SF Book Club
The Newford Stories contains the stories that appeared in Dreams Underfoot, The Ivory and the Horn and Moonlight and Vines.
|"Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair"
||IASFM Nov '87|
||Triskell Press, 1989|
||Post Mortem: New Tales of Ghastly Horror, ed. Paul F. Olson & David B. Silva, St. Martin's, 1989|
||Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue 6, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pulphouse, 1990|
|"That Explains Poland"
||Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine: Issue Two, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pulphouse, 1988|
||Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue 5, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pulphouse, 1989|
|"The Sacred Fire"
||Stalkers, ed. Ed Gorman & Martin H. Greenberg, Arlington Heights, IL: Dark Harvest, 1989|
|"Winter Was Hard"
||Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue 10, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pulphouse, 1991|
|"Pity the Monsters"
||The Ultimate Frankenstein, ed. Byron Preiss, David Kellor, Megan Miller & John Gregory Betancourt, Dell, 1991|
|"Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"
||Triskell Press, 1990|
|"The Conjure Man"
||After the King, ed. Martin H. Greenberg, Tor, 1992|
||Dreams Underfoot, 1993|
|"The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep"
||Snow White, Blood Red, ed. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, AvoNova, 1993|
|"In the House of My Enemy"
||Dreams Underfoot, 1993|
|"But for the Grace Go I"
||Chilled To the Bone, ed. Robert T. Garcia, Mayfair Games, 1991|
||F&SF Oct/Nov '92|
|"Our Lady of the Harbour"
||Axolotl Press: Eugene, OR, 1991|
||Cheap Street: New Castle, VA, 1991|
||Dead End: City Limits, ed. Paul F. Olson & David B. Silva, St. Martin's, 1991|
|The Ivory and the Horn
|"Waifs and Strays"
||Journeys to the Twilight Zone, ed. Carol Serling & Martin H. Greenberg, DAW, 1993|
|"Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery"
||Cheap Street: New Castle, VA, 1992|
|"The Forest Is Crying"
||Earth Strikes Back, ed. Richard Chizmar, Ziesing, 1994|
|"The Wishing Well"
||Axolotl Press: Eugene, OR, 1993|
|"Dead Man's Shoes"
||Touch Wood, ed. Peter Crowther, Little, Brown UK, 1993|
|"Bird Bones and Wood Ash"
||The Ivory and the Horn (1995)|
|"A Tempest in Her Eyes"
||Weird Tales from Shakespeare, ed. Katharine Kerr & Martin H. Greenberg, DAW, 1994|
|"Saxophone Joe and the Woman in Black"
||Catfantastic III, ed. Andre Norton & Martin H. Greenberg, DAW, 1994|
|"The Bone Woman"
||Triskell Press, 1992|
|"Pal o' Mine"
||Christmas Forever, ed. David G. Hartwell, Tor, 1993|
|"Where Desert Spirits Crowd the Night"
||Worlds of Fantasy & Horror Spr '95|
|"Dream Harder, Dream True"
||Temporary Walls, ed. Greg Ketter & Robert T. Garcia, Dreamhaven/1993 World Fantasy Convention, 1993|
|"The Pochade Box"
||Thunder's Shadow Collector's Magazine Feb '94|
||Triskell Press, 1993|
|"The Forever Trees"
||Worlds of Fantasy & Horror Spr '95|
|Moonlight and Vines
|"Sweetgrass & City Streets"
||Moonlight and Vines, 1999|
||Space Opera, edited by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough; DAW Books, 1996|
|"In This Soul of a Woman"
||Love in Vein, edited by Poppy Z. Brite; HarperPrism, 1994|
|"The Big Sky"
||Heaven Sent, edited by Peter Crowther; DAW Books, 1995|
||The Shimmering Door, edited by Katharine Kerr; HarperPrism, 1996|
||Excalibur, edited by Richard Gilliam, Martin H. Greenberg & Edward E. Kramer; Warner Books, 1995|
|"Held Safe by Moonlight and Vines"
||Castle Perilous, edited by John DeChancie & Martin H. Greenberg; DAW Books, 1996|
|"In the Pines"
||Destination Unknown, edited by Peter Crowther; White Wolf Publishing, 1997|
|"Shining Nowhere But In the Dark"
||Realms Of Fantasy, Vol.3, No.1, October, 1996|
|"If I Close My Eyes Forever"
||Moonlight and Vines, 1999, based on a comic book script of the same title which appeared in Weird Business, edited by Joe R. Lansdale & Richard Klaw; Mojo Press, 1995|
||Triskell Press, 1994|
||David Copperfield's Beyond Imagination, edited by David Copperfield & Janet Berliner; HarperPrism, 1997|
|"Seven for a Secret"
||Immortal Unicorn, edited by Peter S. Beagle & Janet Berliner, New York: HarperPrism, 1995|
||Triskell Press, 1995|
||Tarot Fantastic, edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Lawrence Schimel; Daw Books, 1997|
|"In the Land of the Unforgiven"
||Moonlight and Vines, 1999|
|"My Life As A Bird"
||Triskell Press, 1996|
||The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams, edited by James O'Barr & Edward E. Kramer; Del Rey, 1998|
|"In the Quiet After Midnight"
||Olympus, edited by Bruce D. Arthurs & Martin H. Greenberg; DAW Books, 1998|
||Black Cats and Broken Mirrors, edited by John Helfers & Martin H. Greenberg; DAW Books, 1998|
||Twenty 3: A Miscellany, edited by Anna Hepworth, Simon Oxwell & Grant Watson; Infinite Monkeys/Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation, 1998; based on a comic book script of the same title which appeared in The Book of Ballads and Sagas; Green Man Press, 1997|
