Bone Swans, the long awaited first collection from C.S.E. Cooney, has just been released, and in the last few days has accumulated some marvelous notices. She received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and over at Tor.com Brit Mandelo had many positive things to say, especially about “Life on the Sun,” originally published here at Black Gate:
Cooney’s approach also brings in a sort of cavalier, witty, and approachable contemporary story-telling, perhaps more closely related to adventure yarns than anything… The result tends to be a fascinating mashup between the tropes and resonances of the mythic tale with the sensibilities of contemporary action-oriented fantasy… “Life on the Sun” is perhaps the best illustration of what I mean…
And the July 1 issue of Library Journal had this to say:
In five beautifully crafted stories, Cooney (Jack O’ the Hills) builds imaginary worlds full of flying carpets, fairy-tale characters, and children confronted with a postapocalyptic Earth. In addition, each tale packs in enough plot for a novel, with adventurous characters who brim with wit. In “Life on the Sun” a young woman’s fate catches up to her. In the title story, Maurice the rat hires the Pied Piper to help out a swan princess. The marvelous “Martyr’s Gem” begins with a marriage and ends with true love. “How the Milkmaid Struck a Bargain” is another fairy tale, this time a play on the Rumpelstiltskin story. Cooney’s final piece, “The Big Bah-Ha,” shows her virtuosity with language, as she tells of doomed children striking a bargain with the monster who would eat their bones. VERDICT Short stories… [are] usually not where you find vivid worldbuilding or immersive storytelling, but this gorgeous new collection reveals that both are possible in the short form.
Bone Swans was published by Mythic Delirium Books on July 1, 2015. It is 224 pages, priced at $15.95 in trade paperback and $5.99 for the digital version. Cover art by Kay Nielsen. See the Mythic Delirium website for more details, and the complete Table of Contents here.