A reader writes, "Catherynne M. Valente (Tiptree winner, Clarion Alumna and all-around-awesome speculative fiction writer) is putting up a wonderful piece of YA fantasy, one chapter a week, on her website for free: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making."
Lovely title, and that first chapter's a doozy! There's free audio of the author reading the book, too.
Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her father's house, where she washed the same pink and yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog. Because she had been born in May, and because she had a mole on her left cheek, and because her feet were very large and ungainly, the Green Wind took pity on her, and flew to her window one evening just after her eleventh birthday. He was dressed in a green smoking jacket, and a green carriage-driver's cloak, and green jodhpurs, and green snowshoes. It is very cold above the clouds, in the shanty-towns where the Six Winds live.
"You seem an ill-tempered and irascible enough child," said the Green Wind. "How would you like to come away with me and ride upon the Leopard of Little Breezes, and be delivered to the great sea which borders Fairyland? I am afraid I cannot go in, as Harsh Airs are not allowed, but I should be happy to deposit you upon the Perverse and Perilous Sea."
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
This is what happiness and best-friends-forever friendship looks like.
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