"When a vorpal rose sang, it meant she was happy. Which meant somebody was bleeding."
Someone has been "snatching" the Cheshires- stealing their teeth while they sleep, which means that when they disappear they are unable to reappear and instead are gone forever. The sisters, Lily-White and Ruby-Red set out to find the killer and set things to rights. While it was technically a tale full of murder, this story capture the whimsy and topsy-turvyness of Wonderland in a way that made it more than just another horror story.
Conjoined by Jane Yolen
'"Are you a man," a voice purred, "or a mantle?"
"I am an ape, " I answered in my thick voice. It had taken Barnum many years to get me to sound reasonably like a man.
"What are you aping?" Again that purr of a voice. Soft as a snake through the bends of green. Or the feathers of an own on the hunt.
"Sometimes, " I said carefully, "I ape a man."'
"What would happen if you crossed Alice in Wonderland with? The Ring" asked no-one ever!
Run, Rabbit by Angela Slatter
In this story by Brisbane author, Angela Slatter, the white rabbit is hiding out in the real world from the Red Queen, who wants his head.
In Memory of a Summer's Day by Matthew Kressel
Wonderland has become a popular tourist attraction, to which thousands of visitors are drawn daily, despite the dangers they are warned about.
Sentence Like a Saturday by Seanan McGuire
In a delightful change of pace, this is the story of the Cheshire Cat, who finds herself unceremoniously dumped out into the real world to balance out Alice's entry into Wonderland. Now shaped like a little girl, the cat, or Kitty, as she is now called, must learn to live with logic and try to make a human life for herself until she can find a way home.
Worrity, Worrity by Andy Duncan
A story about John Tenniel, Carroll's original illustrator, who suggested Carroll cut a scene from his book about a wasp in a wig, as mentioned in the footnotes of The Annotated Alice.
The Flame After the Candle by Catherynne M. Valente
"And do you know the funniest thing? An Oxford don, living in the walled garden of the university, with servants and a snug little house in which to write nonsense poems and puzzles and make inventions to your heart's content- that's more and more permanent a childhood than I ever had."
This complicated tale alternates between chapters about a modern girl exploring Wonderland and a meeting between the grown up Alice Hargreaves (on whom Carroll based his stories) and Peter Llewelyn Davies, who inspired J.M. Barrie to write Peter Pan. The poverty stricken, elderly Alice is a little bitter and happy to let Peter know with her dry wit.
Mad Hatters and March Hares is an enchanting collection of short stories, many very dark, some full of whimsy, humour or a poignant sense of loss. It's definitely worth reading for fans of Lewis Carroll.
Published: December 2017
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Tor books, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.