Delia Sherman's delightful The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen
is the sequel to her equally excellent Changeling
, the beginning of a series of books of modern fairytales set in a "New York Between," a parallel New York in which the folkloric traditions of many lands combine to make a place that's as wonderful, familiar and strange as the fairytale woods of the Grimms would have been to the people to originally told those
Magic Mirror continues the education of Neef, the Changeling of Central Park, the last wild place in New York, ruled by the Green Lady, the older Genius in the five boroughs. Neef, a human girl kidnapped as an infant and raised to be a diplomat and hero for Central Park, needs to formalize her training, and so her fairy godmother sends her to changeling school, Miss Van Loon's School for Mortal Changelings.
What follows puts Hogwarts to shame, combining the anarchic charm of Ronald Searles' dark and hilarious St Trinian's cartoons with a deep and thorough knowledge of folklore, a wonderful sense of humor and bottomless imagination.
Neef is thrown together with the outcast Changelings from the Lower East Side and the theater district, pitched against the elf-obsessed willowy Changelings of the rich neighborhoods, and while she tries to do her best to hew to the 600 rules of Miss Van Loon's, she can't help but find herself on a quest to avert a war between Central Park and the Harbor Folk, not to mention sworn by oath to conjure Bloody Mary on Hallowe'en.
Every bit as witty and engrossing as Changeling, Magic Mirror is a strong second volume in a series I'm very much looking forward to following for years to come.
The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen
The Flux chair is a $130, 12lb “origami-style” polypropylene lounge chair designed by Douwe Jacobs; it sets up in minutes and is stable and lovely (there’s also a $65 kids’ version and a whole range of furnishings including a bar, coffee table, countertop, end-table, etc). (via Yanko Design)
The first time Merle Rasmussen played Dungeons & Dragons, he thought it was a Halloween game.
“It was October 1975, and I was an 18-year-old freshman at Iowa State University. My roommate got this game filled with skeletons and undead monsters. I had no idea.” The role-playing bug had bitten him, but fantasy wasn’t his genre. So that same year, he started writing a game set in a modern world, the spy game that would become Top Secret.
Janelle Shane trained a recurrent neural network with a data-set of more than 2000 ancient proverbs and asked it to think up its own: “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day.”
Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]