Just got an advance copy of Six-Gun Snow White, a new novella by Catherynne M. Valente, in the mail. It looks amazing! Here’s the synopsis on the back cover:
From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes a brilliant reinvention of one the best known fairy tales of all time. In the novella Six-Gun Snow White, Valente transports the title’s heroine to a masterfully evoked Old West where Coyote is just as likely to be found as the seven dwarves.
A plain-spoken, appealing narrator relates the history of her parents—a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. With her mother’s death in childbirth, so begins a heroine’s tale equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, readers will be enchanted by this story at once familiar and entirely new.
How great does that sound? When I interviewed Lev Grossman earlier this year, one of the books he recommended was Valente’s collection Ventriloquism. Grossman actually said “you’ll see that there is nothing she can’t do with words: it’s like each story in there could launch its own independent aesthetic movement.” Six-Gun Snow White sounds like a perfect example of this. You can pre-order a copy at Subterranean Press or the usual places, including Amazon. I’ll post a review here a bit closer to the release date.