I don’t know anyone else other than perhaps Elizabeth Bear and Terry Pratchett who can handle the theme of the balancing of scales so deftly. by jackalope. She screamed like a dying rabbit!”, “Of course it hurts her!” yelled Grandma. They went a little further on, past a wash and a watering hole. She was a horror. “There’s those would say that was more than enough.” He exhaled another lungful of smoke. We’re nearly there.”. They swung their hips and pranced and drank their fill of cactus–fruit wine. They danced like young deer pawing the ground, they danced like devils let out of hell for the evening. She leapt up and darted away, circled back once and bumped Grandma’s hand with her nose — and then she was bounding down the path from the top of the bluff. “Suppose he does it,” said the Father of Rabbits. The sand was soft underfoot and miserably hard for a girl walking with a crutch. 3.1 k. Keyword Opportunities . We have scrapped large sales and promotions. She could see it now, as clear as if she’d been standing there. Look at me! by jackalope. Quite happily surprised to find it was Vernon, not LeGuin! Half gone, at least, if she was any judge. She looked at Grandma, who met her too–wide eyes. Nine pages in all. “Your Saint Anthony, now… him I think I’ve seen. Maybe he wasn’t hungry. Includes The Tomato Thief winner of 2017 Hugo Award - Best Novelette From award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes a collection of short stories, including Jackalope Wives, The Tomato Thief, Pocosin, and many others. Didn’t expect what we discovered about Grandma. She turned and looked at him. “Her skin,” he mumbled. , Tor.com called it "soulful" and "extraordinary", praising Grandma Harken as a "captivating protagonist". The coyotes sang up the moon. Now I have finished reading, this is awesome! Deliciously mythopoetic. https://www.unz.org/Pub/Forum-1936jan-00054 , step ahead to p. 60, and read from there to the end. Grandma Harken sat back. “Suppose we’ll find out,” said the Father of Rabbits, and nodded. But she screamed — she wasn’t supposed to scream — nobody said they screamed — and I thought she was dying, and I didn’t want to hurt her — I pulled it back out —”, He looked up at her with his feverish eyes, that useless, beautiful boy, and said “I didn’t want to hurt her. I n Albuquerque, visitors and local residents enjoy the centrally located shopping gem which is only a minute off the I-25 Highway. Relax, child. “They’ll talk the legs off a wooden sheep. best of luck to ms. vernon, this story deserves all the recognition it can get. Her hands were human enough, but she had a jackrabbit’s feet and a jackrabbit’s eyes. That’s just what we need.”. what a gem. It doesn’t matter what he meant to do. To keep them changing.”. Really well told in the fairy tale format, but with that extra grit in the characters of the desert. “Yes,” said Grandma Harken, curling her lip. On the threshold, he paused, and looked back. We are from the arts, not television or film. This story read like a poem. It was her own grandson, her daughter Eva’s boy. But then it’s just the right thing and I’ll have to go read everything else. Votes: 8 They were beautiful creatures, with their long brown legs and their bodies splashed orange by the firelight. Beautiful in every way. A vision from the desert of what it means to lust, lose, choose, and redeem. Piddly little dead mouse might not be enough.”, “Ah, Maggie, Maggie…You’d have made a fine rabbit, once. Great piece of work. They sat in silence at the top of the bluff. “But you know I’ve always had a soft spot for you, Maggie Harken.”. She stank of urine and burning hair. Kelly Mousepad. P.S. “Yes, that’s the way of it, right enough.” She took the jackalope wife’s shoulders and turned her toward the lamp light. “I’ve seen you kill chickens. And the second one was better.”. Who would have thought he had so much ambition in him, to catch a jackalope wife? The smart ones heave themselves back to shore and the slower ones wake up married with a husband who lies around and suffers in their direction. You did right at the end, bringing her here, even if you made a mess of the rest, from first to last.”