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Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories

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3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  177 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
As author, poet, and editor, Jane Yolen has published more than 150 books and has won two Nebula Awards, the Caldecott Medal, the World Fantasy Award, the Rhysling Award, the Daedalus Award, the Kerlan Award, and the Academy of American Poets Prize. She has written one of the 20th century's greatest high-fantasy series, the Chronicles of Great Alta (Sister Light, Sister Da ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 11th 2001 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 425)
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Chris
Full Review at Booklikes.

This collection presents a couple new tales with previously published work. The stories are geared, as you have no doubt discovered, to the more adult reader. They range from the absolutely hilarious to the political (a tale dedicated to Rushdie) to the most wrenching version of Rumplestilken you will ever read (“Granny Rumple”). Three of the stories are interconnected and concern the trials of a fairy family who finds itself sucked into Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet
...more
Sarah
Aug 22, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Every time I open an anthology of SF or fantasy stories, Jane Yolen's contribution is one of the first I turn to. They stand out among other stories for their quirkiness and audacity in revisioning traditional stories and genres. So I was thrilled to read an entire volume of her stories, some of which I had read before but most new to me. Some short story anthologies can seem repetitive but Yolen is stylistically very diverse. The stories vary not only in genre but also in mood and writing style ...more
Terri Kempton
Jun 20, 2012 Terri Kempton rated it it was amazing
I found this collection of short fiction surprising and wonderful. Jane is a wonderful host, and I selected this volume from her shelves to read first - I couldn't have been more impressed. These are timeless stories, fairytales with interesting twists, that have messages for readers of different ages. While I love a great feminist story, like something from Cat Valente or James Tiptree Jr., the stories in this book are a bit more gentle while remaining powerfully pro-girl. As another reviewer s ...more
Rhonda
Nov 05, 2015 Rhonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I rated the stories individually some are great and none are less than good.
Suzy Wilson
May 12, 2014 Suzy Wilson rated it really liked it
Oh I love me a good collection of short stories - and that is what SISTER EMILY'S LIGHTSHIP by Jane Yolen is - a good, round, shiny, delicious, satisfying collection of short stories.

This anthology provides an eclectic mix of fairy tales, fantasy and science fiction to please a range of tastes - three new, and twenty-five born again.

Refreshing and intelligent, Yolen brings to each tale, in some way, a woman's voice - a phenomenon sadly sometimes so absent from science fiction and fantasy.

An avi
...more
Text Addict
According to the jacket information, Jane Yolen has had over 150 books published. Most of them are YA or children's books, actually, but I still have to say: I obviously haven't read enough of them. On looking at her website, though, it seems that I've read most (though not all) of her adult novels. And I should try to find more of her YA stuff, I think.

This collection of short stories, most published in the 1980s and 1990s (with three new for the collection) shows an interesting range - from f
...more
Sue
Jul 26, 2013 Sue added it
Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories is a collection of Jane Yolen's short stories. The title story is a "what if" look at Emily Dickinson, a poet from Amherst, Massachusetts. Emily's eye and health issues force her to become a recluse within her family home, venturing out only at night. The story brings excitement and travel to her life through a visit from a being on a lightship. Emily gains personal peace and perspective from her view of the earth from space. This twist of reality expla ...more
Matthew
(Full disclosure: I got this book from Netgalley. Just so you know.)

This is one of the previously-published books that Open Road Media has e-published, and it was quite a bit of fun. The stories showed a lot of variety, in terms of genre and target audience. Some of them were straight-up fantasy or science fiction, while others were retold fairy tales. Some were clearly aimed at kids, while others were definitely adult, particularly, “Dick W. and His Pussy; or, Tess and Her Adequate Dick.” The b
...more
Laura Bang
Well, I was going to give this 2 stars because most of the stories were either "meh" or too dark for my tastes, but the last story, the title story of "Sister Emily's Lightship," is a pretty neat tale of Emily Dickinson having an otherworldly encounter. Besides that, the other tales I liked most were a few about the misadventures of a family of fey ("The Thirteenth Fey," "The Uncorking of Uncle Finn," and "Dusty Loves") and "A Ghost of an Affair." Other than that, nothing really rose to the leve ...more
Lauren
Aug 05, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
Electronic copy provided by NetGalley.

I've been reading Jane Yolen's work for years and it was nice to come across this short story collection on NetGalley. If you haven't read Yolen's work then it's definitely worth a try. She's a bit difficult to describe as her stories and novels tend to wander across various genres and age ranges, though most of her works tend to contain at least some element of fantasy.

