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Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears (The Snow White, Blood Red Anthology Series #3)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,486 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
""Once upon a time ..." So begin the classic fairy tales that enthralled and terrified us as children. Now, in their third critically acclaimed collection of original fairy tales for adults, World Fantasy Award-winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling bring us twenty-one new stories by some of the top names in literature today. Joyce Carol Oates, Gahan Wilson, Gene ...more
Paperback, 420 pages
Published May 9th 2002 by Eos (first published December 1st 1995)
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(showing 1-30)
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A passable installment in the series as a whole, but a somewhat disappointing one when each story is taken individually, at least for my taste.

In this collection I've found the 3rd attempt by Tanith Lee to reimagine the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale (in her short story The Beast), and I have become convinced the plot just doesn't suit her style, because the archetypal story doesn't lend itself well to a Horror retelling; it just isn't the type. But Lee insisted, and the result was unsatisfa
Jul 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This is a 3.5 from me. It could have been a 4, except for a couple of truly bad choices of stories from editors who are usually very good. The first story, "Ruby Slippers" was just terrible, and it made me very suspicious of the rest of the book. Why would you lead with your weakest story?

And "Billy Fearless" had an unfortunate author gaffe the either editor or author really should have caught and fixed before publication. The whole point is that the boy doesn't know what fear is, and yet early
Megan Baxter
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, let's maybe start by talking about the organizing theme? And then a couple of stories I particularly liked, and a few things I noticed. Retellings of fairy tales is an obvious win - so much so that this is the third anthology of stories with that theme by these editors. It's easier to put your finger on than Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir collection I read last year, in which there were many spooky stories, but few that actually seemed noir.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread
Ruby Slippers, Susan Wade
Dorthy Gale's story of the Wizard of Oz, as told through the veneer of show business. This is a cute, fun interpretation of the movie, but nothing particularly thoughtful.

The Beast, Tanith Lee
Beauty and the Beast, but a truly, truly disturbing take on the tale. Beauty is often only skin-deep, especially when a beast dwells within.

Masterpiece, Gary Kilworth
A cross between Rumplestiltskin and Faust (although it's fair to argue that Rumplestiltskin was always just a retel
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this series, the new take on my favorite fairy tales. Sadly these books are extremely hard to find which is a shame, because they are wonderful.
Margaret Moller
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have rather enjoyed this series on modern day retellings of fairy tales, but not this volume so much. I can handle sex and violence, but not when there is no reason for it. By the time I got to "Match Girl" I wanted to scream, "Okay, okay, I GET it! Fairy tales are full of sex and violence! Can you get back to telling the damn story now, please?"

"Match Girl" was one of the worst, with the heroine getting constantly raped. And for what? So we can see how bad things are for women in this psuedo
Aug 10, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retold-stories
This volume 2 collection was much more graphic than the last edition. It did not pique my interest as much either. I found the characters less sympathetic. Short story collections aren’t as appealing to me as novels; the author does not have the time nor the reader the detail to fully appreciate the storyline.
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy and fairy tales
Shelves: fantasy
I am addicted to this series. Whether I am seeking a funny, light-hearted update to a classic fairy tale or a a frightening look at the dark underbelly of "ever after" this book has something to offer. I highly recommend it to adult fans of the Brothers Grimm seeking something more mature and complex.
Lisa Findley
I enjoyed about half of the stories, and had various frustrations with the other half.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Favorites: Match Girl and The Fox Wife
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone over 18; fairy tale lovers and dreamers
An introduction into the world of märchen (fairy tales), and how the authors in this book entwined them with horror. It gives the history of both fairy tales and Christianity, the intertwining of each to the other. Each chapter has a short introduction, which suggests either horrific events, or a kind of lightness to the tale.

