The Legion of Santas, 2017 Edition, only one of whom is reading....
It’s no secret that I love the stories and music of the Christmas season. I mean, I wrote and self-published (and will re-self-publish in 2018) a short children’s book, THE FIRFLAKE, about the first snowflake of winter and how the elves met Santa; and I wrote, but haven’t published, a YA Christmas story about a young boy dealing with the unexpected death of his older brother and whether ghosts really do visit us on Christmas Eve; and yet a third story idea is percolating in the back of my brain. And every year I send an original holiday poem to my family and friends and anyone else who wants one.
Every year I re-read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and always get some new enjoyment out of it. But my shelf is full of Christmas books: kids books, novels, factual tomes, short story collections… so this year I decided to choose a couple of stories from as many different anthologies as I could and supplement them with never ebook and online holiday tales, spanning genres from science fiction to fantasy to mystery to romance. And now, as the month draws to a close, I’m sharing that list with you!
· “Dolph” by ‘Nathan Burgione (available in Just Another Winter’s Tale or at the author’s website https://apostrophen.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/dolph/), a queer retelling of Rudolph.
· “Frost” by ‘Nathan Burgoine (available in Wilde Stories 2017 or at https://apostrophen.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/frost/), a queer retelling of Frosty.
· “Reflection” by ‘Nathan Burgoine) (available at https://apostrophen.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/reflection/)
· “A Christmas Hex” by Jordan L. Hawk, a fun, sexy entry in her alt-history, witches-and-familiars “Hexworld” series
· “How The Supervillian Stole Christmas” by Charles Payseur (e-book), hey, even supervillains need love.
· THE TWELVE WAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Sanda M. Odell. I read one story a day for 12 days before Christmas, each one themed for a part of the song:
o “Home For Christmas”
o “Tourterelle Des Bois”
o “A Free-Range Panic at Alanda Farms”
o “To Speak of Metal Men and Birds of War”
o “T’is the Season”
o “Good for the Gander”
o “But Calm, White Calm, was Born into a Swan”
o “A Milk of Human Kindness”
o “Oh, How She Danced”
o “Git Along Little Dogies”
o “Re: Pete”
o “Nor Tap in Time at School”
· “The Kwanzaa Kid” by Maurice Broaddus, in the anthology “Naughty or Nice”
· “He Knows When You’re Awake” by Cat Rambo, in “Naughty or Nice”
· “The Toymaker’s Joy” by Lucy A. Snyder, in “Naughty or Nice” (This one definitely is NOT for kids!)
· “On The Hills and Everywhere” by Manly Wade Wellman, in “A Cosmic Christmas”
· “Angels in Flight” by Sarah A. Hoyt, a story about not belonging in “A Cosmic Christmas”
· “Roads” by Seabury Quinn, in “A Cosmic Christmas” (HOW HAVE I NEVER READ THIS BEFORE?)
· “Dyke The Halls” by Michael Thomas Ford, in “Just Another Winter’s Tale”
· “The Most Beautiful Boy in the World,” by Gene Hult, in “Just Another Winter’s Tale”
· “Snowflake Time: A Christmas Tale” by Laura Lippman, this year’s free chapbook from Otto Penzler to customers at The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC
· “Klacky the Christmas Dragon” by Paul Magrs, in “Just Another Winter’s Tale”
· “Pawprints in the Snow” by Roy Gill, in “Just Another Winter’s Tale”
· “By Chance, in the Dark” by Matthew Bright, a queer retelling of Scrooge, in “Just Another Winter’s Tale”
· “The Moving Wallpaper” by Nicholas M. Campbell, in “Just Another Winter’s Tale”
· “Dancing Dan’s Christmas” by Damon Runyon, in “Murder For Christmas” (GUYS AND DOLLS, PEOPLE!)
· “If Dragon’s Mass Eve Be Calm and Clear” by Ken Scholes, in “Seasons of Wonder” (what future holidays and versions of the Santa legend might be celebrated?)
· “Dulce Domum” by Ellen Kushner in “Seasons of Wonder” (Not everyone wants to go home again)
· “As Dark As Christmas Gets” by Lawrence Block, in “Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop” (a perennial fave, Chip Harrison and Leo Haig investigate the theft of a Cornell Woolrich manuscript)
· “Cold Reading” by Charles Ardai, in “Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop” (what is it with the Bookshop and found manuscripts?)
· “Sock It To Me, Santa” by Madison Parker (e-book), a cute high school Secret-Santa-coming-out tale
· “A Very Merry Blue Christmas” by Linda Poitevin, a short romantic holiday interlude in her “Ever After” romance series