Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears

Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497668584
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 09/30/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 159,689
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Ellen Datlow, an acclaimed science fiction and fantasy editor, was born and raised in New York City. She has been a short story and book editor for more than thirty years and has edited or coedited several critically acclaimed anthologies of speculative fiction, including the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series and Black Thorn, White Rose (1994) with Terri Windling. Datlow has received numerous honors, including multiple Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, Hugo, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards, and Life Achievement Awards from the Horror Writers Association and the World Fantasy Association, to name just a few. She resides in New York.  
Terri Windling is a writer and editor of science fiction and fantasy, an essayist on the mythic arts, and a visual artist. She is the author of the bestselling books The Wood Wife (1996) and The Essential Bordertown (1999). Windling has co-edited many collections with renowned editor Ellen Datlow, including the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series. Windling has received multiple awards for fantasy and science fiction literature, including the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Solstice Award for outstanding contributions to the speculative fiction field and the Bram Stoker Award. Windling is also a visual artist whose mythic-themed work has appeared across the United States and Europe. She currently resides in Arizona and Devon, England.

Ellen Datlow, an acclaimed science fiction and fantasy editor, was born and raised in New York City. She has been a short story and book editor for more than thirty years and has edited or coedited several critically acclaimed anthologies of speculative fiction, including the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series and Black Thorn, White Rose (1994) with Terri Windling. Datlow has received numerous honors, including multiple Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, Hugo, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards, and Life Achievement Awards from the Horror Writers Association and the World Fantasy Association, to name just a few. She resides in New York.  
Terri Windling is a writer and editor of science fiction and fantasy, an essayist on the mythic arts, and a visual artist. She is the author of the bestselling books The Wood Wife (1996) and The Essential Bordertown (1999). Windling has co-edited many collections with renowned editor Ellen Datlow, including the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series. Windling has received multiple awards for fantasy and science fiction literature, including the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Solstice Award for outstanding contributions to the speculative fiction field and the Bram Stoker Award. Windling is also a visual artist whose mythic-themed work has appeared across the United States and Europe. She currently resides in Arizona and Devon, England.

Joyce Carol Oates is the author of over seventy books encompassing novels, poetry, criticism, story collections, plays, and essays. Her novel Them won the National Book Award in Fiction in 1970. Oates has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for more than three decades and currently holds the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professorship at Princeton University. 
 
Lisa Goldstein has published ten novels and dozens of short stories under her own name and two fantasy novels under the pseudonym Isabel Glass. Her most recent novel is The Uncertain Places, which won the Mythopoeic Award. Goldstein received the National Book Award for The Red Magician and the Sidewise Award for her short story “Paradise Is a Walled Garden.” Her work has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. Some of her stories appear in the collection Travellers in Magic.

Goldstein has worked as a proofreader, library aide, bookseller, and reviewer. She lives with her husband and their overexuberant Labrador retriever, Bonnie, in Oakland, California. Her website is www.brazenhussies.net/goldstein. 

John Brunner started his career as a productive writer of Ace Double Science Fiction novels, sometimes writing both sides of the same double. He produced a wide variety of entertaining and well-conceived science fiction adventures before testing his ambitions with more and more complex and stylistically sophisticated novels. Among his triumphs are Stand on Zanzibar (Hugo winner for Best Novel), The Jagged OrbitThe Sheep Look UpThe Shockwave Rider, and A Maze of Stars. Although he wrote relatively little fantasy, he was widely acclaimed for a series of short stories collected as The Compleat Traveller in Black. Brunner also wrote mysteries, thrillers, and several well-regarded historical novels.
Nancy A. Collins has authored more than 20 novels and novellas and numerous short stories. She has also worked on several comic books, including a 2-year run on the Swamp Thing series. She is a recipient of the Bram Stoker Award and the British Fantasy Award, and has been nominated for the Eisner, John W. Campbell Memorial, and International Horror Guild Awards. Best known for her groundbreaking vampire series Sonja Blue, which heralded the rise of the popular urban fantasy genre, Collins is the author of the bestselling Sunglasses After Dark, the Southern Gothic collection Knuckles and Tales, and the Vamps series for young adults. Her most recent novel is Left Hand Magic, the second installment in the critically acclaimed Golgotham urban fantasy series. She currently resides in Norfolk, Virginia, with a Boston terrier.

Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Born and raised in New York City, the mother of three and the grandmother of six, Yolen lives in Massachusetts and St. Andrews, Scotland.   

Read an Excerpt

Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears


By Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling

OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA

Copyright © 1995 Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4976-6858-4



CHAPTER 1

Ruby Slippers


Transcript/Interviewer's Notes— DG @ Beverly Hills Hotel, 4/16


The house? Do we have to start with the house? All these interviews are the same. Oh, all right. You have to admit, it was quite an entrance. Not every girl becomes a star her first day in this town, right on touchdown. Lucky break, what can I say?

