QSFer Phillip Donnelly has a new queer fairy tale collection out (ace, gay, lesbian): Fairy Tales and Shadows.
Fairy Tales and Shadows introduces a world of magic and splendor through a diverse set of characters who each star in their own fairy tale-style stories. As the book progresses the stories and characters begin to overlap and come together transforming the book from a collection of fairy tales to a plot-driven novel.
Each story presents morals, much like classic fairy tales. The difference is that these morals have been modernized. Instead of teaching children not to wander through wolf-infested woods at night, Fairy Tales and Shadows promotes ideas such as, love comes in all shapes and sizes.
Throughout the book, the magic system and geography of the world are illuminated as the heroes learn from their tribulations. Eventually, the values of each character and their relationship with the world culminate to set the stage for the final conflict.
The Tinker looked over their cart of magical goods.
The lantern was a mysterious and intriguing object, with a flame that never seemed to die. It was made of brass, with a sturdy handle and a glass globe that encased the flame within. The brass had a warm, golden glow to it, and it was etched with intricate designs that seemed to dance and shimmer in the light.
The flame itself was a strange and otherworldly thing. It burned with a steady, unwavering glow, never flickering or going out, no matter how much time passed. It cast a warm and comforting light, filling the room with its soothing radiance. The Tinker possessed ancient knowledge but even they were impressed by the lantern. An object enchanted with the mana, or magical energy, of a spell caster could retain a magical property until the mana was used up. An object enchanted with a soul could last so long as the soul within it did not die out. Mystical objects never lost their special properties but the item itself would eventually corrode, decay, or die, just like any other thing. The lantern, however, did not fall into any of these categories and so the Tinker always gave it a high price when bargaining, even though it did not appear very valuable to the untrained eye.
Despite its unusual properties, the lantern seemed perfectly ordinary in most ways. It had a normal frame in terms of shape and material and the candle inside was made of plain wax. It was lightweight and easy to carry, although it produced no smoke or odors. It seemed to be fueled by some unseen force, a force that kept the flame burning brightly and endlessly.
Many people came from far and wide to see the lantern and marvel at its unending flame. Some said it was a gift from the gods, while others believed it to be a magical artifact of great power, created in old times. Whatever the truth, the lantern remained a mystery, a source of wonder and intrigue for all who beheld it save the Tinker who had watched its creation.
The magical boots were not much to behold, with their humble, leather fabric and plain designs, but they were special. They were made for the feet of a runner, with a lightweight construction and a snug, comfortable fit. But it was not their craftsmanship that made them special, it was the powerful enchantments that had been woven into their very fabric.
These boots were imbued with wind magic, granting the wearer the power of incredible speed. When they were worn, the person felt as if they were gliding across the ground, their feet barely touching the earth as they flew forward at tremendous speeds. It was a sensation unlike any other, one that left the wearer feeling exhilarated and alive.
The boots were not without their drawbacks, however. They required a great deal of energy to maintain their enchantments, and the wearer could only sustain their incredible speed for short bursts of time before they needed to rest and recover. But for those who were able to harness their power, the boots were a priceless asset, allowing them to outrun even the quickest of foes and cross great distances in a matter of minutes. The boots were a rare and coveted possession, desired by messengers and adventurers alike.
The magical scroll of protection from the city of Zafirah was a rare and valuable item, highly sought after by those who ventured into the dangerous city. It was made of fine, delicate parchment, and it was inscribed with intricate, glowing symbols that seemed to dance and shimmer as the viewer unraveled the scroll. The parchment was sealed with a wax emblem featuring the symbol of Zafirah, a fierce, winged serpent.
The scroll was said to be imbued with powerful magic, capable of protecting the bearer from harm while they were within the city’s borders. It was said that as long as the scroll was in the bearer’s possession, they would be immune to all manner of physical and magical attacks. The scroll would also grant the bearer the ability to navigate the city’s numerous streets and alleys with ease, helping them to avoid danger and find their way to safety.
However, the scroll was not without its limits. Its power was finite, and it could only be used a certain number of times before it lost its effectiveness. It could also only be used within the city of its creation. The Tinker had blessed a child of the royal family in exchange for the scroll. It was a powerful blessing that cost a great deal. Now, the Tinker wondered if the scroll was worth it.
The Tinker let their eyes slide over the rest of their collection, taking stock of all that they had. When they were done they turned their eyes back to the cobblestone road. They hoped a good trade awaited them in their future.
My name is Phillip Donnelly. I am straight, my twin brother is gay, and we have always loved fantasy books/movies/games but rarely got exposed to any with much character diversity while we were growing up. So, I wrote a book of short fairy tales filled with characters of different sexual orientations and backgrounds in the hopes of giving that exposure to the next generation. I brainstormed with my brother on how to portray the characters so that they could be cool and fit into the fantasy genre while giving the readers a broad panel of heroes to relate to. The stories are simple, in classic fairy tale fashion, and quick and easy to read.