(view spoiler)

Bernie Gourley
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of short fiction.
This anthology consists of 22 pieces of short fiction written by 21 authors and connected by the theme of “fairy tales.” These are variations on traditional folk and fairy tales written for adult audiences. Some are more recognizable than others either because they follow the original more or less or because they start with a more or less well-known tale. (Make a note, these aren’t for bedtime reading for the kids-- unless you’re willing to shell out for therapy. Some are dark and some deal in a ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I was a child, mythology and fairy tales took up a huge portion of my reading time, informing me at a young age that tragedy is but only one of the many inescapable aspects of being alive in this world, and probably the greatest common denominator connecting humans to one another; and that in between our frequent bouts of grief we humans can sometimes experience paradoxical bliss - a truism oft times illustrated in fairy tales. So it was no small joy for me to read RUBY SLIPPERS, GOLDEN TEA ...more
Leroy Erickson
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-collections
This is an interesting set of short stories which are take-offs of fairy tales. I couldn't resist a book containing stories by Neil Gaiman and Gahan Wilson. As always, some stories are very good and some are not so good. All in all, though, it was a fun read.
Едната от съставителките на антологията Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears е жива институция сред феновете на фентъзито и хоръра. Вече дълги години ежегодно под редакцията на Елън Датлоу излиза поредицата от антологии Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, както и безброй много сборници, извън тази поредица. Като съставител и редактор на антологии Елън Датлоу е получила над тридесет награди в жанра. Сред тях по-значими са „Хюго” (вкл. и за 2010 г.), Световна награди за фентъзи, „Локус” и „Брам Стокър”.

Mar 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears is an anthology of short stories inspired by classic fairy tales from cultures around the world. The collection, like the five other volumes in the series, was compiled and edited by fantasy authors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. It's not necessary to read these in any kind of order as each volume, as well as the stories within each volume, stands alone.

The twenty-two stories in Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears encompass a wide range of styles within the fantasy genre, f
Dec 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales, fantasy
A collection of decidedly adult retellings of fairy tales and legends. I appreciated the mix of settings (present-day, historical, fantastic, futuristic, American, European, Chinese, Japanese, Russian) and many of the tales were interesting takes on familiar stories. Still, I got into fairy tale retellings through more recent YA books (think Ella Enchanted and the Once Upon a Time series), and so the sex, violence (especially sexual violence), and overt gender politics shocked me at first. Cours ...more
Lisa Rathbun
Well, now I know why I tend to read YA literature. This is just too dark and disturbing for me.

As I read certain stories, I just thought of how horrible humans can be when there is no restraining fear of God on them. I know you can point to history and show periods where supposedly religious or "Christian" people treated others cruelly, but such people were not following the Bible which tells us to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God" and "do to others as you want others to do to
I'd rather give this book a 3.5 if I could. Some stories were excellent, such as Nancy Kress's "Summer Wind", a retelling of the sleeping beauty tale from the princess's point of view. I kept this story with me long after I read it. And "Match Girl" reminded me a lot of Deerskin, with rape and fire transformation as integral pieces to the story. I enjoy anthologies which introduce me to new authors, or authors that have been around but just hadn't interested me up until now. Of course, there wer ...more
This collection was only okay for me. A lot of the stories, while interesting, seemed trapped in the Wicked-esque cliche of modernized-fairy-tale-with-horrible-grim-reality. Frankly, that theme is getting a little old and tired.

