Ledia Runnels' "World of Fantasy Fiction"











{June 16, 2012}  


{June 16, 2012}  

Originally posted on High Concepts:

I have been re-reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s “On Fairy Stories,” and one of the things I have wanted to take away from the essay this time around is a good, clear definition of fantasy literature. What is it that distinguishes a tale of Faerie from other kinds of tales?

Tolkien himself in the essay does not attempt to directly provide a definition: “analysis will not necessarily discover the secret of the whole.” But he does provide many of the materials and resources for such a definition. I would like to try to see if I can make good use of these in an attempt to formulate something closer to a succinct and precise definition. Here goes…

Caveat lector: as a genre, fantasy is not essentially for children. It is “a natural branch of literature.” It has sub-genres: satire, adventure, morality tale, and pure fantasy. But how to define the…

View original 550 more words



{June 6, 2012}  


{June 2, 2012}  

Originally posted on 20 Lines A Day:

English: Title: "Fairies Looking Through ...

English: Title: “Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never trust a faerie,
‘tho pretty they may seem,
for when you are not looking,
they swear, and spit, and scream.

Do not be fooled by faerie’s,
their legendry looks well known,
they are not sweet, like in the books,
so please do not be thrown.

Depicted as the sweetest sight,
with wings that flitter and flutter,
dresses made of gossamer,
they melt your heart like butter.

It’s little known that faeries bite,
or that they would cause harm;
please don’t blame the insects,
for that nip upon your arm.

With golden curls that tumble down,
around their tiny frame,
with mischief and with sabotage,
the faeries are to blame.

When things go wrong around the house,
you know they are at play,
they wreck you plans, and break your things,
and…

View original 59 more words



{May 12, 2012}  

Originally posted on Uncanny UK:

The reason I bought a Kindle a couple of weeks ago is that I’ve decided to start publishing on it! I’ve launched an imprint called Apparition, tying in with my app development work.

This first book is chock-full of some of the finest, scariest, most bizarre and fascinating true ghost encounters you’re ever likely to read. They all come from the works of George Frederick Lee, a pioneering paranornal researcher whose work is sadly neglected. There is a reason for this (as you’ll learn if you read on) but the result is that very few of his stories have gained wider currency. How the title story, about hideously transformed spirits clawing their way out of the ground to terrify an isolated farmhouse, has escaped attention before now escapes me. Most of the stories are from the UK but many are from the USA and beyond. One of my favourites comes from…

View original 890 more words



Ivan Bilibin 102

Ivan Bilibin 102 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tsar Saltan, hearing, was silent, thinking of his dead wife and of her promise to bear him such hero-sons. He dismissed the merchants with rich gifts and they bought goods to fill their ships and sailed away again on the wide sea-ocean.

In time they touched at the island of Tsaritsa Marfa, and being entertained, recounted to her their visit to Tsar Saltan’s court and told how, for a third time, he had purposed to voyage thither, until his wife had told of the underground room, and of the six Tsarevitches with legs golden, arms of silver, and with stars in their hair.

When the shipmen had departed on their way, Tsaritsa Marfa told Tsarevitch Guidon the story of her life with Tsar Saltan and what she had suffered at the hands of her wicked sisters. “These six Tsarevitches,” she said, “whom the witch hides in the forest, are surely none other than my own dear sons and thy little brothers. Let us depart to search for them.”

So the Tsarevitch struck together his flint and steel and bade the ax and hammer build a ship which would fly either on land or sea and which should take them to the witch’s forest. Next morning all was ready, and they straightway embarked and sailed over the sea-ocean, and over the open steppe to the edge of the forest, where the Baba Yaga had hidden the stolen Princes.

Whether the journey was long or short, whether it took a twelvemonth or a day, they found the crooked oak tree and the Tsarevitch lifted the great flat stone and they entered the underground room. They looked here and there and presently saw six little soiled shirts lying on chairs. The Tsaritsa took them, washed them clean, rinsed, wrung and hung them to dry. Six little plates sat on a table unwashed. She washed them all and dried them and swept the floor. Hearing a noise outside, she said: “Someone is coming. Let us hide behind the stove.”

They hid themselves, and the six Tsarevitches entered, all with legs golden to the knee, arms silver to the elbow, and with little stars in their hair. They saw how the room had been swept and the plates and shirts made clean, and were glad. “Show thyself,” they cried, “thou who hast washed and tidied our house. If thou art a beautiful girl, thou shalt be our little sister, and if thou art a Tsaritsa, thou shalt be our little mother!”

Then Tsaritsa Marfa showed herself, and the six Tsarevitches ran to her, and she took them in her arms and kissed and caressed them and told them who they were-that she was indeed their mother and Tsarevitch Guidon their little brother. She brought them from the forest to the magic ship and it sailed with them like a white swan, over the open steppe and the blue sea-ocean to the Tsaritsa’s island, to her Palace of white stone, and there they began to live happily together.