|"The Fields Beyond the Fields"
||Triskell Press, 1997|
There's something that needs to be cleared up right off about Charles de Lint's latest offering, The Newford Stories. This isn't a new work. Rather, it's several old (or not-so-old) collections of his unique short stories repackaged in a massive, 844-page three-in-one omnibus volume. Included here are de Lint's groundbreaking Dreams Underfoot (Tor, 1995), The Ivory and the Horn (Tor, 1996) and the recent Moonlight and Vines (Tor, 1998). Rather than rehash the same stories again, I'll let you follow the links provided to the existing Folk Tales reviews of those works, and instead focus on the unique aspects of this omnibus.
De Lint's novels and short fiction collections have never been skimpy, but the mind boggles at The Newford Stories. At 800-plus pages and 56 stories, plus a smattering of poetry, this tome is a hefty undertaking— both literally and figuratively. For those unfamiliar with de Lint's unique blend of myth and magic with contemporary society, The Newford Stories offers a comprehensive overview of the work that made him a major name in publishing. Taking place almost exclusively in the fictional contemporary city of Newford (which is someplace in North America, the where being intentionally left vague), de Lint weaves magic and wonder—and occasionally terror—into the everyday lives of his characters. It's as fascinating as it is addictive, and it's no wonder why de Lint's short fiction collections—a form usually anathma to publishers—are in such high demand. He's one of the few writers whose short work is as eagerly anticipated by his fans as his novels.
Naturally, as with any comprehensive body of work, there are a few stinkers here, but far fewer than you would expect from the sheer numbers of stories presented. And this isn't a book that should be read in one sitting (or even could be, considering it's size). Too much of a good thing tends to dilute the effect, and probably the best way to digest The Newford Stories is to read a few tales interspersed with something else.
Apart from enabling those who missed out on the earlier editions to snap up all three books in one swoop, The Newford Stories also provides an interesting chronology of de Lint's writing: from the very first of his urban fantasies, 'Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair,' in which Newford isn't even yet an inkling; to the contents of Moonlight and Vines, where not only is Newford a fully realized city, but it's one you feel you're well-acquainted with, from the artsy old-world flavor of Lower Crowsea to the bombed- out, crime-infested Tombs. That's quite an accomplishment, but then again, that's quite a body of work.
The Whitehorse Star:
Lots of writers create their own worlds, and that's especially true of those who dabble in fantasy. What usually happens, though, is that the created world is good for a novel or two and then they go off and write about somewhere else. There are others who put together a certain landscape and let it be the playground for all or most of their work. Stephen King does that. He may set stories all over the U.S., but his roots are in the New England states, and his most memorable fiction is set there, in little towns that no one in their right mind would really want to visit.
Charles de Lint has written books set in Ottawa, in Cornwall (Great Britain) and in a number of other places, both real and imagined, but, increasingly, his stories and novels are set in or near a place we've come to know as Newford. I wouldn't mind visiting there.
De Lint works in an area of the fantastic that some people have labelled "urban fantasy," although the published interviews on his Web site indicate that he now leans towards the term "Mythic Fiction." I can see why he's changed his mind. His stories have evolved from fantasies which happen to be set in reality to stories about real people which just happen to have elements of fantasy in them.
While de Lint is as capable of raising the hair on the back of your neck as King or Straub, Newford isn't generally a place like that. These are tales that you can read late at night (when I read most of them) and still go to bed without pulling the covers over your head.
There are several themes that run through de Lint's stories, and they stand out most clearly in his short works. Remain open to possibilities. Keep learning as you grow, but don't discard your past. People matter. It's best to find ways to get along with them and help them when you can. You get out of life (or anything else) what you put into it, but if getting is the only reason why you do a thing, you might as well not.
Newford is an engaging place. I was almost sad to read the last story, but I know that de Lint's latest novel, Someplace to Be Flying, is set near Newford and will feature more of the same, with some new twists, so I'm content.