No—wait! I'm not saying it was good luck that my house landed on the old witch! It was an accident, pure and simple, just like the coroner said. [Ed's note: The coroner's verdict stated that, in the absence of a corpse, no ruling could be made as to the exact cause of death.]

My nerves were absolutely destroyed by it—ask anybody who was around. The way the siding on the house sliced her feet clean off— Just thinking about it makes me feel faint.

But you have to understand, seeing the ruby slippers put it all straight out of my head. You see, after my mother died and I went to live with my aunt—well she did take me in, I'll give her that. And boy didn't she get some mileage out of it later?

But it wasn't all fresh air and rainbows, the way Auntie makes it sound. She used to make me work in the fields, all the time, and I had to wear these nasty wooden clogs. Clumsy, awful things, and they rubbed my feet absolutely raw. The rest of the time, I had to go barefoot, except when we all went to church. For Sunday school, Emma gave me some old black button-shoes from the attic. Way too big for me, and terribly out of style.

So these shoes—well just look at the way they sparkle. Paste of course, but the stones really do look like rubies, don't you think? And high- heeled pumps! Jiminy! What girl doesn't yearn for her first pair? So when a lady who looks like a guardian angel appears out of the blue and tells me they're mine—shucks, it didn't take me two shakes to make up my mind.

So she gives the slippers this little tap-tap-tap on the soles with her stick and tells everybody that they'll stay right on my feet, no matter how hard I dance—or something like that, I can't remember exactly. Well, who could resist giving the crowd a little number, after an intro like that? And it went like magic. Almost like the shoes were dancing me, I promise you.

Well, shoot! You don't have to tell me all that dancing around after the accident didn't look good—not after the spin the press put on it. But if you'd been there—with Glenn making such a fuss over me, saying what a good deed I'd done by landing on Louella and how this was my big break—well, to tell the truth, the accident just didn't seem to amount to much. And the old lady's feet shriveled right up, you know. Once I had the shoes on, you couldn't even see there'd been a little mishap.

I'll admit it looked suspicious, me running off that way. Well, shoot, killing people is a hanging offense in Kansas. And I was just a starry-eyed kid, still dreaming on rainbows. So when Glenn said she could send me off to someone really powerful, who could do worlds for my career—it just seemed irresistible. She said Ozzie was omnipotent, and that he could make me a star like snapping his fingers. You know the sort of thing, fame and fortune and all that jazz. All I had to do was follow her guidance and I'd have it made. That Glenn, she's pure hustle. Guess that's what makes her such a hot agent.

"Getting into the studio system is like finding a road paved with gold." That's what she told me. "Just follow the path they lay out for you and you've got it made. And you'll love Ozzie—he's a real spiritual type for a producer—and he'll solve all your problems. You won't have to give this little house incident another thought."

How was I to know when she said spiritual, she meant too spiritual? Straight off, Ozzie was after me to clean up my image. "Go back to that fresh-faced farm girl routine," he says. Can you imagine? He thought I should lose the shoes—said that red ones made me look improper.

At least Glenn took my side. She told him, with my looks and these shoes, I was a sure bet. What can I say? I was young and naive. I believed everything they told me, let the two of them give me the old tinsel town rush—straight into a studio contract set in cement.

No, there's no truth to that at all. Where do you people come up with these rumors? I never stayed off the set to hold out on the studio. Do I look like the type who'd make trouble for a sweetheart like Ozzie? The man's a perfect saint. We just got our signals crossed for a while, that's all.

Except for his thing about the shoes. Heck, I couldn't give them up, you can see that, can't you? Besides, it was that red twinkle that drove Strawman mad for me.

Oh, yes. It was special between Strawman and me, right from the very start. Legendary, magical—but I'm not the wordsmith. How would you put it? Yes, that's perfect. Instant harmony. Tip and tap—that was us.

Why, thank you. I certainly think we made a great team, no matter what the studio says. It just seemed natural for us to throw in together, and from then on it was one long song and dance, really.

That's right, we added to the act not long afterward. We'd come to terms with the studio by then, and the band was really their idea. They wanted to tone down the couple thing with me and Strawman—said he was bad for my reputation. But it all worked out great. We were lucky that the boys turned out to be such—what's the word?—such simpatico partners. The four of us just clicked.

You're absolutely right. We did have our share of good times. The poppy fields, the boys masquerading as soldiers—but I shouldn't be talking about that. The studio people will have a fit.

Those really were the best times, you know. When it was me and the boys.

Excuse me. I do get a little lonely sometimes. Everything was so green and new back then.

Guess it's no secret we went a little overboard with the poppy dust. And then after Lionel got looped that last time—

But you know all this—the papers had a field day. I'll never forget the way he looked that morning, the way he roared off into the forest on one of his little adventures ...