Now when its voyage was finished, the ship of the merchants came back from the ends of the world and put in at the island. The Tsaritsa welcomed them and she and her seven Sons gave them such feasts and amusements that for delight they would have remained there forever. “O merchant-travelers,” she asked them, “in what cargoes do ye traffic, and whither go ye from here?”

“We have sailed about the whole world,” they answered, “with goods of every sort that tradesmen carry, and from here our course lies eastward to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Splendid.”

“Fair weather to you,” she said, “and take a greeting to Tsar Saltan from me and from these my seven sons.”

The ship departed, and when it was come to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan, he made the merchants yet again his guests. And as they ate and drank and made merry, he said to them: “O tradesmen and far-journeying adventurers, ye have sailed to the uttermost lands. What strange thing have ye seen, and is there any new wonder in the white world?”

“O great Tsar Saltan!” they replied, “thou didst hear from us before of the island in the blue sea-ocean, of its Tsaritsa and her Tsarevitch, and their Palace of white stone, with the marvels there to be seen. On our way hither we again stopped there, and now the lady hath with her not one Tsarevitch but seven, so handsome that we know no words o tell thee of them, and each has legs golden to the knee, and arms silver to the elbow, and in their hair are little stars set close together. And when we departed the Tsaritsa sent to thee greeting from herself and these seven sons.”

When the merchants spoke thus the wicked wife of Tsar Saltan opened her mouth to speak, but the Tsar rose up and silenced her.

“Tell me no more of thy marvels,” he said to her. “What am I, a Tsar or a child?” And having dismissed the merchants with presents, he sent for his Ministers and Boyars and bade a fleet to be prepared, and that same day set sail for the island.

Tsarevitch Guidon, sitting with his brothers at the window, saw the ships of Tsar Saltan coming over the blue sea- ocean, and called to his mother, “See, our little father is coming!” He went to meet him and brought him into the Palace to the Tsaritsa.

Seeing her, Tsar Saltan recognized her, and his breath stopped and his face flowed with tears. He kissed her and embraced his seven sons and all began to weep and rejoice together.

When they had spent some days in such happiness, they went aboard the ships and sailed back to Tsar Saltan’s realm. He summoned his Ministers and Boyars, his Princes and Judges, and they condemned his evil wife, and she and her sister were put into a chest barred and bound with iron, and the chest was thrown into the sea-ocean. But God did not protect them as He had protected the Tsaritsa and her son, for they sank at once into the lowest abyss and were drowned.

But Tsar Saltan and Tsaritsa Marfa, with the seven Tsarevitches, lived always together in bright-faced joy, and increased in all good things. And Tsaritsa Marfa was as beautiful in her old age as she had been in her youth.

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima

te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



File:Bilibin - Chernomor and 33 heroes.jpgIt befell at length that the merchants‘ ship returned from its voyage and cast anchor at the island. The Tsaritsa met and welcomed them, giving them to eat and drink till for rich feasting they scarce remembered their names. “O shipmen and merchants,” she said, “what merchandise do ye bear and whither fare ye from here?”

They answered: “We are laden with steel swords and with precious armor which we have traded through the whole world, and our way is eastward, to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Magnificent.”

“A fair wind to you,” said the Tsaritsa. “Carry my greeting, and that of my son Guidon, to Tsar Saltan.”

So they sailed on to the Tsar’s dominions and a third time were summoned to his presence and feasted; and before they left him he said: “O merchants and travelers, in all your wayfaring what new sights have ye seen? And is there any fresh marvel in the white world?”

“O Tsar’s Majesty!” they replied. “We told thee before of the island with its Palace, its self-grinding mill, its golden column and its learned cat. On this voyage also we visited it and were entertained right royally. And now, in addition to the other wonders we recounted, there is there a fir tree, on which sits a squirrel, cracking with its teeth nuts, whose shells are gold and whose kernels are emerald. The squirrel lives in a crystal summer-house and the gold and emeralds are piled in the Palace treasury till it overflows with such riches that the like is surely not to be seen in the whole world. The noble Tsarevitch Guidon showed us these things, and we bear to thee a greeting from him and from the Tsaritsa, his mother.”

The Tsar was astonished to hear of this and said to his wife: “In truth, the wonders of which thou hast told me are all to be found in this surpassing island. Canst thou recall any marvel to match this?”

She answered spitefully: “That is not so hard. There is in a dense forest, under a crooked oak tree, a great flat stone which covers an underground room, and in the room are six Tsarevitches, more beautiful than can be told. Each has legs golden to the knee, arms silver to the elbow, and in his hair are little stars. A witch keeps them hidden, and there lives in the white world no man clever enough to find them out or to learn who they are.”

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art: “Chernomor and the thirty-three bogatīrs”

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima

te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



{May 4, 2012}  

Originally posted on Creative Musings of Ledia Runnels:

(This is a new story that I wrote this year. If you should decide to read it, I would love to hear back from each of you what you think. If all goes well, I plan to turn this into a longer work, such as a novel or feature-length screenplay. I call it a modern fairy tale…)

“Kukushka,” the babushka said. “In Russia that is what they call the woman who leaves her child for someone else to nurture.”

