A beautiful collection of original and re-imagined fairy tales told in a queerer light.

Everything Under the Moon is a gorgeous anthology of fairy tales written with a lens that centres LGBTQIA+ characters and their stories. Editor Michael Earp has curated twelve stories by Australian authors, both established and emerging, who have used the format of the fairy tale to tell stories of queer love, determination, steadfastness, joy, and agency.

These stories are wholly original, bringing a new and distinct flavour to well-known favourites, or crafting completely new narratives that have a fairy tale feel about their execution. Several of the stories are recognisable if you squint: a Cinderella story that is a cross between Maid in Manhattan and The Bachelor; a Rapunzel story with Artificial Intelligence and conspiracy theories, set in space; a Snow White set in a high-school that mirrors issues around TikTok and body image.

These versions may sound like the well-known iterations have been copy-pasted into a more modern setting, but the character names and some story themes are all that are recognisable in these stories. They are more like fully original tales with a fairy dust sprinkling of familiar flavour, so that when you read them you find yourself in completely new territory, with well-worn signposts the only markers that remain of the old stories.

This collection is wonderfully imaginative and puts queer characters front and centre, where they shine with a rainbow of emotions and agency, living full lives, making mistakes, falling in love, rescuing family members, and visiting strange and hostile planets.

I’d recommend this book to lovers of queer stories, fairy tales, and imaginative short fiction – the collection hits all the right notes.

This review was first published on ArtsHub.

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