Eaten by bears, the centurion said. I was so broken up about it, I simply couldn't face the funeral.

Yes, I did have a kind of breakdown then. Well, my goodness! The papers went nuts with it—all those trashy stories about a crime of passion. And the hatchet job they did on us—claiming that bears couldn't have hacked him up that way and that Strawman was furious with us, all those insinuations that Lion and I had a thing going—

No, the studio did not hush it all up! And our deal says you don't even ask, for crying out loud!

All you need to say is—hang on a sec— It was a very difficult time for all of us.

No, Strawman and I didn't split because of Lion. It was a professional decision, that's all. After Lion's death, Strawman decided to get out of show business altogether. Said he just didn't feel like dancing anymore.

So it was a natural time to break up the act, what with losing Lion and Strawman wanting to quit. Tinman? Why, he agreed entirely with the studio's decision. About calling it quits, I mean. And as for me— Well, going solo has worked out very well.

No, of course the boys don't resent my success. Strawman came to my last show and sent me a bouquet of red poppies beforehand. For old times' sake, he said. And Tinman always says he's very happy for me—he's made quite a name for himself as a guitarist in professional circles.

What do you mean, I seem nervous? Everything's fine.

Well, maybe I am a little jittery, having the whole thing raked up again. After all, I wasn't well at the time—Lion's death hit me pretty hard. But I'm clean and sober now, went cold turkey six months ago and haven't had a snort since. You'll vouch for that, won't you, you sweet man? What a nice, sober old lady I am now?

Yes, there was some talk about us doing a reunion show last year. But I—that is, we—decided it just wouldn't work without Lion. Besides, hanging out with the old gang isn't the same anymore. Strawman's got no bounce, no rhythm. And my sweet little To-totum's got arthritis now, don't you, poor baby?

Tinman? That's the real creeper, you know? The way that new artificial heart of his beat whenever he checked out the ruby slippers. Sounded like a steel drum convention, you could hear it for miles. Every time we got together to talk about doing the show. It was a real chiller.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to know you've still got it. The old twinkle-toes have still got their magic and all that. After all, I'm not getting any younger. But he really does give me a turn, sometimes, the way he's always watching my feet, fingering that axe of his.

Look, it's not like I've got any illusions here. I know I won't be tapping the old ruby sparklers along this golden road forever. Like the studio rep's always saying, red shoes'll bring you to a bad end every time. Just ask old Eastie about that. And her little sister too, when you think about it.

My turn's sure to come.

But who cares, doll? The way I see it, anything beats going back to Kansas.

CHAPTER 2

The Beast


When he saw the rose, he knew that only one woman in the world could wear it: his daughter. The image and the certainty were so immediate; total. He stood staring.

It was made of amber, rich yellow amber, and the unfolded petals were smooth, translucent, without any of the normal bubbles, or trapped debris. Near the center hung a drop of "dew"—a single warm and creamy pearl. The necklace was a golden briar. It was perfect. And he visualized Isobel, her massy sweep of white-blond hair swung loose from the icy line of its side part. Her pale skin, the mouth just touched with some pale color. The evening dress he had recently bought her in ivory silk. And the rose, on the briar, precisely under her throat.

"He has some fine things, doesn't he? Have you seen the jade horse?"

"Yes, I did." Always polite, and careful, he turned from his scrutiny and regarded the other man. They sipped from their glasses of some flawless champagne that came, not from France, but from the East.

"I've heard he collects anything exquisite. Will go to great lengths to get it. Even danger. Perhaps your own collection might interest him."

"Oh, I've nothing to match any of this." But he thought, I have one thing.

After the brief evening was finished, when they had regained their coats from the golden lobby and gone down the endless length of the glass tower, back into the snow-white city, he was still thinking about it. In fact, if he were honest, the thought had begun at the moment he met their host, the elusive and very private Vessavion, who had permitted them into his home, that mansion perched atop the tower of glass, for reasons of diplomacy. There had only been the six invitations, six men known for their business acumen, their wealth, their good manners. It had been meant to impress them, and because they were, all of them, extremely clever, it had done so.

He wondered, going over what he knew of five personal files in his mind, as his chauffeur drove him home, if any of them had a daughter. But even if they had, it could not be one like his. Like Isobel.

He had always given her the best. She was due only that. And Vessavion—Vessavion also was the very best there might be. Six and a half feet tall, probably about 180, 185 pounds—this was not from any file, there were no accessible files on Vessavion—blond as Isobel, maybe more blond, the hair drawn back and hanging in a thick galvanic tail to his waist. Grey eyes, large, serious. A quiet, definite, and musical voice, actor- trained no doubt. Handsome. Handsome in a way that was uncommon, and satisfying. One liked to look at him, watch his spare elegant movements. A calm smile revealing white teeth, a smile that had nothing to hide and apparently nothing to give, beyond a faultless courtesy amounting, it seemed, to kindness.

