It's absolutely ludicrous that I should be signal boosting a big name like the Book Smugglers, but they have begun their story publishing endeavor and I want to sing about it to the rooftops. I've fantasized about this exact thing--soliciting and then publishing just those exact stories that you yourself most would love to read. If I was the Smugglers, it's what I'd want to do, and I'm just tickled that they're doing it!
So, free today at TheBookSmugglers.com, you can read S.L. Huang's new story, Hunting Monsters, for free. I bought it a few days ago through their direct link (so I could read it early; see the bottom of their page) or you can buy it on Amazon if you want it on your Kindle (see my link above). It's really great, highly recommended.
Their first round of stories--this year, this publishing season, what have you--is about subversive fairy tale retellings, and I'm looking forward to the whole thing. This one did a beautiful job blending several fairy tales while being its own story, and playing out the results of a lot of the messed up things that happen in fairy tales. I loved that the action was entirely separate from the familiar stories--those are the background for the drama that's unfolding in the here and now.
As Auntie Rosa says so many times in the story, it's so complicated. Life is complicated, and the things we did when were young, the things we were shaped by and still have to own, the things we forgive and the secrets we keep--it's never black and white. I always have to remind myself of that; I love how this story laid it out.
Can't wait for the next one!