Category Archives: magical realism

The Mysterious Magic Shop

The Magic Shop by H.G. Wells (1903)

Monday’s Tale of Magic  July 26, 2021

 

Conjuring, the real and the unreal, glass balls, demons clinging to a coat sleeve, charming illusions and evil magic. The elements of magic in fiction are often mesmerizing. H.G. Wells takes these powers beyond our normal physical limitations,  doubt, and desires.  Come meet Gip and his father as they enter  The Magic Shop  on Regent Street in London. Gip is a boy who believes in the reality of magic, as all children do in their innocence and trust. But the father wants to draw the line with intelligence and practicality. The Magician’s many marvels carry mysterious weight and entertainment.  Listen for the touch of philosophical talk going on beneath the illusion of The Magician pulling out streams of colored paper from the father’s hat.

“The crumpled paper rose and billowed on the counter more and more and more, until he was nearly hidden from us, until he was altogether hidden, and still his voice went on and on. “We none of us know what the fair semblance of a human being may conceal, sir. Are we all then no better than brushed exteriors, whited sepulchres–“

This is a beautifully written little tale with a thought-provoking ending.  Listening to the audio will capture you!

Read at Online-literature.com:

http://www.online-literature.com/wellshg/10/

 

Listen to the Audio:

 

 

H. G. Wells  (1866-1946) is well known in literature as a futurist and a literary sensation with his sci-fi novels The Time Machine and War of the Worlds.  Mind at the End of Its Tether (1945), his last book, was a vision of the future as nightmare. Author of more than 100 books, he  described his stories as “a miscellany of inventions.” Wells died on Aug. 13, 1946, in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For lovers of  H.G Wells, you might like this historical fiction The Haunting of H.G Wells by Robert Masello: A plot against England that even the genius of H. G. Wells could not have imagined.

REVIEW: “Masello takes us on a wild ride through twentieth-century Europe as Wells goes up against foes both physical and paranormal, teaming up with his suffragette partner to save the world. This is history unlike anything you learned in high school.”  Adrienne Procaccini, Editor

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome! Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

 

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

 

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Ghost Cat

All Cats Are Gray  by Andre Alice Norton (1953)

[aka Andre Norton]

 

Friday’s Tale of Science Fiction,  February 19, 2021

I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but this story strikes with high curiosity and mystery.  We bow before mysteries—those of us who are mystery lovers—and this story All Cats Are Gray has a fascinating hidden mystery.

Cat lovers, this is for you! The story opens on a spaceship with our heroine and hero Steena and Cliff. And a cat named Bat. We have a lost ship, the Empress of Mars, and an invisible alien aboard.  Ghost cats, warrior cats, street cats, wild cats, library cats, Bat is none of these, but will win your heart.

 

Read the short story here at Gutenberg.org

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29019/29019-h/29019-h.htm

 

You can listen to some of Norton’s other writings here at OpenLibrary.org:

https://openlibrary.org/authors/OL7099704A/Andre_Norton

 

The author Alice Mary Norton (1912 — 2005) was an American writer of science fiction and fantasy. She wrote under the pen names Andre Norton, Andrew North, and Allen Weston. She was the first woman to be Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy, first to be SFWA Grand Master, and the first inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. A selection of her stories is available in Andre Norton: The Essential Collection .  She has been called the Grande Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Over the course of her career, she published over 300 published titles read by four generations.

 

“Perhaps it is because cats do not live by human patterns, do not fit themselves into prescribed behavior, that they are so united to creative people.”

“Science fiction appeals to me, as I have always enjoyed reading it, and it is a purely imaginative exercise – though one does have to do a lot of research for each book. I find that the sword-and-sorcery has the greatest appeal for myself – and it is the most fun to write.”

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, romance, and mainstream fiction.

Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

   Fangoria.com      Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

      Monster Librarian        The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

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Daggers in His Smile

The Golden Bough by Salman Rushdie

Tuesday’s Tale   January 12, 2021

 

“As the interview progressed I became convinced that I would not get the job.”

 

This story opens with a common feeling we’ve all experienced. Knowing your job interview begins and ends nowhere. Whatever failures or miscalculations occurred, after too many disappointments and self-blame, what might you do? How desperate might you become when you experience eternal rejection? And there’s an interesting twist here causing that repeated rejection.  Our narrator David Gularski goes pretty wild.

Author Salman Rushdie is famous for his stylistic magical realism. This fiction has fascinating flavors of dark humor and an ending that will make you grin.

 

Read the short story (10-minute read) at Granta

https://granta.com/the-golden-bough/

 

Watch the film (24 minutes). Worth your time for sure!

 

 

Salman Rushdie is a British-Indian novelist best known for the novels ‘Midnight’s Children’ and ‘The Satanic Verses,’ for which he was accused of blasphemy against Islam. In 1988 Rushdie published The Satanic Verses, a novel drenched in magical realism. He’s written eleven novels and collections of essays and works of non-fiction.

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, romance, and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine    HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

   Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian       The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

 

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

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Believe in Fairies? Yes!

The Faery Handbag  by Kelly Link

Tuesday’s Tale of Fairies   November 26, 2019

 

Today, let’s believe in fairies.  Flower fairies, fish fairies, tree fairies, beach fairies to name a few. We should believe in everything until it’s disproved, right? And no one has disproved that fairies exist. Nightmares and dreams are not part of our waking daily activities yet they exist in everyone’s night life. So, let’s believe in fairies.

Fairy stories always bring me back to my childhood, but this one by Kelly Link brings me beyond my childhood. The Faery Handbag opens with Genevieve and her friends shopping in the Garment Center. She is in search of her Grandmother Zofia’s faery handbag—who are said to live inside it. Here is how Genevieve describes it.

