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Jackalope Wives and Other Stories

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  830 ratings  ·  130 reviews
Winner of the Nebula and WSFA Short Fiction Awards

From award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes a collection of short stories, including "Jackalope Wives," "The Tomato Thief," "Pocosin," and many others. By turns funny, lyrical, angry and beautiful, this anthology includes two all-new stories, "Origin Story" and "Let Pass The Horses Black," appearing for the first time i
Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Red Wombat Studio
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Goodread and its librarians, in their infinite wisdom, have been deleting the stand-alone review spaces for short fiction, thus disappearing many of my reviews into the ether, including several of my favorite T. Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon stories. (ETA: it seems that most of my short fiction reviews are actually still around under the guise of titles like Apex Issue 56. Better than nothing!) Luckily most of my Vernon/Kingfisher reviews are also posted over at Fantasy Literature, so I'm reposting s ...more
Lois Bujold
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy readers
Recommended to Lois by: following trail of breadcrumbs

I'd saved this up for airplane reading, for which it served admirably well. The collection includes a couple of award contenders, some truly creepy horror shorts ("Razorback", I'm looking at you, with one eye shut), and a sly take on Tam Lin, but my favorite was the mild-plotted "That Time with Bob and the Unicorn", for the utterly charming voice of the first-person narrator, Dr. Williams, a retired Southern physician tussling with modernity (as are we all) from some unnamed, quirky smallish tow
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” she said, when she’d run out of swear words and turned back to religion. “This ain’t funny anymore!”

She stomped down and found a nearly ripe tomato, which she yanked off the vine and took inside. It sat on the counter. A day or two and it would be almost as good as the others.


She was angry now at herself as well as the thief. Falling asleep when she was supposed to be standing guard—what was that? Was she really that doddering an old woman?

“Not tonight,” she
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: you, fairy tale lover. this one's written just for you.
Recommended to jade by: carol.
note: this review concerns the stories jackalope wives and the tomato thief only, which have no separate listings on goodreads despite being available to be read individually online (read jackalope wives here and the tomato thief here).

“the desert was full of strange things, but the trains were some of the strangest.

when white men came to lay iron rails across the land, the land didn’t take kindly to it. the train tracks looked too much like chains. the land brought heat and death a
I was motivated to buy this collection to both support Vernon/Kingfisher and because I adore the story "The Tomato Thief" (winner of the 2017 Hugo for novellette). I was motivated to review what I've read because of the total lack of individual entries for 'Tomato,' despite you being able to read it for free, on line, right this very minute. What are you waiting for?

The Tomato Thief
A perfect story for the end of the year.

Mixing Native mythology with classi
Juraria que habia leido antes esta historia corta, pero parece que no ^^;
Bueno, no se la pierdan :D

Jackalope Wives - 5 ★★★★★

Grandma Harken lives in the edge of desert, where between saguaro cactus the jackalope wives dance.

They had faces like no mortal woman and they moved like quicksilver and they played music that got down into your bones and thrummed like a sickness.

Bittersweet story with all the elements of a fairy/myth/legend tale, with roots that maybe be celtic or indigenous , but wh
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well this is about the 5th thing I've read from T.Kingfisher and I'm starting to wonder if it's possible for her to write something I won't love.
This is a gem of a book. It deserves ten stars, not five. Favorite stories: "Jackalope Wives" and "The Tomato Thief" (Grandma Harken is amazing, and I want to hear more of her adventures in/with the desert, not to mention the train gods and the girl with cholla ribs for bones); "The Dryad's Shoe" (featuring a wonderfully stubborn Cinderella who just wants to grow her garden, not marry a Duke); "Let Pass the Horses Black" (a retelling of the Tam Lin legend with a sting at the end that I did not s ...more
Diana Green
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a striking collection, with the author's unique voice coming through loud and clear. My absolute favorite was Jackalope Wives, a haunting tale that manages to be both beautiful and gritty. I was also impressed by Let Pass the Horses Black, a different take on Tam Lin. The rest of the stories ranged in tone from goofy to creepy, with many entertaining twists on familiar fairy tale tropes.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Like all short story collections, I liked some stories more and some less. But I don't think there was a dud in there, Vernon is really good! It just comes down to taste.

