MAD HATTERS AND MARCH HARES
As with many anthologies, the blend of authors present makes reviewing Mad Hatters and March Hares a bit difficult; not everyone will enjoy the tonal shifts that abound, with author focus ranging from the humorous to the horrific to the poetic. However, given the presence of all three tones in the original source material, the multi-faceted nature of this collection can be forgiven. The stories that most linger after reading, then, are those that manage to embrace all of those natures at once. Angela Slatter, for example, with her offering of “Run, Rabbit,” is perhaps one of the best suited to revisiting Wonderland — or perhaps it is that Wonderland is best suited for re-visitation by authors such as Kaaron Warren, who can so gracefully present wry humour intertwined with raw, expressive grit.
In Mad Hatters and March Hares, a range of authors present their takes on the strange, shifting world of Wonderland and its variety of quirky inhabitants. A variety of alternative views and engaging what-ifs abound, but some of the most lingering experiences are from the questions that are, perhaps, as strange and twisted as the original source itself: who would eat food from a dead man's house? How rotten is the core of the apple? Kaaron Warren's “Eating the Alice Cake” is a delightfully weird, creepy little take on Wonderland's food sources. “In Memory of a Summer's Day,” by Matthew Kressel strikes at a fascinating chord of the Alice mythos: the idea that the Disney-era, cheerfully child-friendly version of Wonderland is simply a front, through which naive tourists are led by a weary, jaded tour guide. (TOR, Dec., 336 pp., $20.39)