REVIEW: “Poison_apple.exe” by Chanel Earl

Review of Chanel Earl, “Poison_apple.exe”, in Starward Tales II, edited by CB Droege (Manawaker Studio, 2017): 145-159 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

This is another story where the inspiring myth is clear from the title alone. The twist comes from the fact that the story is told from the POV of the “evil queen” (who is the grandmother, rather than the stepmother — a pleasant twist away from a standard trope). The setting of the story is maybe one or two generations from the present, and Earl works in the SF elements — which are perforce muted because of the timeline — in a very careful and precise way. The magic mirror is not magic, merely a robot. Instead of poisoned apples, Snow White must avoid a cleverly implanted computer virus.

Earl’s take on “Snow White” was a vivid and different retelling of the story. She evokes the reader’s sympathy in the main character while also perfectly capturing 7-year-old exuberance.

My enjoyment of the story was marred by the number of missing apposite commas, which jars me every time, as well as a few typos and errors in capitalization. It’s a shame that a good story was let down by the proofreading and editing.