Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Moonlight & Vines

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Moonlight & Vines (1999) Charles de Lint


“Sweetgrass & City Streets”
“In This Soul of a Woman”
“The Big Sky”
“Held Safe by Moonlight and Vines”
“In the Pines”
“Shining Nowhere but in the Dark”
“If I Close My Eyes Forever”
“The Invisibles”
“Seven for a Secret”
“Crow Girls”
“Wild Horses”
“In the Land of the Unforgiven”
“My Life as a Bird”
“China Doll”
“In the Quiet After Midnight”
“The Pennymen”
“Twa Corbies”
“The Fields Beyond the Fields”


“Sweetgrass & City Streets” is a poem.

“Saskia” first appeared in Space Opera (1996) and is the introduction of Saskia to Christie and to the series.

What no one seems to realize is that she’s always paying attention. She listens to you when you talk instead of waiting impatiently for her own turn to hold forth.

Humanity’s whole unfortunate history is one long account of how we attack what we don’t understand, what’s strange to us.

“In This Soul of a Woman” first appeared in Love in Vein (1994). This isn’t a favorite. I don’t think vampires really and truly belong in Newford.

“So what does your name mean?”

“ ‘Granddaughter.’ ”

Nita laughed.

“What do you find so humorous?”

Nita flicked her cigarette against the nearest wall which it struck in a shower of sparks. “Sounds to me like your grandmother just found a fancy way of not giving you a name.”

“The Big Sky” first appeared in Heaven Sent (1995)

This is another that isn’t a particular favorite, again, because this kind of ghost story (although unusual) just didn’t feel quite right for Newford.

“You have always been sparing with your kindnesses.”

I want to not be that person.

“Birds” first appeared in The Shimmering Door (1996) and is the story of two young women, finding their own ways of dealing with their past traumas.

“Passing” was first published in Excalibur (1995) and is another story that felt like it was squished into Newford rather than being a story that started in Newford on its own. It’s not bad, but it just doesn’t feel quite right to be set in Newford. I guess there are a lot of stories in this particular anthology that strike me that way.

“Held Safe by Moonlight and Vines” first appeared in Castle Perilous (1996). Now this story I really like. Alex and Lillie grew up together, but their lives were very very different.

“I only ever wanted one thing,” I tell her, “but I never had it to lose.”

“I don’t even know what it is that I’ve lost,” she says. “I just know something’s gone. I had a chance to have it, to hold it and cherish it, but I let it go.”

“In the Pines” first appeared in Destination Unknown (1997). This is another favorite from this anthology. Darlene has made her way in the world playing music, and sometimes making it. She escaped her family initially by visiting her Aunt Hickory, and then with what her Aunt Hickory gave her. It’s a lovely ghost story.

“Doesn’t matter how bad it gets, the pain goes away. Sometimes you got to die to stop hurting, but the hurting stops.”

“Shining Nowhere but in the Dark” first appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Vol. 3, No. 1, (1996) is a story of death and dreaming.

“If I Close My Eyes Forever” is about finding the right person. Not a favorite, for no reason I can put my finger on.

I hate being alone. I think that’s why my relationships always fall apart. I’ve got too much need. I am too intense— just like Peter said. But that’s because when I’m alone, I think too much. My imagination gets carried away with itself. I imagine the worst. I start to believe there really is a burglar lurking about.

“Heartfires” first appeared as a limited edition chapbook (1994). It’s the story of Jolene, Bear, Alberta, and Crazy Crow. (They often make brief appearances in other stories.)

“That’s just living,” she tells the caged woman. “Those aren’t bars, they’re the bones that hold you together. You keep clawing at them, you’ll make yourself so sick you’re going to die for sure.”

“I can’t breathe in here,” the caged woman says.

“You’re not paying attention,” the Lady of the White Deer says. “All you’re doing is breathing. Stop breathing and you’ll be clawing at those same bones, trying to get back in.”

The bones of her prison weren’t there to keep her from getting out. They were there to keep her together.

“The Invisibles” first appeared in David Copperfield’s Beyond Imagination (1997). It’s the story of dreams and memories and believing yourself away from the world.

“Seven for a Secret” first appeared in Immortal Unicorn (1995). It’s the story of Malicorn and Jake, Staley and William. (Staley and her fiddle appear later.)

“Crow Girls” first appeared as a limited edition chapbook (1995). This is the introduction to the Crow Girls, who are some of my favorite characters. But it’s not really about the Crow Girls–it’s about Jilly’s friend Heather, and how the Crow Girls change you, just by their being.

“Wild Horses” first appeared in Tarot Fantastic (1997) is the story of siblings and family and love and forgiveness.

“In the Land of the Unforgiven” is another story about an ex-con, and whether some things are so beyond the pale, that sometimes people have no choice but to take their own action. This is a particularly dark story.

“My Life as a Bird” first appeared as a limited edition chapbook (1996). This is the story of how Mona meets Nacky Wilde. I really like this story–most especially the ending.

“China Doll” first appeared in The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams (1998). This is another story I didn’t particularly like. It’s dark (as many of his stories are) but it’s more depressing than normal.

“In the Quiet After Midnight” first appeared in Olympus (1998).

“The Pennymen” first appeared in Black Cats and Broken Mirrors (1998). This is a story about art and mental illness and escaping our history.

“Twa Corbies” first appeared in Twenty 3: A Miscellany (1998). This is a story of Jilly and the Crow Girls and an old woman. This is a lovely, brief, tale.

“The Fields Beyond the Fields” first appeared as a limited edition chapbook (1997)This is a Christie Riddle story.

Time passes oddly. Though I know the actual contrast is vast, I don’t feel much different now from when I was fifteen. I still feel as clumsy and awkward and insecure about interacting with others, about how the world sees me, though intellectually, I understand that others don’t perceive me in the same way at all. I’m middle-aged, not a boy. I’m at that age when the boy I was thought that life would pretty much be over, yet now I insist it’s only begun. I have to. To think otherwise is to give up, to actually be old.

Published by Orb

Categories: Anthology, Fantasy, Re-Read, Urban     Comments (0)    

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