Catherynne M. Valente: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

If you are looking for a YA novel, or something rich and plummy to read on your own, may I recommend, Catherynne M. Valente’s new online novel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.

Chapter 1: Exeunt, on a Leopard

Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her father’s house, where she washed the same pink and yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog. Because she had been born in May, and because she had a mole on her left cheek, and because her feet were very large and ungainly, the Green Wind took pity on her, and flew to her window one evening just after her eleventh birthday. He was dressed in a green smoking jacket, and a green carriage-driver’s cloak, and green jodhpurs, and green snowshoes. It is very cold above the clouds, in the shanty-towns where the Six Winds live.

One of the things that I love about the sf community is the way it rallies around a member in need.  When Cat posted about financial troubles last week she said, “I didn’t want charity, or something for nothing. I wanted to work, and support my family. I decided that in the world of new media and online literature, I could try to do what I do best: write a novel. I could offer up a book to the world, and try to feed us with it. I wanted it to be free, so that everyone could read it, not locked behind a password. But we needed money—so I posted to my blog and asked my readers to pay whatever they thought it was worth.”

Even without the warm glow you get from helping someone out, this novel looks to be well worth making a contribution.  I’d made a contribution last week and opened chapter one today, just to see. I immediately got sucked in. It’s like Rudyard Kipling decided to write Raggedy Ann in Oz, with Amelia Earhardt thrown in for fun.

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