“The Price of Glamour” by Steve Berman from So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction by Lethe Press (2009). Originally published in The Faery Reel (Viking Press).
This is going to make my head spin.
As I’ve said several times during this project, until recently I thought I didn’t like the fantasy genre. It should be no surprise, then, that I have become familiar with this author’s work through the collections he’s made of stories he’s had published in various science fiction and fantasy magazines, and his novel, Vintage.
I’d already reviewed Trysts: A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird Stories (Lethe Press, 2001) for this project and was all set to review Second Thoughts: More Queer and Weird Stories (Lethe Press, 2008), when the release day for the third collection, Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers (Lethe Press, 2014), arrived. I skipped reviewing the second book in favor of the third because it was happening right then. This story was in the second book.
Another tale from the same world as this story is included in Red Caps. When I reviewed it (Short Stories 365/83), I took a moment to review this story:
What it boils down to is this: in “The Price of Glamour” a thieving sprite named Tupp Smatterpit, for all intents and purposes indentured to the spriggan Bluebottle, finds himself the victim of theft. It’s disastrous because he’s been saving up—at great personal peril—to buy his freedom from servitude. He sets out to get his valuables back and discovers that he was robbed by a clever human boy named Lind. Tupp is very taken with Lind, but isn’t entirely sure what to make of that and feels he could never risk letting the other know his true feelings. The unfolding adventure solves his initial dilemma while believably setting up that Lind needs his assistance going forward. The boy hasn’t just stolen from Tupp; he’s robbed many of the Folk, and he’ll need protection and to make amends.
I ended that entry with this declaration:
I have no idea how many more Tupp and Lind stories are out there, but I aim to find out and read them all.
Shortly after that I had a conversation with the author via text and asked him if there were actually any more Tupp and Lind stories. He wrote back, “ummm no”.
Wrong answer. (It was my reply then, too.)
I’m confidant you’ll like this story. And as for the notion that I don’t like the fantasy genre? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. We can consider that myth officially dispelled.