The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way HomeHello, friends of Fairyland! The last volume of September’s adventures in Fairyland will be coming to a bookstore (or device!) near you on March 1st. I know that may seem like too soon to say goodbye to September, Saturday, A-Through-L, Hawthorne, Tamerlaine, or any of the other friends we’ve made over the years… But I also recognize the eager and wicked gleam in your eye, wanting to take just one peek behind the cover before the official release.

Well, you’re in luck! Entertainment Weekly has scored an exclusive excerpt from The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home. Click on the link below to read the first chapter:

Read an excerpt from Catherynne Valente’s final Fairyland novel.

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You know, I’ve gotten away from long form blogging in the last few years. Gotten used to saying what I need to say in 140 characters or less. But sometimes, the Internet gives you a thing so beautiful, so perfect, so precious, that you just have to stretch out on your online yoga mat and get ready to hold your goddamned warrior pose.

Today, I am going to translate this essay from Think Piece to English for you. As far as I can tell, it is written by a woman, from the point of view of a hypothetical man, in first person, to a different hypothetical lonely heart woman. It’s some kind of online dating profile Inception. It’s the distilled essence of a hundred thousand Marilyn Monroe quotations on Tinder mated with a million dudes who can’t handle you at your worst but also cannot handle Taco Bell’s dollar menu.

Are you ready for some football weird quasi-medieval unrealistic dating advice?

To my sweet wild woman, I know why it hasn’t worked out with anyone else—you don’t need a man, but a goddamn warrior.

Your previous relationships have not been successful because you have refrained from dating members of the active military and/or domestic abusers. Bad female! No biscuit.

You are the strength of Turkish coffee at sunrise, darlin’, and don’t try to pretend that you’re not. You are one of the wild ones, and no matter how you tried to hide that fact, you can’t be anything other than what you are—and that’s okay. 

You taste like the bin at a cigar club and have severe insomnia. Also no one can stand to be around you due to diagnosed Severe Manic Pixie Dream Girlism and probably all those one-martini lunches to prove to yourself that you’re “one of the wild ones” while working in a mid-level PR firm. AM I DOING NEGGING RIGHT?

You are just as you are supposed to be, magnificently wild in all of your chaotic beauty.

Your make-up skills could use some work.

I know you’ve had your heart broken and I know that you don’t understand why it always seems to never work out, but I’ve finally figured it out:

You don’t need a man, you need a goddamn warrior.

I KNOW WHY YOUR RELATIONSHIPS DON’T WORK OUT IT IS BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT RELATIONSHIPS WITH ME.

P.S. I am not a warrior by any definition of the word.

It doesn’t matter if this warrior drives a Jeep or a shiny sports car, and it won’t matter if he wears silk or cotton—it will not even matter if he works in a high-rise, or on the night shift.

This is an excellent deal for “the warrior.” The Warrior doesn’t need a job, a car, or even a shirt. Unlike all those non-warrior suckers you’ve been dating. You’re one of the wild ones! Wild ones like dates to the Hostess aisle at the convenience store, right? ETHAN HAWKE REALITY BITES IS MY FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

What is going to matter is that when it comes to taking bets on your heart, he is going to be high stakes—all the way.

I am definitely going to stalk you. Like, before, during, and after any interaction we have. I will uncomfortably over-commit on every level. Coffee or tea? COFFEE IS THE ONLY BEVERAGE TEA IS FOR COMMUNISTS. BOOM. I AM A WARRIOR.

Also, when it comes to taking bets on your heart, I would put all your money on “This guy played Vampire: The Masquerade way too much in the 90s and seriously thinks his spirit animal is a “lone wolf.” Someday I will find him on all fours in my kitchen snarling at my pug over a piece of bacon that fell off the counter.”

This warrior of yours will crave your strength, and your intensity. He’s going to look at you and not see something to tame, but something to just fuckin’ admire.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, who brought up taming? It’s like we all went to a nice dinner party together and this guy brought a live antelope. What’s the matter, you SQUARES? Don’t you like my fuckin’ antelope? Only losers refuse to acknowledge where their food comes from! Look at your goddamned jello salad! What’s that, Jeanine? SOUP? Jesus Christ, just get a knife out of the drawer and do what I do! This will bond us all together as an IT Department, I swear.

Also, the warrior drops his g’s because g’s are the wussiest letter. Fuck G’s, man!

This warrior of yours won’t be someone that you can manipulate or play with as you have in the past, so honey, don’t even try—and trust me, you’re going to love him even more because of it.

He is a Men’s Rights Activist and active Redditor.