The car purred through a city made of snow. Lights like diamonds glittered on distant cliffs of cement. They came over the river into the gracious lowlands and entered the robot gates of his house. It was a good house. He had always been proud of it. The gardens were exotic. But Vessavion, in the middle of that multitude of rooms, Vessavion had a garden that was like a cathedral, open to sky almost it seemed of space, flashing with stars.

She was in the library, sitting by the fire, an open book on her knee. She might have been waiting. He looked at her. He thought, Yes.

"Was it wonderful?" she asked, cool and sweet. There was a lilt to her voice that was irresistible, like the slight tilt to her silvery eyes.

"Very. I hope you'll see it. I left him a note. Something of mine that may interest him ... The African Bible."

"You'd give him that?"

"In exchange—for something else. Perhaps he'll refuse. But he does collect rare and beautiful things."

She was innocent of what he meant. She did not know. He had begun to keep secrets, her father. It had started five weeks before in the doctor's office. Time enough for truth later. Truth was not always beautiful, or desired.

Vessavion's answer came the next day. It was as if Vessavion were somehow linked into his plan, as if this had to be. He invited the owner of the African Bible to a small dinner. The visitor had a daughter, Vessavion had heard. She must come too.

Conceivably, Vessavion had even known of Isobel. The father knew there were files also on him. Had Vessavion perhaps seen some inadequate, breathtaking photograph?

The dinner was set three nights before Christmas. It was well omened, the city in a Saturnalia of lamps and fir trees, wreaths, and ribbons. He said to Isobel, "Will you wear the ivory silk for me?"

She smiled. "Of course."

"And, no jewelry," he said.

She raised her eyebrows. "Do you think he'll hang me with jewels?"

"He may. He might."

"I'm quite nervous," she said. "I've heard about him. Is he really—is he handsome?"

"Tonight," he said, "you'll see for yourself."


The elevator took them up the tower of glass, and at the top the doors opened into the golden lobby, with its French gilt mirrors and burnished floor. A servant came, like all Vessavion's slaves, virtually invisible, and took away their outer garments. They walked into the vast pale room where the log fire was actually real, pine cones sputtering in it on apple wood. On the walls two or three beautiful paintings from other centuries, genuine, obscure, and priceless. Lamps of painted glass. Brocade chairs, their unburnt wood carved into pineapples. For the season, a small rounded tree had been placed, dark green, decked with dull sequins of gold, a golden woman on its top holding up a star of crimson mirror. And there were boughs of holly over the mantel of the fire, and tall, yellow-white candles burning. It was charming, childish, almost touching. But then, had it been done only to please Vessavion's guests? Perhaps even to please a woman?

On a silver tray by the fire were three long slender goblets of some topaz wine. Vessavion came in. Immaculately greeted father and daughter. They drank together.

But the father had noted Vessavion's face when he beheld Isobel. There was no subterfuge at all. Vessavion's face changed, utterly, as if a mask had lifted from it. Underneath it was just the same face, handsome, strong, yet now alive. And it was young. The father thought, He's only two or three years older than she is. I can see it, now. This delighted him very much.

Isobel had changed a little too. For the first time in a decade, she was blushing, softly, marvelously, like milk crystal filled by sunlight. Her eyes shone. No man who liked women could have resisted her.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears by Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling. Copyright © 1995 Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow,
Ruby Slippers Susan Wade,
The Beast Tanith Lee,
Masterpiece Garry Kilworth,
Summer Wind Nancy Kress,
This Century of Sleep or, Briar Rose Beneath the Sea Farida S.T. Shapiro,
The Crossing Joyce Carol Oates,
Roach in Loafers Roberta Lannes,
Naked Little Men Michael Cadnum,
Brother Bear Lisa Goldstein,
The Emperor Who Had Never Seen a Dragon John Brunner,
Billy Fearless Nancy A. Collins,
The Death of Koshchei the Deathless (a tale of old Russia) Gene Wolfe,
The Real Princess Susan Palwick,
The Huntsman's Story Milbre Burch,
After Push Comes to Shove Milbre Burch,
Hansel and Grettel Gahan Wilson,
Match Girl Anne Bishop,
Waking the Prince Kathe Koja,
The Fox Wife Ellen Steiber,
The White Road Neil Gaiman,
The Traveler and the Tale Jane Yolen,
The Printer's Daughter Delia Sherman,
Acknowledgments,
A Biography of Ellen Datlow,
A Biography of Terri Windling,

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Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
-Katerina- More than 1 year ago
What if ... that is the main thought I had when reading these stories such as what if this happened or what if they had chosen differently. There are probably a lot of life lessons woven into these stories but overall it is very interesting to see a different spin on some of the classics we know and others we may not have heard before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago