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Grimmer Tales: Volume One

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A sci-fi/fantasy revival 200+ years in the making.

When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm started putting out their now-classic fairy tales more than two centuries ago, their work was revolutionary. Although we can now look back on those fairy tales and see in them elements that have become cultural touchstones, there was nothing like them at the time. It was because they were so unique and so captivating that people could not get enough of them. Parents shared them with their children, grandparents shared them with their grandchildren, and friends shared them with each other.

All the same, even the greatest innovations and the most engaging stories can use a refresh once in a while.

That is what this compendium is about. Rather than reprinting the Grimm fairy tales that we all know and love, we have brought together eight giants of sci-fi/fantasy to reimagine and reinvigorate them.

These giants are:

  • Arlene Marks
  • Ed Greenwood
  • Gama Martinez
  • LJ Hachmeister
  • Lucienne Diver
  • Richard Lee Byers
  • Susan Morris
  • Vivian Caethe

Some boasting best-seller status, some emerging with voices unlike any other, each of these authors has carefully crafted a dark-fantasy or science-fiction version of a Grimm fairy tale. Within the compendium, you will find never-before-told iterations of "Sleeping Beauty," "Hansel and Gretel," "Snow White," "The Robber Bridegroom," and more. Online dating, H. H. Holmes's Murder Castle, and the malevolent forces of Hell all add strange twists to the formats that the Brothers Grimm left for us.

There is a surprise on every page – and every surprise wonderfully reminiscent of tropes passed down through the generations.

About The Book

  • 260 pages
  • Formats available: Hardcover, trade paperback (6 x 9 inches), kindle, ePub, "misprint" (hardcover book with cover graphic off-center), Scratch & Dent 

This is, of course, a meaningful project for many people. Many of us who have grown up reading the Brothers' fairy tales are sure to find plenty of delight and intrigue in these stories. All the same, it is a project most meaningful to the compendium's curator – our own Jon Schindehette. Because Grimm is Jon's family name, there is long-standing speculation that the Brothers Grimm are among his ancestors. This myth has survived in his family much in the way that the fairy tales have, on the basis of the fun that people get retelling it.

A working creative professional for more than thirty years, Jon has collaborated with such renowned brands as Disney, Fox Entertainment, Warner Brothers, Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast, Harley-Davidson, Microsoft, Kodak, Price Waterhouse, Atari, Activision, Nintendo, Pokémon, Sony Entertainment, CBS, BioWare, Bethesda SoftWorks, and Crystal Dynamics. His best-known work has been, however, for the Dungeons & Dragons franchise.

This book is different from all of that. It is something that he has undertaken all on his own, recruiting authors whom he respects and collecting stories that pay homage to the Brothers Grimm.

Jon brought together eight talented, proven authors for this anthology. Each of those authors writes in a distinct style and voice, and each of the stories comes with a twist. Among the authors, there is a former teacher, a game designer, a voice actor, and of course, millions upon millions of books sold. They hail from all across the country, sharing one thing in common: an enthusiasm for sending these well-known tales into strange places.

We cannot wait for you to see what they have dreamed up.

The Authors and Their Stories

ARLENE F. MARKS began writing and sharing stories when she was 6 years old, and she can't seem to stop. Now writing full-time since her retirement from the classroom, she is the author of two literacy programs, a popular fiction writing manual, several published short stories, and Sic Transit Terra, a series of space opera novels set at the turn of the 25th century. Her next sf novel, Adventures in Godhood, will soon be released by Brain Lag Press. Arlene lives with her husband and son on the shore of beautiful Nottawasaga Bay, but spends an inordinate amount of time exploring the worlds that inhabit her head. http://www.thewritersnest.ca

ABOUT THE STORY: There are many different versions of "Sleeping Beauty". The story became less horrific and more romantic with each successive retelling, but most would agree that it was, deep down, about the sexual awakening of a young girl. To this author, it was a metaphor that just begged to be stood on its head...

 

ED GREENWOOD is a Canadian writer, game designer, voice actor, and librarian best known for creating The Forgotten Realms® fantasy world, starting at age six; he still works on the Realms every day, more than fifty years later.

Ed’s 400-plus books have sold millions of copies worldwide in more than three dozen languages. Ed was elected to the Academy of Adventure Gaming Art & Design Hall of Fame in 2003, and has won multiple ENNIE, Origins, and other awards. He has judged the World Fantasy Awards and the Sunburst Awards, hosted radio shows, acted onstage, explored caves, jousted, and been Santa Claus—but not all on the same day.

