Thumbs up for Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente. Fantasy.
The perfection of Valente’s writing reduces me to wordless sputters. Somehow she catches the rhythm of both the Old West (her Snow White is half-Cherokee, and the name’s a cruel irony) and Old World fairytales. I’d read medication warning labels if she wrote them.
Snow White rides [her pony, Charming] hard, no mistaking. She needs distance, the generosity of miles. Maybe there’s no gone that’s far enough, but if there is, she aims to find it. She lets Charming snatch up sea-grass, and when the sea’s so far behind them she can’t smell salt, she directs him to alfalfa and meadowsweet. Snow White portions out a bag of apples she absconded with between herself and her horse. She still does not care for apples but food is food. Sugar is sugar. She has to make them last. All the smarts in the world don’t tell you where the next town lies when you’ve never seen the big open but in pictures. Don’t matter much. She’s never been happy a day in her life until she lit out hell for Hades, and she she never sees another human face, it’s just as well by her. Snow White puts her gun on her arm and takes down a beaver for a week’s suppers. She’s not too sure how to dry it perfect, but she does her best, and the fur sits better on her shoulders than any dress she ever wore to please her daddy. She’s careful with her bullets. Gotta miser them good. Her life is weighted out in apples and bullets.
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