Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers

Red Caps might be a rock band. Or they might be something more sinister, a fey source of sounds that are but the backdrop to thrills and misadventures. These thirteen stories provide readers jaded by the traditional, Old World fairy tales with tempting new stories that will entice bored readers from their suburban ennui. Closets are waiting to be explored. Escape from work camp leads to a dangerous encounter on a wet road. That high school year book is magical and might be mocking you…or helping you find love. And isn’t love one of the central premises of the fairy tale? These teenage boys and girls need not fear that their love has no worth, because Steve Berman has written for them princesses who love maidens and adorkable students who have wondrous and smart boyfriends. Readers can be assured that, if the tale does not end happy, it ends most memorably.

Review

”Eschewing the cliched coming-out and coming-of-age stories in favour of fresher tales, whether cleaving to a quirky realism in ‘Movember’ or springboarding into the fantastic with ‘Only Lost Boys Are Found,’ by turns playful and poignant, delightful and disturbing, Berman offers a wonderful range of cracking good strange fiction for the queer YA reader.”
–Hal Duncan, author of Vellum and Ink

”The positivity that runs throughout the book, even in stories that end on gruesome or eerie notes, is the best part: the sense of ‘coming out’ in many of these pieces is also a sort of coming to life, or a coming into the self. The undercurrent of acceptance despite the odds is pleasant and heart-warming. These are stories about kids finding out what it means to be themselves, and how to be with other people. That’s good stuff…”
–Brit Mandelo for Queering SFF at Tor.com

”In most of these stories, the same-sex relationships are either wholly accepted or at the very least tolerated. This grants most of the characters the freedom to see the fantastic as it materializes around them. Whether facing literal Red Caps or figurative, Berman’s boys and girls mostly have the benefit of being able to express their love, jealousy, lust, and temptations publicly, with far less fear than they exhibit facing ghosts, vampires, and magic books.”
–Anthony Cardno for Strange Horizons

About the Author

Steve Berman sold his first short story while still a teenager. Since they he has written and sold over a hundred articles, essays, interviews, and reviews–in addition to short stories–in the fields of gaming, the fantastical, and weird. Much of what he written is aimed at young adult readers, including his novel, Vintage: A Ghost Story, which was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award.

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