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Reimagining Traditional Tales

Zombie Snow White

First off, thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday’s exercise on the Queer Sci-Fi discussion group – coming up with some great new topics for the blog and the group. I’ll start using these topics going forward, and will credit whoever submitted the topic originally.

Today’s topic comes from Angel Martinez – “Re-purposing/ re-imagining/ reinventing oral traditions as LGBTQ stories”. Angel has a bit of practice with this – I’ll let her discuss this on the group.

But it seems to me this could fall under either fantasy or paranormal (or even Sci Fi – See Vassily the Beautiful).

The idea here is to take a traditional story – Snow White, Cinderella, or something a little more arcane, and turn it into an LGBT fantasy or paranormal story.

So my question for you today has two parts – First, have you read anything, either LGBT or “straight” fantasy, sci-fi, or paranormal – that took a traditional story and gave it an updated spin? And Second, if you had to choose, what fable, oral story, or traditional story would you update with your own LGBT spin?

Discuss. :)

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4 thoughts on “Reimagining Traditional Tales”

  1. Speaking from a bit of experience here, I think the old stories are a great avenue to use in rethinking about how they were told back then, and how the translate into today’s fiction.

    My first collection was a queer retelling of 13 of the Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales. It was great fun to reimagine these tales, and bring them back to life for today’s queer readership.

  2. Oddly enough, the first three things I thought of were all reimaginings of the same (and my favorite) fairy tale–“Beauty and the Beast.” There is Robin McKinley’s Beauty, which I loved. And on the LGBT side of things, Amy Lane’s Truth in the Dark, which is amazing, and a creative contemporary novel on the theme called Beast by Allison Cassatta and Tracey Michael. I’m sure there are more of them out there.

    Hmm. What would I like to see? The possibilities are endless. Maybe a sci-fi version of Alice (Alex?) in Wonderland where Alex is of age, Wonderland is a planet, and the Mad Hatter is a psychic alien with a complicated role in planetary politics who is Alex’s soul mate. What d’ya think?

  3. I like the idea of re-purposing old tales with a more modern slant. I’ve done a couple of Edgar Allen Poe tales with exactly that in mind. See: (based on “The Tell-tale Heart)
    (based on “Berenice”)
    (based on “The Man of the Crowd”)

    Another folk tale, “The Tinder Box,” is re-envisioned here:


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