Jane Yolen’s career is based on the fairy tale, and there’s a pretty big chance that if you’re a reader of fantasy you’ve likely come across one of her 365 BOOKS. Literally, you could read one of her books every day for a year and not run out of material. The Midnight Circus collects 16 stories from her writing that I wouldn’t necessary call horror, but are most definitely on the dark end of the story spectrum.
The Midnight Circus features stories that are frankly, all brilliant (and I’m still mad about that. Yolen, how do you do it?). They include a story teenagers who go to Central Park to thrill in temporarily becoming wild beasts, but one who almost doesn’t make it out after trying to prove that they are stronger than safety precautions. It features a story of an abusive Red Cap and his son learning to fight back. It also features a story of how the Israelites may have fought off punishing angels much like a vicious mosquito or really large pest that they learned to use to their advantage. In short, even with 16 stories there is not a slouch between them. Be aware that these stories have previously been published in magazines and other collections, so if you have taken up my joke challenge about reading a different one of her books per day you’ll probably see some familiar content.
The Midnight Circus is a great collection for readers who like their stories a little on the dark side of fairy tales, but with mostly satisfying endings.
Look for The Midnight Circus from Tachyon Publishing October 1, 2020.