. The word jackalope is a portmanteau of jackrabbit and antelope.Many jackalope taxidermy mounts, including the original, are made with deer antlers.. Grandma Harkness is one of the best characters I have come across in a long time. I have read Anasi Boys and I have read a little Sandman both by Neil Gaiman, Jackalope Wives puts me in mind of both. Sure, maybe it isn't a perfect jackalope, but pretty similar. “Why does she look like that?” whispered her grandson, huddled into his chair. Jackalope Wives and Other Stories (Book) : Kingfisher, T. : Winner of the Nebula and WSFA Short Fiction Awards. Something flaked off her in long strands, like burnt scraps of paper, like a snake’s skin shedding away. The town got into the habit of having a dance that night, to keep the boys firmly fixed on human girls and to drown out the notes of the wild music. The story is absolutely perfect! I will be haunted by the beautiful images you paint of the characters. “How long you going to wait?” asked the Father of Rabbits. “It was easier that way,” she said. “I found where he hid it after he died and I burned it myself. Last night, the Hugo Awards were handed out. by jackalope. She filled three water bottles and strapped them around her waist. It had come down to him on his mother’s side, as happens now and again, and it was worse than useless. *THANK YOU. He picked up the cigarettes that the Patterned Man had left behind and offered one to Grandma. Audience analysis; Website traffic statistics; Start Your Free Trial. The five stories that missed were Nebula winner Jackalope Wives, by Ursula Vernon; The Breath of War, by Aliette de Bodard; The Truth About Owls Amal El-Mohtar; When it Ends, He Catches Her, by Eugie Foster, published the week she died; and A Kiss With Teeth, by … “I suppose she can’t walk?”, “Not well,” said Grandma. We will be charitable. What did you do, you damned young fool? Then what? The sun went down while they were waiting. The Patterned Man stared at her, unblinking. Loved it. Grandma snorted again. You couldn’t even get too close or they’d take fright and run away. “Maybe I’m too old and stringy,” she said. Description. This reminds me of some of Ursula K. Le Guin’s stuff – “Buffalo Gals” in particular. I wonder about Spud meeting up with the Father of … of any people. “She doesn’t have to stay human, you know,” said the Father of Rabbits. A jackalope is a cryptid from North American folklore. Halfway through the story you had me wishing for the ending I wanted, and was happier with the one I got. Easy-to-Rank Keywords 273 . Regardless, Wired points out that an ancient Persian geographic dictionary from the 1200s depicted a rabbit with a single, unicorn-esque spike on its head. One minute you’d see them kicking their heels up and hear them laugh, then the music would freeze and they’d all look at you with their eyes wide and their ears upswept. Sad, sweet, and beautiful. “You — you can fix her, right?”, Grandma let out a high bark, like a bitch–fox, barely a laugh at all. So Grandma gritted her teeth and reached down a hand and pulled the jackalope wife up into the pre–dawn dark. She let out a breath she didn’t know she’d been holding. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph! “And what do you call what you’re doing?”. She left the crutch lying on the stones and stood up. by jackalope. In Tomato Thief Grandma Harken talks about something incredibly stupid her grandson did. The javelina dropped their heads and ignored them as they left the wash behind. A man came around the edge of the standing stone. Her children scraped their tusks together and grunted. “He taught me how to swear. But in this town at this time, the girls hadn’t learned and the boy hadn’t yet worn out his interest. Better he’d bashed her head in with a rock than this.”. “Let me in,” he said. You could go your whole life and see no more of them than the flash of a tail vanishing around the backside of a boulder. I can’t believe this is the first thing I’ve read by you. The jackalope wife looked at her with doe–dark eyes and didn’t move, and if she were a human, Grandma Harken would have itched to slap her. They danced like young deer pawing the ground, they danced like devils let out of hell for the evening. So while we thankfully reopen our doors, we do so cautiously and judiciously. A javelina looked up at them from the edge and stamped her hooved feet. Jackalope easily meets the 25% occupancy requirement even on our busiest day. And the jackalope wife danced, out past the circle of the music and the firelight, in the light of the fierce desert stars. “What did you do to her?”, “Don’t look at that and tell me ‘Nothing!’ What in the name of our lord did you do to that girl?”, He stared down at his blistered hands. Ursula Vernon’s story “Jackalope Wives” has picked up another award nomination! by jackalope. The Mary Sue is pleased to present strange, beautiful new fiction from Apex Magazine each month. “Ha! The last stretch was cruelly hard, up the side of a bluff. Nobody makes you feel a mythology in your bones quite like Ursula Vernon. “Her feet weren’t made to stand up like that. He understood about deserts.”, Grandma’s lips twisted. It’s a glorious tale. Grandma had to half–carry the jackalope wife at the end. “Father of Rabbits,” she said sourly. The jackalope wife’s eyes went wide and her body shook with longing, but it was human longing and a human body shaking. The moonbeams went shattering down to the ground and the jackalope wives took off their skins and danced. Wow. Mitchell and Stanley try to stop him. We’d both be dead of old age before they’d figured out what time to start.”. He looked like an old Mexican man, wearing a button–down shirt without any buttons. “Shit,” said the Father of Rabbits. Grandma was old and carrying water for two, and the girl was on a crutch. by jackalope. Jackalope Wives. Grandma Harken bowed to him, because the Patterned People can’t hear speech. "Jackalope Wives" won the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and the 2015 WSFA Small Press Award, and was nominated for the 2015 World Fantasy Award—Short Fiction. “She was beautiful,” he said. Or maybe both. She treated the burns and they healed. “Oh, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Be cruel or be kind, but don’t be both, because now you’ve made a mess you can’t clean up in a hurry.”, She stood up, breathing hard, and looked down at the wreck on her hearth. Really wonderful piece, lots of layers told with beautiful prose. The sun was overhead and the sky turned turquoise, a color so hard you could bash your knuckles on it. “Sweet Saint Anthony,” she muttered, “let him not have gotten some fool girl in a family way. “Don’t worry,” she said. And the others were long gone by then and couldn’t stop her. The jackalope wife let out another sob and tried to curl back into a ball. There couldn’t have been more than few scraps of fur left unburnt. You’ve got a human left over, not a jackalope wife.”, Grandma stared down at her bony hands. She has written a number of children’s books, short stories, and comics, and writes for adults under the name T. Kingfisher. He sank down in her chair, all his grace gone. Grandma cursed. The hairless places weren’t so obvious now, and the faint stripes across her legs might have been dust. So the young man with the touch of magic watched the jackalope wife dancing and you know as well as I do what young men dream about. a creature that is thought to be a strange jackrabbit and deer or antelope hybrid He himself had one thought and one thought only — to catch a jackalope wife. The jackalope wife paused, leaning on her crutch, and looked up at the wings with longing. Well done! The next second, they’d snatch up their skins and there’d be nothing left but a dozen skinny she–rabbits running off in all directions, and a campfire left that wouldn’t burn out ’til morning. “She doesn’t have a jackalope skin anymore.”, He grinned. Good story: definitely one of the better ones I’ve read in ezines. The only person she didn’t hide from was Eva, Grandma’s daughter. She looked up at them both with wide, uncomprehending eyes. She knew that voice just fine. “Never seen that before.” He lit a cigarette and blew the smoke into the air. He was tall and slim and had dark hair and young women found him fascinating. For the jackalope wives were shy of humans. “Besides, it’s not your life he’s owed.”. “Now I see why you wanted one of the Patterned People.”, The Father of Rabbits shook his head. Does anyone have the themes of this story? “It’ll do.”. Founded in 1976 by Darby McQuade, Jackalope has been in operation in New Mexico for nearly 45 years. He was naked and his skin was covered in painted diamonds. Out of curiosity, why didn’t you publish it as T. Kingfisher? New issues are released every two months. 17: The Deluge" by, "I Live With You" by Carol Emshwiller (2006), "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™" by Rebecca Roanhorse (2018), This page was last edited on 19 July 2020, at 15:04. “Come on,” she said. The sun went overhead and the level in the water bottle went down. She hadn’t tried again. The mouse he scooped up in two fingers and dropped into his mouth. You know.”, “I do indeed,” she said grimly. I really need the themes for my study. Ursula, you have quite the way with words. And one scarred jackalope went leaping into the circle of firelight and danced like a demon, while the moon laid down across the saguaro’s thorns. 