The two Grandma Harken stories, Jackalope Wives and The Tomato Thief, are the shining stars of the collection, instantly raising it to five stars. I had read both of them before, and gladly reread them now. I love Grandma Harken! I also really enjoyed Editing, The Dryad's Shoe, and found myself really liking both Razorback and P
K.J. Charles
Another magnificent collection of stories from this superb author. I can't recommend these enough. Every one a gem. I'm keeping this short only because I have like 4 books of hers to review, having gone on a massive binge. Loved them all.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes a Godmother’s magic is all in how you spin it. In a very interesting story to start off a collection with a folk tales feel in contrast to Toad Words ’s fairy tale content, a young girl shows up at a Fairy Godmother’s door demanding to know why her story was grimmer and edgier than other girls’. Despite the funny possibilities for their conversation, the answer and the reality behind it are thought provoking and unsettling. The darker emphasis on the young girl’s trials and ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this was good shit! again feeling like definitely summer stories. unsurprisingly, there are pragmatic protagonists dealing with supernatural challenges and tidbits about gardening sprinkled throughout, and i am 100% down with it. Kingfisher/Vernon makes cohesive worldbuilding look easy (esp. enjoyed the train gods in Tomato Thief), this was another reliably enjoyable read. refreshing short stories! i imagine I will reread outside when summer comes.
Nadine Jones
I've read The Tomato Thief and Jackalope Wives, thanks to tor, and they were AMAZING!! I've been hoping and hoping for more, so I'm so excited to discover this volume!!
I did not think I was a person who enjoyed short stories and apparently I was wrong.
K.C. Alpinus
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've got to say, "Jackalope Wives" and "Razorback" just might be my favorite stories out of this anthology. T. Kingfisher really delivers if you're looking for a fantasy anthology of short stories that come from a variety of perspectives. I found myself devouring this book as I was easily pulled into each story's world each time.

Highly recommend!
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review is only for Jackalope Wives

Umm, I'm slightly taken aback. The story was beautiful, and had the right tone of mystery to it. I love stories where I have to think through the story and its twist soon after finishing it.

If you're interested, the short story is available for free
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The title caught my eye because I live just past the eastern edge of the territory of the Greater South Dakota Jackalope. Still, see them quite often when traveling west, especially near the Bad Lands.

So not knowing what to expect I was little surprised/chagrined to find out this can best be described as "Gothic Western". Several of the stories are set in the "West". Though not necessarily our "West". There is little true horror, well one. But that jerk so deserved what he had coming to him.

Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The short story Jackalope Wives was a delightful and atmospheric tale. It had a Southwestern feel, with Native American mythology overtones, that included the vivid imagery of fictional jackalopes dancing around a fire. When a foolish young man tries to kidnap one of these creatures to become his wife, he doesn't complete the steps needed to transform her into a human leaving her scarred and mute, he takes her to his Grandma Harken to help. While his Grandma seems tough, she has the expected hea ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A delightful collection of short stories with folkloric touches and a quirky sensibility. I enjoyed every story, but of course I had favorites.

Jackalope Wives: I first became aware of T. Kingfisher (aka, Ursula Vernon) when she took home this years Novellette Hugo for The Tomato Thief (also in this collection!) and fell in love. So of course I was delighted to read the first Grandma Harken story!

The Dryad's Shoes: This is now my favorite take on Cinderella, a version in which the protagonist is
Oh my gods, you guys. If I could give this book 6 stars, I would. This was always going to be 5 stars - I love Grandma Harken - but what really pushes this over the top is "Let Pass the Horses Black". It's a version of Tam Lin that's just fantastic and unexpected and perfect.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There's not a story in this collection that I do not love. More Grandma Harken, please.
Searska GreyRaven
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Came for Jackalope Wives, stayed for the rest. Loved it. ^_^
William Leight
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ursula Vernon is possibly my favorite fantasy writer going right now, and this collection ably demonstrates why. The characters feel (with one or two exceptions) completely genuine, the settings are well done, the plotting is deft and subtle, the dialogue is equally successfully whether snappy or serious (or both), and the jokes are actually funny. The centerpieces are the title story and “The Tomato Thief”, which are both set in a magical version of the Southwestern U.S. and feature the same ma ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
If Flannery O'Connor wrote fairy tales I imagine they'd look a bit like this. That's how good the writing is. Eerie, deviant, bizarrely funny, and sometimes poignant.

I love the way T. Kingfisher writes her women. Wry, subversive...powerful for their refusal to be victimized and unapologetic about their age.

My favorites were The Dryad's Shoe, Bird Bones, Let Pass The Horses Black, and The Tomato Thief.

"Grandma Harken thought of herself as an old lady, because she was one. That she was tougher tha
This collection absolutely blew me away. I bought it for the title story (after reading and loving its sequel story online), and I loved it even more than I'd expected - but SO MANY stories here left me breathless. Not only was I amazed and enthralled as a reader, but I was massively inspired as a writer. If you want to get an idea of what it's like, you can read Jackalope Wives online - but it is SO worth buying the full collection. ...more
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jackalope Wives and Other Stories was such a quirky little read! Every short story had such an interesting premise or twist. Not my usual cup of tea but I will definitely read more books by this author.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely delightful. A collection of stories and poems, some published before, some new, and all enjoyable.

I would particularly enjoy more stories about Grandma Harken.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Most excellent.

Eagerly waiting for more from the same author
Jenny T
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2019
This was a wonderful collection of stories and novellas--there wasn't a single one I didn't like--but the Grandma Harken stories (Jackalope Wives and The Tomato Thief) really stand out.
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T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon. In another life, she writes children's books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.

When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies

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