The Grimm brothers are popular dudes these days. Within just the last three years, movies, books, television series and comics have begun reworking the old popular tales that the Grimms and other folklorists recorded. Interestingly, these latest interpretations of the classic stories, like “Snow White and the Huntsman” or “Once Upon a Time” are aimed at adults who grew up with the Disney versions of the tales. They have therefore been imbued with heavy doses of sex and/or violence in order to un-Disneyfy them. Of this approach, I heartily approve. Thus I offer up my own new novel Ice Red, a retelling of Snow White that has plenty of flash-bang action in the bedroom and out, and also happens to be set on Mars.
Now, Snow White, having lasted for centuries already, has a high probability of surviving in popular literature for centuries more. I have no doubt that the tale will still be in circulation three-hundred years from now, when our descendants are actually living on Mars or on space ships hurtling out of the Solar system. Of course, the people then will probably regard my visions of the future with the same bemusement with which we regard “The Jetsons”. But the underlying themes of female power gone wrong, the generosity of strangers, and true love conquering evil will be as archetypal as ever.
And who knows? In three-hundred years, talking mirrors and poison apples might be ordinary artifacts of technology, taken for granted like smartphones and Google are today. as Arthur C. Clarke wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” But all the mirrors and apples and spindles and beanstalks, cool as they are, are just props. The true magic of fairy tales is in the enduring faith we earthlings have in happily ever after.
Mirror, mirror, full of stars,
Who will claim the throne of Mars?
The princess: Engineer Bianca Ross, heir to a megacorporation and the Mars elevator, needs to acquire a mine on the surface to secure her place in the company. All that stands in her way is the mine’s charming owner, Cesare Chan. The evil stepmother: Victoria Ross is plotting to gain control of Mars. She plans to assassinate Bianca and seduce Cesare to further her goals, and Bianca’s trip is the perfect opportunity. The charming prince: Cesare shouldn’t get involved. Bianca’s visit could reveal the escaped slaves he’s hiding at his mine, but he can’t ignore a damsel in distress—especially one as beautiful as Bianca. Alone, neither would stand a chance against Victoria. But together, they could rewrite a tale that’s meant to end with Bianca’s blood.
Jael Wye grew up on the American Great Plains, went to school in the Midwest, and now lives in beautiful New England with her family and her enormous collection of houseplants. For more of Jael’s unique blend of futurism and fairy tale, don’t miss her ongoing series Once Upon A Red World. Come visit my website at jaelwye.net