One delightful exception to this reaction was Robert Lannes' "Roach in Loafers." Perhaps I am easily charmed by roaches named Arch or Archie. However, the editors' introduction to this story irritated me greatly, because they classified it as an Elves-and-Shoemaker fairy
AmberBug **
Most of the stories were poorly written, one was ghastly. The stories themselves are amusing and thankfully short. I picked this edition because it includes a story from Joyce Carol Oates but I'm thinking maybe I should have tried one of the first two editions. This was nothing that will be remembered and if anything, most of the Authors in this collection I will be avoiding in the future. I think the best writing were from the known Authors I love, Joyce Carol Oates and Neil Gaiman. I like to r ...more
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it
As with most short story collections, this one was a mixed bag of selections. There are bvery few stories that come to mind as being particularly enjoyable - even if they were quite well written and highly readable - since most of the authors seem to have chosen to emphasize the darker aspects of the fairytales. Witches may be triumphed over (as in Gahan Wilson's telling of Hansel and Gretel) and lovers found (as in Tanith Lee's "The Beast"), but none of the stories have truely happy endings. So ...more
Joel Wentz
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great little collection of myth/fable re-tellings. The forms and settings are extremely diverse, and the stories that particularly stand out do so because of some jarring choices: reversing the traditional gender roles or incorporating very dark, horror elements, for example. I particularly loved the "Emperor's New Clothes" re-told in Imperial China, as well as "Goldilocks & the 3 Bears" set in a Native American tribe. If you are a fan of modern fables (as I am), then you will like ...more
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Definitely for adults - lots of very dark and very disturbing images scattered throughout. And probably not the best choice for bedtime reading material for that reason. I realize that violence is part of life, that darkness was part of the tales we collect as 'fairy tales', but I'm content with stories that tell about life, joy and don't dwell on the darkness in our souls. There were a number of stories that were enjoyable, don't get me wrong, but mostly I'm trying to push some of the nightmare ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it
A collection of short stories, all with the theme of reimagined fairytales, some familiar and some more obscure. Each author chose his or her own tale to expand upon, so there are some stories which are interpreted by more than one writer. As often happens with such anthologies, there were some stories I enjoyed greatly and others that I didn't care to finish. But I think almost anyone would find several tales to enjoy in this book. There is also a fine bibliography for further reading. Recommen ...more
Apr 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
A book of short stories by various authors, dealing with fairy tales. I enjoyed some stories and didn't enjoy others, but it's been a while since I read it, so I can't be more specific.

There was one in particular based on Puss-in-boots that I enjoyed very much, but I can't remember the title. And there was another involving a fairly graphic rape that I just detested, because I thought that the message it was trying to send could have been done so with far less -- well, with far less rape.
These anthologies are neat if you are a big fan of the fairy tale like I am. I have the complete Grimm's Fairy Tales, but some of these mystery and horror writers find creative ways to tell old tales.

Also check out Snow White, Blood Red; Black Thorn, White Rose; Black Heart, Ivory get the idea. They're still interesting even if they got a little unoriginal in naming each new anthology.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it
I wasn't a fan of the full first half of this book, but I think the second half was definitely better. It was a good mix of the dark and the funny, and quite a few stories of both mixed together. I've always been intrigued by Match Girl, and I also really liked The Foxwife. The Printer's Daughter was funny and sweet as well. Overall I don't like this volume as much as the previous two, but I thought it got better as it went on.
May 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
I had to force myself to finish this book which is never a good sign. I'm just not seeing the fairy tale enough in this series. I think I will read something else before returning to them. The Match Girl stands out particularly as something I wish I had never read- too Handmaid's Tale. I knew about things like leg presses and scold's bridles, but I read to be entertained and this book overall failed to do so.
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter
More about Ellen Datlow...

Other Books in the Series

The Snow White, Blood Red Anthology Series (6 books)
  • Snow White, Blood Red
  • Black Thorn, White Rose
  • Black Swan, White Raven
  • Silver Birch, Blood Moon
  • Black Heart, Ivory Bones

Share This Book

“There was something sly about his smile,
his eyes so black and sharp, his rufous hair. Something
that sent her early to their trysting place,
beneath the oak, beside the thornbush,
something that made her climb the tree and wait.
Climb a tree, and in her condition.
Her love arrived at dusk, skulking by owl-light,
carrying a bag,
from which he took a mattock, shovel, knife.
He worked with a will, beside the thornbush, beneath the oaken tree,
he whistled gently, and he sang, as he dug her grave,
that old song...
shall I sing it for you, now, good folk?”
More quotes…