Cover of Once Upon a Time (She Said) by Jane Yolen

Once Upon a Time (She Said)

I was incredibly honored to be asked to be one of the three Guests of Honor at the Glasgow SF World Con. That’s the largest science fiction convention in the world, a moveable feast, held summer 2005 in Scotland. Part of the perks of being a World Con GOH, is that the convention produces a book of one’s work–in my case stories, poems, and essays (with an Intro by Anne McCaffrey!) NESFA Press–the New England SF Assn–took on the job for the convention with the redoubtable Priscilla Olson heading up the team as editor. We discussed a variety of work, and the final count is 80+ pieces.

The cover is exquisite, a painting by Ruth Sanderson, which she showed me at a signing we attended together several months ago. All of the stories and essays are reprints, though a number of them are quite difficult to find. About four or five poems are having their first printing in this book, including one I wrote while at the Myth conference in Atlanta last year and the poem I wrote for the Michelson gallery opening this year. It was listed in Locus Magazine as New and Notable, which is an honor.

What reviewers have said:

  • “Her latest collection, Once Upon A Time (She Said), shows her at her very best, with a fine collection of short stories, poems, and essays in a wonderfully designed book. With its compact form, the book is perfect for slipping in your coat pocket for carrying along so you can dip into it all the day long, or perhaps to hold comfortably in your hand as you sit in your favorite overstuffed chair by the fireplace reading late into the night.”–Greenman Review
  • “From the rueful tale of a prince raised only in darkness (“Sans Soleil”) to a graceful retelling of a Cheyenne mystery story (“The Woman Who Loved a Bear”), this collection of over 80 short stories, poems, and essays demonstrates the vast mythic scope and natural storytelling ability of one of the most prolific and appealing crafters of the genre. Yolen’s poems include a poignant paean to the tenacity and vulnerability of life (“My Father Died Seven Times”), while articles feature a tribute to fairy tale anthologist Andrew Lang (“Remembering Books”). Whether read in one sitting or in small doses, this collection celebrates the literature of the imagination and the truths that lie beneath the tales. Highly recommended for fantasy and literature collections.”–Starred Review, Library Journal
  • “Jane Yolen . . . is a prolific and gifted woman in whose works one must assiduously search for flaws (with most writers you don’t have to search). She is also charming. It is therefore a pleasure to tell you that NESFA Press continues its habit of honoring Worldcon GOH’s with celebratory books with Once Upon a Time (She Said), a collection of some fifty short stories, thirty poems, and a few articles, including “Oh God, Here Come the Elves,” in which she discourses upon the joys of surrendering to elves (get that out of your mind; dominance-submission fantasies are on the second floor, back right corner). This one is a pleasure to read and keep. Don’t deny yourself.”—Tom Easton, Analog Online
  • “Yolen’s genius for truth and surprising juxtaposition will win out in the end. Indeed, it may be wise to savor these pieces in small bites. This is the sort of collection that readers may want to keep close by for a long time.”—