Evangeline Walton published her novel The Cross and the Sword in 1956. (A UK edition came out in 1957, retitled Sons of Darkness.) The original publisher edited the book severely, cutting sentences, paragraphs and even chunks of pages, from Walton’s manuscript. Her own title, Dark Runs the Road, was altered to The Cross and the Sword. All of this was done against her wishes, and thereafter she had conflicting views of the result. Presently we are working on putting together a restored edition that will make available Walton’s original full-length vision. In the meanwhile, Lorinda J. Taylor has reviewed the 1956 edition at her blog, and she gives a good taste of the book. See here.
We are pleased to announce that Evangeline Walton’s novel She Walks in Darkness, written in the 1960s, is to be published for the first time by Tachyon Publications in September. Patricia A. McKillip, author Wonders of the Invisible World and other works, says:
“For those of us who loved Evangeline Walton’s lyrical and energetic quartet retelling the Four Branches of The Mabinogion, her novella She Walks in Darkness is a startling but quite gripping change…a remarkable gift from the past.”
Read and order the forthcoming novel here.
Mario Guslandi has weighed in with a nice assessment of Above Ker-Is and Other Stories:
“The book is a delightful collection of charming, stylish fiction probing the darker side of the human condition. Not to be missed.”
See the full review here at SFRevu.
The January 2013 issue of Locus has a very nice review by Stefan Dziemianowicz of Above Ker-Is and Other Stories. Here are a few extracts:
“Most of Walton’s short stories are, like her novels, seamless blends of history, myth, and local color. The first three in the book are period tales, set in Brittany, and featuring men and women whose passionate and tempestuous relationships recapitulate the experiences of characters of classic lore and legend. In the title tale, two lovers replay a contemporary version of the legend of Princess Ahes, who was sacrificed to the sea after having caused the inundation of her kingdom, Ker-Is, for the sake of a lover. ‘‘The Judgment of St. Yves’’ tells of an estranged husband and wife who, through a dark and ancient cultural tradition, invoke the judgment of the titular saint, knowing that it means the death of whomever of them is judged in the wrong. ‘‘The Mistress of Kaer-Mor’’ features yet another strong Walton heroine who, under the influence of a cursed dwelling, repeats a tragedy from the past. These stories are memorable for their depictions of people caught in the web of their seemingly preordained fates, and for their well-wrought descriptions that capture the characters in beautiful imagery (‘‘She sparkled like sunlit water’’).
In some of her stories, Walton tantalizes the reader with the possibility that seemingly supernatural events have a perfectly logical explanation. . . .
It’s not clear how aggressively Walton attempted to market her short stories – probably not very – and only one of them was published close to the time that it was written. A handful saw print in fantasy anthologies in the early 1980s, decades after Walton had become so frustrated with the difficulties of short story construction that she gave up writing them altogether. This slim, thoughtfully organized book is a wonderful addition to Walton’s bibliography, and it gives readers a taste of what she might have achieved had she stuck to the short fiction path.”
(The full review is not online.)
And the SF Site has a review by Mario Guslandi of The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror volume 23, which ends with the following:
“Finally, the gem of the book is Evangeline Walton’s “They That Have Wings” a masterpiece depicting how three men seeking safety from war in the mountains meet two weird and hungry women. Posthumously published only in 2011, the story, rejected by Weird Tales because it was “too gory,” is actually a piece of terrible beauty and great finesse. “
The full review can be found here.
Some other exciting things are in the works. Watch for announcements in the next few months!
Laurie Lee Smith, in Mythprint, November 2012:
“Across varying styles and genres, each story in the collection explores the connections be-tween mortals and what we might call Faërie. The supernatural forces are diverse and ambiguous: some seem nearly demonic; others may be morally neutral, or even beneficent; and still others may be wholly illusory. But the question remains the same in each case: can mere mortals respond without losing their lives, their humanity, their moral compass? The stories are generally well told . . . “Werwolf” may be the single best of the collection; it stood out as a story that bears close re-reading. But the Breton trilogy, which consists of the title story, “The Judgment of St. Yves,” and “The Mistress of Kaer-Mor,” is almost mesmerizing. These three are more lyrical in tone than the others, and they come across as delicately intertwined because each provides a different perspective on the persistence of the ancient Breton legend of Ahes (also known as Dahut) in a Christian era. Walton appears to have chosen to work with versions of the legend in which Ahes is—or becomes—a demon sea goddess, although other versions exist; she noted once in an interview that she preferred to “put flesh and blood on the bones of the original myth” rather than contradicting her sources. . . . All told, Above Ker-Is is a surprisingly well-rounded collection of a single author’s fantasy stories; it is well worth reading, and re-reading.”
Kenneth W. Faig, in EOD Letter, August 2012:
“Ms. Walton never visited Brittany herself, but the first several stories, with Breton settings, show her great emotional depth and skill with folklore. The story that captured my attention most was ‘They That Have Wings’.”
Richard C. West on Amazon:
“Of the ten short stories here, four have not previously been published and the others appeared only in magazines and anthologies that are not easily available, so it is convenient to have them collected in one place. Like most of Walton’s work, these are fantasy stories (in only one, “Werwolf,” is the apparently supernatural given a possibly rational explanation). Moreover, these are horror stories–hence more like _Witch House_ (1945) than any of her other novels. The first three (including the title story) deal with the Breton legend of the sunken city of Ys (but treat this in very different ways), then Russian, Celtic, and Greek folklore are each used in two stories apiece, and the final tale, “The Other One,” is a highly original variation on the doppelganger motif. They are rich in atmosphere, the settings are evocatively described, and all are very well-written. Highly recommended to anyone who likes dark fantasy.”
TermiteWriter (Lorinda J. Taylor) on Amazon:
“There is a lot of power in the collection “Above Ker-Is” and the book is recommended to anyone interested in myth and folktale, in the paranormal, and in horror fiction.”
Click here to order via Amazon and to see the full Amazon reviews.
Evangeline Walton’s short story, “They That Have Wings”, first published last year in The Magazine of F&SF, has been reprinted in Stephen Jones’s annual collection, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, volume 23. I understand this volume is already out in England, and should be out in the U.S. very soon (though the official publication date is October 23rd). Order the book via this Amazon link here. Or order Walton’s collection of ten fantasy short stories (including “They That Have Wings”), Above Ker-Is and Other Stories, by clicking here.
Nodens Books is pleased to announce its first publication, a collection of Evangeline Walton’s ten fantasy short stories, Above Ker-Is and Other Stories, with an introduction and notes by Douglas A. Anderson. Evangeline Walton (1907-1996) is renowned for her Mabinogion tetralogy, and three other novels. She won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in 1973 for The Song of Rhiannon, the third-published volume of the four Mabinogion books, and 1989 won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.
Above Ker-Is and Other Stories collects ten fantasy stories, including three superb Breton tales. Four are published here for the first time.
Above Ker-Is and Other Stories is available in three formats, a trade paperback (available via Amazon.com and Lulu.com), and two hardcover version (both only available via Lulu.com), one a casebound hardcover without dust-wrapper, and the other a cloth bound hardcover with dust-wrapper.
Table of Contents:
Introduction by Douglas A. Anderson
“The Judgment of St. Yves”
“The Mistress of Kaer-Mor”
“The Tree of Perkunas”
“The Ship from Away”
“At the End of the Corridor”
“They That Have Wings”
“The Other One”
The Overlook Press announces it will issue a new edition of the Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton at a date to be disclosed. Let’s hope an e-book edition becomes available too!