Monday, March 24, 2008


Well....since I seem to live my life in perpetual lateness, it seems rather fitting that I'm just now posting this. I've been literally waiting months for Carl's Once Upon a Time II Challenge. When he FINALLY posts that the time has come, I'm late getting to it!! So is my life.....

But better late than never, I always say. And I'm very excited about it!! I love Fantasy, especially the way the whole genre can be broken into numerous sub-genres. It rather fascinates me. But more about that later. For now, let's get to the Challenge at hand:

from Carl's post:

The Journey
This is really as simple as the name implies and is to Once Upon a Time as the experience was to The Sci~Fi Experience. It means you are participating but not committing yourself to any specific number of books. All reading is a journey, perhaps none more so than reading fantastical fiction. By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing to at least read one book within the four categories during March 21st to June 20th period. Just one book. It has always been of utmost importance to me that the challenges that I host be all about experiencing enjoyable literature and sharing it with others. I want you to participate. Hence, The Journey.

Quest the First
Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

Quest the Second
Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology. This proved to be one of the more difficult quests last year merely because of the need to classify each read and determine which books fit into which category. I am not a stickler, fear not, but I was fascinated watching how folks worked to find books for each category.

Quest the Third
Fulfill the requirements for Quest the First or Quest the Second AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Love the story, love the films, love the idea of that magical night of the year and so this is my chance to promote the reading of this farcical love story.

Three is a magical number, a number of portent in fantastical tales, and so three quests seems about right.

Since I already stated how much I love the idea of the sub-genres within fantasy, I'm opting for Quest the Third (this year I actually want to read A Midsummer Night's Dream!) Mind you, I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants with this. I always tend to choose far more books that I can actually hope to read in the time frame given. But to me, choosing the reading list itself is almost as much fun as actually READING the books!

Here is my list. I am definitely reading at least one for each category, and hope to finish more than that:

Fairy Tale Fantasy:

  • Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
  • White as Snow by Tanith Lee
  • The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey

Mythic Fantasy:

  • The Wood Wife by Terri Windling
  • Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint
  • Trader by Charles de Lint

Folklore Fantasy:

  • 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill ( this is kind of a loose interpretation of folklore. But I'm throwing down that Ghosts Stories are a type of folklore!)

Fantasy (of any sub-genre):

  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (didn't think I'd let a fantasy challenge go without a little Gaiman, did you??)
  • Fool Moon: The Dresden Files Book 2 by Jim Butcher
  • Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

And finally:

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

The Challenge has already started. It is to run from March 21st until June 21st (Midsummer Night's Eve. And as always, Carl has created a review site, so you can read about all the wonderful books the many participants have read.

Carl is a wonderful host. So.....many thanks, Carl. I'm super excited to get started!!


Nymeth said...

I totally agree that ghost stories are a kind of folklore. And I really want to read 20th Century Ghosts!

I hope you enjoy Enchantment and Neverwhere as much as I did. The rest I haven't read, but I look forward to your reviews.

Stephanie said...

Nymeth - For some reason, I always have trouble with the difference between folklore and myth. Maybe it's just me, but they are too much alike!! So, yeah for Ghost stories!! I can't wait to get started!

Debi said...

Looks like a fabulous list, Stephanie! I can't believe how many people have The Wood Wife on their lists. I'd never even heard of it, but stumbled on it a few months back on paperbackswap and ordered it because it was by Terri Windling. Now I'm seeing it everywhere. Hope you enjoy all your reads! Can't wait to see your reviews!

Stephanie said...

Debi - I've had Terri Windling on the list of "Authors I Must Read Someday" ever since I started reading Gaiman. Figured this would be the perfect opportunity to do it!

Darla D said...

I agree, too, that ghosts definitely count as folklore, especially since they are typically tied into interesting stories that get passed down through the generations. What a great list of books! I loved that series by Robin Hobb - I think you'll enjoy it. It's funny how many of the ones I haven't read are on my tbr list. I look forward to reading your reviews!

Nicola said...

Great list! Can't wait to hear what you think of the Joe Hill.

Chris said...

Awesome list Steph! In fact this is one of my favorites so far :) Glad to see some Card and Gaiman on there! Loved both of those. Enchantment is amazing! As is Neverwhere...I just started listening to that one on audiobook awhile back and it's just as good if not better in that format. Enjoy!

Stephanie said...

Darla - Thanks!! I'm telling you. I struggled last year with the folklore category too. But I like Ghost stories, so that's what I'm going with!! I haven't read any Robin Hobb before, but this series was recommended to me by a friend from work. Thought I would give it a try.

Nicola - I'm REALLY looking forward to the Joe Hill book!! I've heard such good things about him and his writing.

Chris - Thanks!! It took me a couple of days to solidify my list. I would definitely like to read every book on the list. I guess we will see how many I can actually get through!

Rhinoa said...

I am glad you are joining this challenge and I like your list (it has lots of Charles de Lint on it!). I hope to read White as Snow at some point and will be reading The Wood Wife and Storm Front at some point this year which I am relaly looking forward to.

Stephanie said...

Rhinoa - Charles de Lint is probably the author I would credit for loving Fantasy. I picked up The Little Country a few years back and was hooked!

Carl V. said...

Very cool to have you in again. I love how The Wood Wife seems to be 'the' book on many people's lists this year. I'll have to let
Terri Windling know that we are trying to breath new life into her book by getting bunches of folks to read it.

Stephanie said...

Carl, as I said earlier, Terri Windling has long been on my list of authors to read someday. Seems like it is the perfect opportunity!!! Thanks for hosting again this year.

Booklogged said...

So many wonderful sounding books on your list. I'll wait for you reviews before adding them to my monumentally long TBR list.

Iliana said...

I really want to read 20th Century Ghosts too - have heard such good things about it.
Have fun!

heather (errantdreams) said...

If I had the time for challenges, this is one that would definitely grab me! Good luck with it!

DesLily said...

wow that's some list! I like when I see lists of books that I haven't read! Then I know I will find new ones to add to my every growing wish list! lol..

Susan said...

I loved Assassin's Apprentice, it is part of one of my favourite fantasy series. I hope you like it!
memory and dreams is really good...I have to read Enchantment for another challenge...and I didn't even think to put on ghosts stories! Clever you!
I have to find a copy of Neverwhere now....and it sounds really interesting! You did pick a good list, and i hope you get to read everything - though I am learning that half the fun is choosing the lists!!