This particular collection covers a wide range of short stories and gives a good survey
...more
Veronica Jordan
Feb 25, 2014 Veronica Jordan rated it liked it
Books like these make me wish the ratings went by half stars. I would like to give this book 2 and 1/2 stars but since I cant I am rounding up. Three stars for most of the stories bt 2 because short stories are just hard for me to keep my attention and hard to rate. Some good some blah.
M—
/review to come
Awesome awesome awesome collection. Notable stories include but are not limited to:

"The Traveler and the Tale" | Interwoven stories.

"Snow in Summer" | A Snow White retelling, dark fiction.

"Speaking to the Wind" | Children growing up. (***fix)

"Journey into the Dark" | Astec fable of a journey to the underworld.

"The Gift of the Magicians, with Apologies to You Know Who" | A Beauty and the Beast retelling, horror.

"Sister Death" | Lilith, settle by god to be the companion to death, wa
...more
Amity
Jan 04, 2016 Amity rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites. Especially Lost Girls. This is the book I go to for a quick 'girls rule' pick up.
Amanda
Jun 10, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection; many of the stories have a sci-fi/fantasy bent or are new perspectives on familiar fairy tales and folk tales. My favorites were "Lost Girls" (a Peter Pan story), "Sun/Flight" (based on the Daedalus/Icarus myth) and "Under the Hill," which the author describes as "Damon Runyon meets the elves," and I quite agree. There's also an afterword in which Yolen notes where she got her ideas for each story, which was neat.
Laura
Jan 17, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-short, 2014
This book rocked my socks off. I have loved Jane Yolen's books all my life and this was no exception.
Sarah
May 03, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
"Sister Emily's Lightship" felt to me like every truth you've ever felt but had no words for being told back to you, beautifully. "Lost Girls" was the same thing, only it's going to the depths first, the truths you don't want to face, before getting back to something you're ecstatic to learn/know. I haven't read all of these stories yet, but those two made me burst in all the right ways so I needed an outlet for my excitement.
Jenny
Aug 26, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it
this is a very interesting book, especially if you are teaching perspective. the basic premise is telling fairy tales from other from the perspective of another character, or taking a common fairy tale and telling it in a different time/place with different characters. some parts go a little beyond what i am willing to put into deciphering it, but there is definitely a lot more meaning to be mined.
Kate
Jul 25, 2012 Kate rated it liked it
This is an anthology of Jane Yolen's short stories. I remember trying Jane Yolen quite a while ago (probably in high school), but not really enjoying her work. This time, though, I enjoyed several of the stories. I like it when authors consider a bit the darker side of fairy tales.

Trigger warning: (view spoiler)
Richelle
Aug 02, 2011 Richelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read anything by Jane Yolen in years, and I forgot what an excellent writer she is! I really enjoyed this collection of sci fi/fantasy short stories. There were hits and misses, but that's the way it usually is with short story collections. Most of these had either alien or magic/fairy lore in them. A few were twists on traditional fairy tales or legends.
Teena
Jan 04, 2012 Teena rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I love Yolen's work, and many of the short stories in this collection were wonderful. But just as many were just okay, and a few were actually boring (the retold fairy tales were a little too predictable and silly for me, and I am a sucker for retold fairy tales). As a whole, the book just barely balances out as "good" for me.
Kathy
Oct 06, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I know Yolen mostly from her beautiful books for much younger readers, but was interested when this happened to cross my desk. Some of the stories are very dark, some are perhaps a tiny bit predictable, but overall this is quite good. And I much enjoyed her notes on how the stories came to be.
Lisa
Dec 22, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This was a really neat collection of re-imagined stories. Since having a baby, I tend to appreciate short stories a lot more. They're bite sized, perfect for baby naps when I really would rather not do dishes or fold laundry. In other words, all the time! :D

Bethany Joy
Jun 18, 2014 Bethany Joy rated it it was ok
somewhat strange, as yolen tends to be. my favorite was the title story. I also liked lost girls.
Melanti
I love Jane Yolen as a general rule - especially her short fiction - so I loved this collection.

She's pretty heavily anthologized, so there was a fair amount of stories that I'd read before, but I still enjoyed it regardless.
Laura
Jun 11, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
I liked this book much better when I read it as a teenager. Now, most of Yolen's stories seem oversimplified and depressing. There are a couple good ones in this collection, but nothing spectacular.
Sarah
Nov 18, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
Some of the stories are fantastic- "Lost Girls" was brilliant (and by far my favorite), and the title story is lovely, but a lot of the others were rather meh.
Andrea
Aug 11, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing
After a lifetime of reading, Jane Yolen is still my favorite storyteller. Not favorite novelist, writer, author...but favorite storyteller, plain and pure.
JT
Nobody fractures a fairytale like Jane Yolen. Feels a little like Gaiman.
Tanita S.
Aug 30, 2008 Tanita S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-re-read
I know I loved this, I can't remember just how much... must read this again!
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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 Massachuset ...more
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