their knees.’
‘And may all their children marry minstrels.’
Malcara laughed. ‘I knew I from the moment I saw you that I liked you.’”
Honestly, one of my issues with the collection was the inconsistency. The quality of the story telling really varied, as did the explicitness of the romance. Some of the stories ended with a kiss while others had full sex scenes. I am not really sure how the editors decided on an order, but I could not pick up on a pattern, which I think could have helped. Overall, the collection just never really worked for me, and I think I have read some better collections (some of the Less Than Three Press books comes to mind), but if you enjoy LGBT stories and fairytales it is worth a read, and just be willing to skip the ones you do not enjoy.
Final Verdict: An interesting mix of fairy tales and queer stories, but ultimately only a few stand out stories.