Because you aren’t just a woman, you’re a goddamn goddess.

Let’s just take a minute to admire “goddamned” as an adjective modifying “goddess.”

Pretty much the only way I can make sense of this is: “You are a super terrible goddess who really pissed off your Olympian co-workers and will definitely not be invited to Secret Santa this year. GOD, Jeanine!”

Your fierceness is going to bring him to his knees every single time he looks into your gorgeous eyes 

This is going to make going to the movies super awkward. Every time he accidentally looks you in the eye he will fall to his knees uncontrollably, and probably uncontrollably weeping, while the kid shoveling popcorn stares, open-mouthed, silently praying for death.

But the difference is, unlike the others, he isn’t going to be scared off. 

By looking you in the eye. SUPER WARRIOR TIME.

No, this time, you will have finally met your match—because a simple man for you just won’t do. You need someone to match the fire in your eyes with his own. Not only that, my little wild thing, but this warrior of yours is going to want to encourage the flames instead of trying to douse them with his own insecurities.

But he will definitely be the kind of condescending XBox Live poweruser who calls you “my little wild thing.” Nope, no insecurities there! His wildness is WARRIOR STRONG ROAR YES. Yours is adorable. He will encourage you to commit arson without trying to douse your flames with nagging bullshit like: “That’s not your house” or “Help I am on fire.”

Because for you, a warrior is the only man who will ever live in the wild with you.

The Warrior is homeless.

He may not have to slay any dragons to earn your love, but he would still walk through fire if it meant seeing that amazing smile that you hold in reserve for only him.

NO SMILING AT ANYONE ELSE. SMILES ARE ONLY FOR THE WARRIOR. HE EARNED THOSE SMILES! BY NOT SLAYING DRAGONS AND NOT CALLING YOU BACK!

This is the thing, free spirit, this warrior you seek….he’s seeking you too.

The Warrior swipes right on everyone, just in case.

For he’s had failed relationships that have left him wondering if maybe he was meant to be alone for the rest of his journey

The Warrior is an MGTOW.

…and you’re going to change all of that for him. You both have been travelling along on your separate journeys and have been doing an okay job at it, but that about to change too.

THAT’S RIGHT, LADIES! YOU CAN CHANGE HIM! Good thing we’re still running datingin1955.exe You’re gonna FIX him! It always works out!

Because baby, when you and this warrior of yours meet and collide—it’s going to be a love set on fire.

This is not your house. Help, I am on fire.

Don’t try to run this time—I know your heart has been broken before, and that you’re not used to things working out, but this time it’s different. Give yourself time to see that.

*Jabba tongue* You will learn to appreciate me. Don’t try to run. No, seriously. The yard is full of mines.

This warrior of yours needs to see that it’s possible for someone to see all of his wild, and still be there when he craves his freedom and ventures off into this world for a bit. 

He normally lives in a timeshare in an alternate dimension where the Loch Ness Monster rules Britain with gentle benevolence. He just saunters by every once in awhile to do laundry and post to his blog.

You won’t always need to follow him, just as he won’t always follow you. 

You will lose each other in shopping malls for weeks at a time.

Let yourself stay wild, even when all you want to do is curl up in that spot along his side and forget the rest of the world exists.

He is a Tauntaun. Curl up in that spot along his side and keep warm.

Let yourself still wander naked under the full moon

Don’t do that.

Drink moonshine with the stars. 

Stars will burn you to death and also they have been sober for one million days so fucking have a little respect, lady.

Let yourself feel the pull of the wind on your heart

The Warrior has sacrificed you on a pyramid of skulls because that is the only way you can feel the blue-corn moon pull of the wind on your still-beating heart.

…and the sun toward a new journey. Because this warrior is going to love you because of your wild—and he’ll want you to keep it.

Swipe left on grammar.

Also the Warrior gets to decide which of your personality traits you get to keep! The others he will BATTLE TO THE DEATH.

You’ll be in this together now, this amazing, crazy, chaotic, wonderfully heartbreaking life

Wait, what? I did not order the heartbreaking life. I want the other one.

Because it takes a warrior to love a goddess. And it takes a goddess to show a warrior what real love is.

Look, the Warrior. You’re like 35. If you don’t know what real love is yet, this whole Red Sonja schtick isn’t gonna help. At best you are a Thumb Warrior, so settle down.

So pack up your insecurities and your ideas about picket fences

We will not be able to afford a home with you supporting me ha ha.

Because that was never you anyway. You were born knowing that you were destined for more, and now is the time for you to see what all those dreams look like.

