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Rotten Relations Mass Market Paperback – December 7, 2004
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A full list of the stories includes....
*** Home for the Holidays by Pauline Alma
*** With a Face Only a Mother Could Love by Jenn Reese
*** Switched by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
*** The Trick of the Tricksters Tricked by Josepha Sherman
*** Thrice Told by Von Jocks
*** Dynasty by Bill McCray
*** Serpent's Tooth by Susan and Bradley Sinor
*** Mirror, Mirror by Jacey Bedford
*** After the Ball by Pamela Luzier
*** Peggy Plain by Devon Monk
*** Heathcliff's Notes by David Bischoff
*** Cuckoo's Egg by Jody Lynn Nye
*** Rapunzel- The True Story by Robert Sheckley
*** Among the Stars by Susan Sizemore
*** King of Shreds and Patches by P.N. Elrod
I found many of these stories to be original and entertaining. "Peggy Plain" by Devon Monk was especially entertaining with it's crime noir style superimposed on the world of nursery rhymes. " King of Shreds and Patches" by P.N. Elrord was another stand out tale, this set from the perspective of Claudius in Hamlet.
The complaint I had about the collection was too many of the stories overlapped. For instance, Cinderella's tale receives several different treatments. With the vast scope of literary characters out there, I wish Denise Little would have encouraged the writers to broaden their scopes.
Still, this is another highly entertaining, solid anthology by DAW.
Read no fewer than three different accounts of what really happens in Cinderella. Rapunzel and sleeping beauty also get their chance at a rewrite. Heathcliff and Cathy find new work after their story has been told. The collection is topped off with a new take on Hamlet that makes far more sense than the original.
As with any collection like this, stories vary greatly in subject, style and quality. But if you enjoy stories told from the so-called villain's viewpoint, then there are probably a few tales here that will tickle your fancy.
Collection contributors are: Pauline J. Alama, Jenn Reese, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Josepha Sherman, Von Jocks, Bill McCay, Susan P. & Bradley H. Sinor, Jacey Bedford, Pamela Luzier, Devon Monk, David Bischoff, Jody Lynn Nye, Robert Sheckley, Susan Sizemore, and P. N. Elrod.
The stories are, on the whole, good. There are a few true gems - King of Shreds and Patches and With A Face Only a Mother Could Love, but the rest aren't slouches either. It's mildly predictable at times, but a very entertaining read nonetheless.