Alexei had heard the taunt for as far back as he could remember. “You are nothing more than the son of a cuckoo.”

Now, the remnants of the last spring rain trickled from the tattered gray sky, splattering against the picture window where he stood. A pair of cheap binoculars pressed to his eyes. The whitewater rumble of the creek made the dense forest feel like the wilderness though…

View original 657 more words



File:Ivan Bilibin 125.gif

They answered: “O mighty Tsar Saltan! we have truly visited many countries and seen many strange things, but the most wonderful is this. When we were thy guests before, we told thee of an island on which, bare and uninhabited of old, we found a splendid Palace with a beautiful Tsaritsa and a brave Tsarevitch. On this sailing we passed again that way and put in at the island, and now beside the Palace of white stone there is a green garden with a mill that grinds and winnows of itself and casts the chaff a hundred versts away. Beside it is a golden column on which a cat climbs continually up and down, singing songs and telling tales. And there is a summer-house of crystal in which the cat lives. The Tsaritsa showed us these wonders and her son the Tsarevitch Guidon sends a greeting to thee.”

When Tsar Saltan heard this, again was he seized with a desire to see the island, but, as before, his evil wife and her sister sneered and the wife said:

“A rare thing in truth! Thinkest thou the mill and cat are so wonderful? What, indeed, are they beside a marvel of which I know?”

“What is that?” asked the Tsar.

She answered: “Across three times nine lands, in the thirtieth Tsardom, there is a wood and in the wood a fir tree. On the tree lives a squirrel, cracking nuts with his teeth. These are not ordinary nuts, for their shells are of gold and the kernels of emerald. He who owns this wonder is the richest Tsar in all the world, for his wealth never ceases to increase until it cannot be reckoned.”

And, deeming this an even greater marvel, Tsar Saltan again laid by his purpose to visit the island.

The merchants filled their ship with new merchandise and set sail for distant lands and, passing the island again, were welcomed by Tsaritsa Marfa and Tsarevitch Guidon, to whom they recounted their visit to Tsar Saltan. Nor did they fail to tell how he had purposed to sail thither until he had heard of the fir tree, the squirrel and the nuts of gold and emerald.

When they had departed, Tsarevitch Guidon struck together his flint and steel, and the ax and hammer, appearing, said: “Master, we are here! By God’s blessing, by the Order of the Pike, what wilt thou that we accomplish?”

“Plant me here,” said the Tsarevitch, “a fir tree. On it let there be a squirrel which cracks with its teeth nuts whose shells are of gold and their kernels of emerald.”

The ax and hammer disappeared and next day, when he arose, the Tsarevitch found all done as he had commanded. He bade them build a summer-house of crystal for the squirrel to live in, and the golden shells and emeralds he put into the Palace treasury till the wealth could not be reckoned.

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima

te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



The Merchants visit Tsar Saltan (Act 3)

The Merchants visit Tsar Saltan (Act 3) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hearing of this new wonder, the Tsar gave up his purpose to visit the island.

The merchants, having loaded their ship with other goods, sailed on a second voyage, and, passing the Tsaritsa‘s island, cast anchor, and were again entertained; and they recounted there how Tsar Saltan had desired to sail thither till his wife had told him of the mill, the golden column, and the story-telling cat.

As soon as they had made their farewells and sailed away, Tsarevitch Guidon took from the purse the flint and steel, and struck them sharply together, and immediately the ax and the hammer appeared, saying: “Here we are, thy servants! By God’s blessing, by the Order of the Pike, what dost thou bid us do?”

“I will have, near this Palace,” said the Tsarevitch, “a mill which grinds and winnows of itself and throws the chaff a hundred versts away. By it must be a column of gold on which climbs a cat, telling tales and singing songs.”

At once the ax and hammer disappeared, and, next morning, when he went to his balcony, the Tsarevitch saw that the gardens the mill, the golden column, and the clever cat bad all been brought as he had commanded.

He caused his servants, the ax and hammer, to build by the column a crystal summer-house, in which the cat should live, and each day the Tsaritsa and Tsarevitch Guidon amused themselves by listening to its songs and stories.

Time passed, and again the ship returned from her voyage, and the merchants wondered to see the new marvels. They landed, and the Tsaritsa, meeting them, bade them enter and taste of her hospitality. She gave them honey to eat and milk to drink, and treated them so handsomely that they scarce knew themselves for pleasure. “O tradesmen,” she asked them, “what do ye barter, and whither sail ye from here?”

“We have bartered carpets and stallions from the Don around the whole world,” they answered. “Now we sail to the eastward, to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Mighty.”

“A good journey to you,” said the Tsaritsa. “Bear to Tsar Saltan greeting from my son, Tsarevitch Guidon.”

The merchants spread sail and voyaged to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan, and a second time he summoned them to bear him company. And as they ate and drank in his sumptuous hail, he asked them: “O tradesmen and mariners, doubtless ye have traversed the whole earth. What have ye seen, and what news do ye bear? And is there any new marvel in the white world?”

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima

te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



et cetera
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