More = the Warrior. Your dreams look like the Warrior. Your destiny is a dude with facial tattoos and an extensive vinyl collection. That’s it. Not painting or writing or politics or coding. Just this guy right here. Aw, yeah.

There is no stopping a love like this, so promise me you’ll hold out just a little bit longer.

There is no stopping the Warrior. Consent is funny! Love means never getting to say no! WARRIOR.

Have a little bit of hope, and always give love just one more try, because I promise you my sweet wild woman—the love that you seek is seeking you as well.

The call is coming from inside the house.

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For the last couple of years, we’ve been doing a little audio surprise around Christmas time, which we call our Christmas Cracker. In lieu of thousands of holiday cards, it’s a gift from our house to all of you.

This year, actor Heath Miller and I recorded the Callowhale PSA from Radiance in all it’s 1930s glory! Listen here.

Our last Cracker was a recording of my story 25 Facts About Santa Claus, which you can still listen to here.

Happy holidays to everyone!

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I usually wait until January 1st to post this, but it all seems to be happening a little early this year, so I will bump up my Annual Obligatory Awards Eligibility Post.

As a note, no matter the nonsense tossed about like the world’s worst and slimiest beach ball by the Puppies last year, I believe in the value of authors posting what they have that’s eligible and will keep doing it. I am so often reminded of a story or book that I had forgotten about by such posts. There’s simply too much out there to keep up with on one’s own. So without further throat-clearing, here’s what I did in 2015.

Novel

Radiance

The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (eligible for the Andre Norton Award as well as Best Novel in Nebula World)

Novella

Speak Easy

Novelette

The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild

Short Story

Planet Lion

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You may have heard a distant rumor that I have a book coming out today–well, it is rumor no longer, but gorgeous, tentacled, decopunk TRUTH.

Radiance is wild and woolly and brand new and in the world today!

I’m so excited and biting my nails and can’t believe it’s really out–a book seven years in the making, that began with a Clarkesworld short story and somehow turned into a big fat novel full of everything that lives in my heart. I’ve been saying for years that Radiance is a decopunk alt-history Hollywood space opera mystery thriller with space whales–well, now you can find out what the hell all that means.

If you are the kind of blessed, beautiful soul who is inclined to help out authors with novels in swaddling clothes, there’s lots you can do. Obviously, you know, buy the book so that I can continue to heat my house which is full of cantankerous carnivorous animals. Online or in bookstores, ebook or in print. Leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or what have you–people often think these don’t matter but they do, enormously. Come to my readings over the next couple of weeks for I am touring the nation (each stop is themed after a different planet!) and may come somewhat near you! (Big splashy flapper launch party at WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn tonight, Seattle at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park on Thursday, Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing in Portland, OR Friday, The Last Bookstore in LA on Saturday!) And spread the word.

In fact, if you do spread the word, I have something pretty cool waiting in the wings.

Any time over the next week (ending Wednesday October 28th), if you post, tweet, Instagram, or leave a review (positive or negative! You can hate the thing, it’s okay!) about Radiance, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win Mr. Bergamot and his stack of books. Who is Mr. Bergamot? Well, he’s this fine fellow:

FullSizeRender (1)

 

IMG_7526In the world of Radiance, Mr. Bergamot, the gentleman octopus, was the star of Percival Unck’s first series of children’s films, beginning with The Majestic Mystery of Mr. Bergamot in 1924. Unck is the most powerful filmmaker on the Moon, and he made the Bergamot movies for his mostly unimpressed daughter, Severin, who would one day grow up and disappear on Venus. Mr. Bergamot is in black and white, naturally, as he never made the transition to color. He is also quite a beefy fellow, coming in at 24 inches tall, including tentacles and top hat. He enjoys long slithers on the beach, horrors from beyond the depths of space, comforting lost children, and signed limited editions–along with Mr. Bergamot you’ll get signed and personalized copies of Radiance, Speak Easy, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, and the rare hardcover of The Bread We Eat in Dreams.

How do you let me know you’ve entered the drawing? Use @catvalente or #Radiancenovel on Twitter, tag me on Facebook or Instagram, or leave a link in the comments to this entry.

Also, you can listen to the INCREDIBLE audiobook, read by Heath Miller, who has turned the book into a veritable radio play of voices, songs, and assorted pyrotechnics. (It’ll be out on Audible in a day or two.)

And that’s all! Here are excerpts, an interview or two, and here are places where you can get a copy of my funny intimate little tale about silent films, space whales, and the end of the universe for yourself.

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