Five Things About The Mutation of Fortune by Erica Adams

1. The Mutation of Fortune by Erica Adams, is available, now from Green Lantern Press and this is a book you definitely want to get your hands on because it is imaginative, original and darkly provocative.

2.  Three fortunes were written for the book which was given to psychics for readings. The second fortune, written by Alchemilla V. Midnight, is below. You can also read the book’s first fortune (written by Thordis Bjornsdottir) and third fortune (written by Rowland Saifi aka Dr. Victor A. Schwert).

Dear Book,
This is not your first life as a book and it is not your last. Many lifetimes ago, you were not material, but existed in the hearts and memories of rough bearded and tough footed folk. You were breathed to life by firelight and whispered by older sisters at midnight, under cool linen. Book, you have made tender chests beat so quickly, fluttering as if there were butterflies, actually more like thick moths, attracted to the glow of your stories that lived in these hearts. Now here you are, a book, and it is no surprise to you, but perhaps surprising that so many will read you and be changed in their own ways, thereby changing you. Don’t be afraid of this change, Book. Allow yourself be devoured, remembering another life as biscuits or bison. You will become something else then and you already are, your being dissolving into the person holding you in her hands. As you rest here in these hands, dissolve into the next thing. Be like vapor.

3. The book, as a physical artifact, is a work of art and includes several full color, glossy images of collages created by Adams. The typography and design lend to an ancient, fortune telling aesthetic and really enhance the reading experience. Each story is accompanied by a series of runes which categorize the stories. The bookmark included with the book serves as a key to the runes. This is a book that remains very true to its concept in both content and design. Each fairy tale in the book features the same protagonist in circumstances that are, at times menacing or complex or surreal. The protagonist is quite interesting in how she observes the world and is unapologetic about her desires. In “The Only Rule,” she talks about her sister who has a creature living inside her. At the end of the tale, the narrator tells us:

I have wished my sister dead, burning up into ashes. When I feel bad about this wish I change it: I wish the living thing inside my sister would die and burn up into a coil of ashes. Burn up, even if it means making my sister cry. That my sister should not cry is the only rule in the house. But when you itch as terribly as I do, you are willing to break the rule.

Some of the fairy tales, as is the nature of fairy tales, are violent, others are magical and surreal,and some read like parables or the dispensation of wisdom. No matter the thematic approach, each story is smart and richly written. The Mutation of Fortune is definitely unlike anything I’ve read before, and brings a really fresh perspective to a well established genre.

4. Caroline Picard, the book’s publisher, had a great conversation with Erica Adams about The Mutation of Fortune, how it came about, and the book’s thematic elements. It is a really insightful interview and I loved learning more about the project in the writer/artist’s own words. Adams talks about her experience with the sense of danger that pervades the book:

With fairy tales, there’s usually a terrible thing that happens, like a father who wants to marry his daughter or someone being put into a barrel full of nails and tossed into the ocean. I think our mind’s ability to fill in the details– the cramped space of the barrel, the O of the screaming mouth– is what makes danger present for us, as readers. I have always wanted to tread lightly in writing stories; let the reader participate by adding those details that come from their own past. What elements of our personal psychic heritage do we bring as readers? That’s an exciting space, the intimacy of fleshing out a story in your mind.

5. I’m giving away a copy of this book. If you’d like to be entered into the random drawing (I’ll assign each participant a number and use a random generator), leave a comment between now and next Friday, 6/17 at 5 p.m., sharing your favorite fairy tale and why you like it.

5b. This book has a limited run of 500. Don’t miss out on a chance to get your hands on this beautiful book. The Mutation of Fortune is really quite memorable.

ETA: The winner of the free copy of this lovely book is Liam Harkin!

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  1. SCS

      The best fairy tale is that of the little mermaid.  It is about how she has everything (“thingamabobs…I’ve got twenty”) and yet she wants more.  Very depressing.

  2. Ben Segal

      I would like to be entered to win this book even though I am having a hard time pinning down a favorite fairy tale. I think the true answer is the animated Disney version of Robin Hood, the one with the foxes, which is maybe not a real fairy tale at all.

  3. Colin Winnette

      In a field in Virginia, just
      outside of D.C., three men were walking side by side.  One was blind. 
      One was mute.  The third,
      naked.  They had been walking most
      of the day.  They were hungry.  A quail erupted from a mess of tall
      grass, and the blind man watched it move. 
      The mute man said I’ll catch it.  The naked man took it from the mute
      man, and put it in his pocket.  I
      said it wasn’t much to eat.  I said
      it made me worry.  What if it only
      makes us more hungry?  W ho are you? they
      asked.  And how did you
      get here?  The naked man protected his pockets, hovered his hands like
      a net.
      Not sure why I like this one so much.  Maybe the little surprises.  Maybe the resistance in it, some strange tension in the narrative.  Mostly, I enjoy stories that seem to anticipate and resist my expectations.


  4. Anonymous

      The Minpins by Rhold Dhal because it scared the bejeezus out of me as kid. I had it on tape cassette and played it on a army camo coloured casette player. So in the minpin forest inside this cassette player there were now monsters; Whangdoodles, Hornswogglers, Snozzwanglers, Vermicious knids and worst of all, the Terrible Bloodsuckling Toothpluckling Stonechuckling Spittle. It loves imagination. I really want to read it now.

  5. bobby

      Not a typical fairy tale, but I remember very vividly reading “The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read,” when I was little. The scene that stuck w/ me to this day is the one where he cannot read the packages in his pantry and winds up eating detergent. That was my first visceral reading experience. 

  6. Ryan

      I always thought this little guy was hilarious:

      Somehow it was all tied up with a story he’d heard once, about a boy
      born with a golden screw where his navel should have been. For twenty
      years he consults doctors and specialists all over the world, trying to
      get rid of this screw, and having no success. Finally,
      in Haiti, he runs into a voodoo doctor who gives him a foul-smelling
      potion. He drinks it, goes to sleep and has a dream. In this dream he
      finds himself on a street, lit by green lamps. Following the witch-man’s
      instructions, he takes two rights and a left from his point of origin,
      finds a tree growing by the seventh street light, hung all over with
      colored balloons. On the fourth limb from the top there is a red
      balloon; he breaks it and inside is a screwdriver with a yellow plastic
      handle. With the screwdriver he removes the screw from his stomach, and
      as soon as this happens he wakes from the dream. It is morning. He looks
      down toward his navel, the screw is gone. That twenty years’ curse is
      lifted at last. Delirious with joy, he leaps up out of bed, and his ass
      falls off.

      -Thomas Pynchon – V

  7. Your Guest

      you know that if i had the money i would buy you whatever you wanted, right?

  8. erica

      what a lovely & multifacted review! thank you. also: the author
      photo on the right was taken by/digitally altered by keith aguiar (

  9. Pamela Steele

      I have two favorites, really, one modern and the other classic. I loved Roald Dahl’s The Witches and The Brothers’ Grimm Hansel and Gretel. Both are centered on resourceful, imaginative, witty children and I always relied on those sorts of stories in my own imaginative play as a kid. How could I outwit the witch? How could I escape the beast so-and-so was playing?

  10. Rachel H

      the little mermaid, because i relate to feeling i belong in another world..

  11. Janey Smith

      Roxane? This post makes me make the O of the screaming mouth. Fairy tale: Exit the Rubberman, Scott O’Hara. Why? Written during a time when writers were attempting to make safe sex sexy, O’Hara attempted to make unsafe sex sexier. 

  12. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      I probably related more to the Stinky Cheese Man than any of the old-school fairy tales.

  13. The Mutation of Fortune on html giant | The Lantern Daily

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