I am catching up on my Podcastle stories and plan to write a general recommendation post, but I had to stop and give praise to Eugie Foster's story, Daughter of Botu. This was truly a wonderful tale, full of heart, and proof that new folk tales can be written masterfully today.
The Chinese fable tells us of a young rabbit named An-ying, born "beneath the auspice of fire", who, after she takes on human form, finds love and prosperity. However, she does not understand the strange customs and nuances of human society; and hidden dangers lurk to rob her of her innocence and happiness.
I really enjoyed the fantasy in the story as well as the insights about family and the power, and sometimes, fragility of love.
Eugie Foster ( eugieon LJ) is a very imaginative and diverse writer. Her writting ranges from light-hearted childrens' stories to works of chilling horror with adult themes. I have mainly heard her stories that have been produced by various podcasts (which is actually quite a bit); and while I like some more than others, one thing is for sure: if the by-line reads Eugie Foster, get ready for a creative, well-crafted story. Here are some of my favorites:
[NKF] = Not Kid Friendly
The Storyteller's Wife from MechMuze (This was my first Eugie Foster Story)
The Life and Times of Penguin from EscapePod
The Adventures of Manny the Mailmobile from ClonePod
Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast [NKF] from EscapePod
Nobodies and Sombodies from Aberrent Dreams
The Tanuki-Kettle from PodCastle
The Wiggly People [NKF] from Drabblecast
The Tiger Fortune Princess from Drabblecast (direct link doesn't work, but you can download the mp3 if you go the Drabblecast MP3 warehouse, find episode 57, and click it to download.)
A few of these tales, including Daughter of Botu, can also be found in her story collection Returning My Sister's Face: And Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice, which is on my wish list.