4.9 out of 5 stars 88. And when my internet was flickering out, I read it twice more. Nebula Award winner, WSFA winner, World Fantasy Award finalist, Cóyotl Award winner, Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™, A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of…, each thing i show you is a piece of my death, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Memphis Minnie Sing the…, Bonus 2021 International Fantasists Issue, https://apex-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/apex07.mp3, https://www.unz.org/Pub/Forum-1936jan-00027, https://www.unz.org/Pub/Forum-1936jan-00054. Their lovers were jackrabbits and antelope bucks, not human men. Long after the music had stopped, she danced to the rhythm of her own long feet on the sand. “Pulled it out of a fire once — must have been forty years ago now. Damn, Ursula. He slid down a little further in her chair. Apex Magazine is a genre zine that focuses on dark and spectacular science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She was the last one to put on her rabbit skin when the sun came up. Favorite This. From down in the desert, they heard the first notes of a sudden wild music. Psychotic professional hunter Buck Corona III, who caught every mythical animal out there, believes that jackalopes are real and plans to catch one. by jackalope. My kin did it, it’s up to me to put it right.” It occurred to her that she should have left Eva a note, telling her to send the fool boy back East, away from the desert. Immediately, he gets an instant message from Tenaj Jackalope, his Second Life wife, saying she'll be right there. Said the Ticktockman, The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jackalope_Wives&oldid=968461755, Nebula Award for Best Short Story-winning works, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Forever Yours, Anna" by Kate Wilhelm (1988), "Bible Stories for Adults, No. I thought I was supposed to — I gave her the skin back, she put it on, but then she fell down — it wasn’t supposed to work like that!”. You have a wonderful understanding of the dark side of fairy tales. The jackalope wife looked up at him, recoiled, and Grandma laid a hand on her arm. They swung their hips and pranced and drank their fill of cactus–fruit wine. Anyway, excellent story! He looked at her and the Father of Rabbits and the jackalope wife. Held my interest. Jackalope Wives, by Ursula Vernon Jackalope Wives is the first pure fantasy story nominee for the Nebula that I have read this year. The fool boy had been so shocked he’d yanked the burning skin back out. They were set too wide apart in a human face, with a cleft lip and long rabbit ears. Beautifully written. At the top was a high fractured stone that cast a finger of shadow like the wedge of a sundial. Oh, Eva, Eva, my dear, what a useless son you’ve raised. She danced farther out from the others and her horns were short and sharp as sickles. It would make sense, I suppose. “You goddamn stupid fool,” she said. Eventually the girls learn better. The Father of Rabbits let out a long sigh. “Better all the way human than this. I look forward to reading Ms. Vernon’s other work! https://www.unz.org/Pub/Forum-1936jan – but the TOC is wrong: use Chibi Witch- October $1 Patreon only base. This is a great story. You should have let it burn. Other young men eyed him with dislike. “Because she’s trapped betwixt and between. “Grandma! Well, if you can find a place where they’ve been dancing, you might see something like sidewinder tracks in the dust, and more than that I cannot tell you. Includes The Tomato Thief winner of 2017 Hugo Award – Best Novelette From award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes a collection of short stories, including Jackalope Wives, The Tomato Thief, Pocosin, and many others. You can find more of her work at. Lucky daughter to miss out on the extremes. Short Fiction Spotlight Short Fiction Spotlight: The Second Life of the Jackalope Wife. “Tell your mother to make up a poultice for your hands. They meet at their home, a three-story, modern-looking building on a grassy bluff overlooking the ocean, then head to his beach club by teleporting, or instantly moving to a … Issue content is made available for free on this website via piecemeal over the two months between issues. Well done, as always. The jackalope wife’s eyes rolled back in her head, and she sagged down onto the stone. Too many stones in your belly now.” He shook his head regretfully. When couples argue about porn, they're usually arguing about something else. That’s “Spud and Cochise”, by Oliver LaFarge. She weighed no more than a child, but children are heavy and it took them both a long time. They were shy creatures, the jackalope wives, though there was nothing shy about the way they danced. 