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Fairy Tales in Electri-City
Francesca Lia Block
A Midsummer Night's Press, 80 pages

Fairy Tales in Electri-City
Francesca Lia Block
Francesca Lia Block was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1962, the child of two artists. She attended the University of California at Berkeley. She is the mother of two children. She has written many books and has received awards from the American Library Association, School Library Journal and the New York Times. She also teaches writing.

Francesca Lia Block Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

Francesca Lia Block's poetry comes in several sections, at least according to the contents page at the beginning. From "Electra," "Beasties," "The Eldritch," "Love's Songs Change," "the Fairies' Tales," there is a lot to enjoy in this compilation starting when the reader first looks at the book. They will be surprised at how small the book is, and also how well designed it is.

Her poetry and stories are about several fantasy creatures; elves, centaurs, fairies, and nymphs. There are some erotic ones though too, and it is not surprising as she has been published by Circlet Press. The poems have many hints at kink and sexual desire, though readers, who are used to something different with poetry, will like the honesty and shock value they have.

Describing her poetry as "contemporary fairy tales with an edge," and that is certainly what this book contains, memorable work such as "Prospero, In the Labyrinth," "Centaur," "Monster's Ball," and "The Vampire."

In "Centaur," her prose is at its ultimate sensuality:

  "She wants
to scream
but in the morning
though the beautiful
beast is gone
the man still there
beautiful too
and he's just as hard."

There could have been more included, yet it's too explicit to post in this review. Block's work has that bonus of being different, original in some ways as far as modern poetry is concerned, in that her work is free flowing poetry, descriptive, sexual, sensual and progressive.

Here is a piece of her work that shows her skilful descriptiveness in "Love's Arms":

  "Love's hair was black as a movie
theatre before the film
when she touched him though in the
black as the place beneath her
eyelids when she reached for
in his sleep

love's eyes were cutting emeralds
green as rainforests
his skin while hot as fire
and his voice murmured like the sea."


As can be seen, her poetry has a more paced style, and as well as being descriptive, it has atmosphere and sets a scene.

"Wind Girl" has a touch of oriental perfection about it with mention of lotus root, sobe and green tea; it seemed strange to find Vienna a part of the poem:

  "a goblin found me later barefoot and
lost outside
dancing in the heated breeze
showering us with petals
he asked me to dinner and the wedding
blushed harshly on his head
oh no I said and danced

In Fairy Tales in Electri-City by Francesca Lia Block, avid readers of free-flowing poetry such as this will enjoy how well it is interpreted on the pages as swift, fun and engaging, all at the same time.

Copyright © 2011 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes is happy the sun is finally shining outside and looks forward to the onset of summer getting to her small island. While she waits for that to happen, she writes regularly for Quail Bell Magazine, The Chronicles, Love Romance Passion and Fantasy Book Review.

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