He is likely the only Canadian to have scripted comic books for multiple companies and also appeared, as himself, in the pages of comic books published by several companies.

Follow Ed on Twitter @TheEdVerse for daily doggerel and ongoing Lord Wolf snark fiction.

ABOUT THE STORY: The Stone Mountain is death on two legs, the most feared man in the alleys of the city. A metropolis in which fear is not in short supply.

Night after night, the Mountain stalks the city. Until the night when the Mountain came to the Grim Reaper.

And the Grim Reaper—skeleton, scythe, and all—turned out to be real.

 

GAMA RAY MARTINEZ lives near Salt Lake City, Utah. He moved there solely because he likes mountains. He collects weapons in case he ever needs to supply a medieval battalion, and he greatly resents when work or other real life things get in the way of writing.  He secretly hopes to one day slay a dragon in single combat and doesn’t believe in letting pesky little things like reality stand in the way of dreams. Find him at http://www.gamarayburst.com

Amazon bestselling author L.J HACHMEISTER writes and fights—although she tries to avoid doing them at the same time. The world champion stick-fighter is best known in the literary world for her epic science fiction series, Triorion, her LGBTQ+ sci-fi romance, The Laws of Attraction, her bestselling anthology, Parallel Worlds: The Heroes Within, and her equally epic love of sweets. L. J. dedicates the profits of her book sales to rescuing puppies via “Lifeline Puppy Rescue.”

Connect with her at: www.triorion.com

ABOUT THE STORY: Forget what you know about Snow White. No kiss can save her from a wicked curse, and true love is a myth. At least, that's what you've been led to believe.


LUCIENNE DIVER is the author of the Vamped and Latter-Day Olympians series, which Long and Short Reviews calls “a clever mix of Janet Evanovich and Rick Riordan”. She also writes young adult suspense – FAULTLINES, THE COUNTDOWN CLUB, and DISAPPEARED, where two teens investigate the disappearance of their mother and the story their father tells about the night she went missing. On a personal note, Lucienne lives in Florida with her husband and daughter, the two cutest dogs in the world, and enough books to someday collapse the second floor of her home into the first.

She likes living dangerously.

ABOUT THE STORY: When curiosity stirs like the king’s bowels after a hearty bowl of bean soup, you may wonder why a being who could turn straw into gold would do so for a peasant’s baubles or a bawling baby. Well, wonder no longer! Herein lies the True Tale of Rumplestiltskin, as told by him.


RICHARD LEE BYERS is the author of fifty horror and fantasy books including The Head of Mimir, The Things That Crawl, The Hep Cats of Ulthar, The Shadow Guide, This Sword for Hire, Ire of the Void, Blind God’s Bluff, and the volumes in the Impostor series. He’s also written scores of short stories, scripted a graphic novel, and contributed content on tabletop and electronic games.

A resident of the Tampa Bay area, he’s an RPG enthusiast and a frequent program participant at Florida conventions, Dragon Con, and Gen Con. He invites everyone to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

ABOUT THE STORY: The original Brothers Grimm story deals with the beneficent powers of Heaven. My version flips the script by imagining events as they might have unfolded if it had been a tale of the malevolent forces of Hell. The result is a story of ambition, treachery, and intrigue, and I hope you enjoy it.


SUSAN J. MORRIS is a fantasy author and editor, best known for her work editing Forgotten Realms novels, her writing advice column “Writer’s Don’t Cry,” and writing Practical Guides to fantastical things for Wizards of the Coast. Find her online at susanjmorris.com, or tweet her @susanjmorris.

ABOUT THE STORY: Stories about America's own terrifying Bluebeard, H. H. Holmes, dominated the papers in 1894, with good reason: the man built his own so-called “Murder Castle” with soundproofed rooms, labyrinthine hallways, body chutes, and torture rooms. I wanted to capture the horror of that historical Bluebeard while marrying it to the traditional fairytale, in which the last would-be victim not only survives, but uses her insight, cleverness, and friendships--with a little bit of magic--to take down the man who would be her murderer.


When not serving our computer overlords, VIVIAN CAETHE writes science fiction, fantasy, and quirky nonfiction. An avid tea drinker, she lives in Colorado with her 16lb cat Norman. Together they fight crime and absolutely refuse to ski or hike. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @VivianCaethe

ABOUT THE STORY: "The Lonely Stars" is a science fiction retelling of Grimm's "The Robber Bridegroom" that examines our experiences with online dating and the hazardous landscape of the lonely and the lost.