99 $12.95 $12.95. Although the creature is fictitious, mounted jackalope heads are often created by attaching deer antlers to a jackrabbit's head. She was going to be calm, because otherwise she was going to pick up the fire poker and club her own flesh and blood over the head with it. It was first published in Apex Magazine and has been reprinted in the collection Jackalope Wives and Other Stories. She lit her cigarette off his. Just one nitpick: Harkness vs. Harken. The closest naturally occurring equivalent is a rabbit infected with the Shope papilloma virus which causes horn-like protrusions to appear from the animal. Optimization Opportunities 76 . She likes fairy-tale retellings, gardening, and has strong opinions about heirloom beans. She exhaled very slowly. No. When somebody called, she lay flat in the garden, down among the beans, and nobody saw her at all. It was half–full, half–new, halfway between one thing and the other. He sat down beside her on his heels. “She was waiting for me!” he said. Come quick — open the door — oh god, Grandma, you have to help me —”. Must now go link at 2nd favorite board. Story: Jackalope is a dangerous animal with jack rabbit's body and an antelope's antlers! Jackalope Wives And Other Stories. Jackalope Wives is a 2014 fantasy short story by Ursula Vernon, combining the legends of the swan maiden and the jackalope. “Grandma —”, She ignored him and dropped to her knees. “It’s different when you got a choice,” said Grandma Harken. And there was one — he’d seen her. “She understands well enough, I suppose.”. Specifically, closer to the end where Harken quotes “It’s different when you got a choice,” (Vernon 2014). Pretty and useless and charming when he set out to be. “No. Absolutely beautiful. Sweet mother Mary, boy, think about what you’re doing! They had faces like no mortal woman and they moved like quicksilver and they played music that got down into your bones and thrummed like a sickness. Clumsy. Either the hurts are petty little things and they get tired of whining or the hurt’s so deep and wide that they drown in it. Paperback $12.95 $ 12. “I threw it in the fire,” he said. He set her down gently and picked up one of the cigarettes. What trouble had the young fool gotten himself into? Get traffic statistics, SEO keyword opportunities, audience insights, and competitive analytics for Abyssapexzine. There were burnt patches on her arms and legs, a long red weal down her face. They were striped red and white and the pods came apart easily in her gnarled hands. “Easy now,” said the Father of Rabbits, putting a hand on her shoulder. She danced a little apart from her fellows, as he walked a little apart from his. Grandma Harken stepped forward. “Ah, you know. It went on like it had been made for her, like it was her own. “I grabbed the skin — I mean — it was right there — she was watching — I thought she wanted me to have it —”. You did that, with your goddamn pity. All I can do is pick up the pieces.”. Favorite poems include Godmother and This Vote Is Legally Binding. In the trees. Grandma Harken leaned over to the jackalope wife and smoothed one long ear back from her face. “You’re supposed to. Our number one goal is beautiful video. Our specialty is dance recitals and competitions as well as musicals and theatre events. And we shouldn’t always get what we think we want.”. I read it…then read it again. 95. Come on.”. His grandmother used to tell him that it was a miracle he hadn’t been drowned as a child, and for her he’d laugh, but not for anyone else. The ravens croaked a conversation to each other, from the branches of a palo verde tree, and whatever one said made the other one laugh. Too late now. If you’re going to catch a jackalope wife, you burn the hide down to ashes and never mind how she screams.”, “But it sounded like it was hurting her!” he shot back. Ursula Vernon is the winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Mythopoeic Awards. by jackalope. “You have to burn it,” mumbled her grandson. Poetic, moving and utterly bizarre. “He thinks you’re mad at him,” said Eva mildly. And now you will ask me about the way they danced Fiction from Apex is. 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