Jack Yap once had his mouth sewn shut for talking too much. His brother Pudding has to wear stone shoes or he’ll just wander off. Will little obstacles like these keep the boys out of trouble? Not for the twinkling of an eye. There is magic in the hills, shapechangers and monsters, and Jack Yap has a hankering to meet them all and maybe kill a few. What he and Pudding find in the hills, however, changes both their lives, taking them out of the country and into the cruel and wonderful world, where witches and princesses await. Sometimes they are even the same person.
“The best story from the online Summer issue is also dark fantasy, this time blackly humorous: ‘Stone Shoes’, by C. S. E. Cooney, about Jack Yap and his brother Pudding and their Marm and a skinchanger’s egg — linguistically inventive, and slyly vicious.” –Rich Horton, from the January 2008 Locus
“Claire Cooney spins tales of Grimm horror with elvish gold gleaming in their darkness. They have the vivid colors of an extremely good nightmare, a fertile and vernal radiance all their own: funny and horrifying and moving by turns — and sometimes out of turn. If you’ve forgotten why you love fantasy, these stories of Jack Yap and Shapechanger Tam will remind you.” –James Enge, author of Blood of Ambrose, nominated for the 2009 World Fantasy Award.
“Stunningly delicious! Cruel, beautiful and irresistible are C.S.E. Cooney’s characters and prose. Just when you thought fantasy had devolved into endless repetition, ’Jack o’ the Hills’ blows us all over the next hill and into the kingdom beyond. C.S.E. Cooney is a rare and exciting new talent. Whatever she offers us next, I’ll waiting in line to read.” – Ellen Kushner, author of Thomas the Rhymer
C.S.E. Cooney has spent the last two years perched in an aerie of the Windy City. Her fiction and poetry can be found in Clockwork Phoenix 3, Subterranean Press, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Ideomancer, Goblin Fruit, and Mythic Delirium.