“The faery handbag: It’s huge and black and kind of hairy. Even when your eyes are closed, it feels black. As black as black ever gets, like if you touch it, your hand might get stuck in it, like tar or black quicksand or when you stretch out your hand at night, to turn on a light, but all you feel is darkness.”

A chilling moment, yes? This story is mostly about Grandma Zofia who claims to be over 200 years old.  Do you know the difference between a horrible liar and a wonderful liar? What fun, and because this little adventure is so well written, I’m sure you will not be able to stop reading. The story won Nebula, Locus, and Hugo Awards, and was originally published in the anthology Faery Reel: Tales From The Twilight Realm, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. It is also in Kelly Link‘s second short story collection, Magic for Beginners.

You can read the short story by Kelly Link here at SmallBeerPress.com

https://smallbeerpress.com/free-stuff-to-read/2005/07/01/the-faery-handbag-by-kelly-link/

Kelly Link is an American author who writes magic realism, fantasy and horror. She has won several awards for her short stories, including the World Fantasy Award in 1999 for “The Specialist’s Hat”, and the Nebula Award both in 2001 and 2005 for “Louise’s Ghost” and “Magic for Beginners.” Link  is the founder of independent publishing company, Small Beer Press, along with her husband, Gavin Grant.

 

On the same subject of fairy tales but from a classic perspective, if you’ve never read The Tale of Tales, Giambattisa Basile’s 17th-century book of fairy stories, you might enjoy these very odd and magical tales that are more for adults than children. On Amazon:

 

The FaeryReel by Ellen Datlow has a variety of short stories by such authors as  Charles de Lint, Delia Sherman, Tanith Lee, Neil Gaiman, and Hiromi Goto, and more. On Amazon.com  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0142404063

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome! Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

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Wandering the Sky Naked

The Daughters of the Moon  by Italo Calvino

READING FICTION BLOG

 Tuesday’s Tale of Magical Realism,  June 25, 2019

Nude women, New York City, and the moon. If you love magical realism that holds deep edges of fantasy folk tales, this is your story. Author Italo Calvino asks the question, can the moon die? What if the moon orbited  close to Earth? What if the moon was full of eyes and shimmering colors? This 1968 short story is unusual and unforgettable. Calvino was a passionate believer that art could unite the self and heal. His writing just explodes in this rather vigorous and imaginative ride.

“The moon is old, Qfwfq agreed, pitted with holes, worn out. Rolling naked through the skies, it erodes and loses its flesh like a bone that’s been gnawed. This is not the first time that such a thing has happened. I remember moons that were even older and more battered than this one; I’ve seen loads of these moons, seen them being born and running across the sky and dying out, one punctured by hail from shooting stars, another exploding from all its craters, and yet another oozing drops of topaz-colored sweat that evaporated immediately, then being covered by greenish clouds and reduced to a dried-up, spongy shell.”

 

 

The ending, what happens in time, will grab and hold a long time. A beauty!

 

Read the story at the New Yorker Magazine:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/02/23/the-daughters-of-the-moon

Listen to the audio here: https://www.wnyc.org/story/adee7d1df5ac724bab592aa2/

 

 

Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy, the Cosmicomics collection of short stories, and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter’s night a traveler.

“It is not the voice that commands the story; it is the ear.”

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month.

Comments are welcome! Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

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Fabulism: The New Wave in Fiction

What is this new “fabulist fiction” everybody is talking about? There is a wave of fabulist fiction going on.  As a reader you might think it’s a blend of magical realism/fantasy/supernatural stories. Fabulist fiction seems to blur these boundaries with fantastic events in realistic settings, flavored with exotic themes and blends of folklore or mythology.

In the milieu of fabulism, anything can happen–the unreal, the surreal, the unexplained. Some readers call it slipstream or the new weird, or what is most popular “the modern fable.”

Alice_in_Wonderland_by_Arthur_Rackham_-_15_-_At_this_the_whole_pack_rose_up_into_the_air_and_came_flying_down_upon_her

[Image by Arthur Rackham, public domain]

Examples? Traditionally, we could think  Alice in Wonderland— yeah, that would fit fabulism. Kafka’s Metamorphosis where the narrator is transformed into a beetle.  Author Italo Calvino was known as the contemporary “fabulist” for his dazzling allegorical stories. Calvino’s Invisible Cities is a mix of history, fable, and fantasy.

I’ve dabbled in this genre with my newly released  short story Magic of the Loons. This story is set in modern day with real people pursuing their passions, taking risks, when powerful elements beyond the ordinary take command. The story was originally published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine last year. You can find it on Amazon.com for 99 cents. A quick 30-minute read, perfect for a solitary lunchtime read or with that leisurely cup of morning coffee.

Please note that I am looking for reviews. If you read Magic of the Loons and like it, I hope you’ll post a short review on Amazon and/or on Goodreads.

Here’s what the Bram Stoker award-winning author Lucy Taylor has to say about Magic of the Loons.

“Magic of the Loons” by Paula Cappa is a lyrical gem of a story, a love triangle set against the haunting atmosphere of a lake that is home to a raft of loons.  With lush prose and an evocative setting, Cappa interweaves temptress Kai’s seductive and sensuous nature and the fate of the two men who have fallen under her mysterious spell.”

Readers here know Lucy Taylor from one of her short stories (link) posted at Tales of Terror Blog Feb 18 2014 Women In Horror Month. The short story is  Walled, published at Nightmare Magazine.

Do you have any thoughts on this genre of fabulism? Have you been reading any fabulism? Any titles you’d like to add here for the readers? Please feel free to comment!

What mysteries lie in loon magic?

magicoftheloons(3)Cappa

 

99 cents on Amazon.com

Book Cover Design by GinaCaseyDesign

 

 

 

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