The Big Idea: Jane Yolen

This Big Idea, for Jane Yolen’s new book The Scarlet Circus, tangentially involves me! In, I must admit, pretty flattering way.


I have loved John Scalzi, his work, and his Big Idea column for many years. I even wrote a bunch of stuff for him along the way. But in the manner of fantasy and fairy and romance fiction, there is no real reason for going any further than stating that. There was, alas, no romance, not even a small slightly off-color pun between us. 

But if he had been a jinn or an alien or a time traveler . . . the kind you can find in my stories, well then, our love affair might have made it into my newest book, The Scarlet Circus, stories and poems about fantasy (and science fictional) love.

So, perhaps he might at least have made it into the footnotes or one of the poems in the back. Alas, the hour of our NON-romance has past (although I have to say that I am newly remarried after fifteen years of widowhood, and all Scalzi has to show for it is this small post in his Big Idea column).

This surprises us both, because neither he nor I knew that I was much of a romantic fiction kind of person. But when I began looking at my backlog of published short stories, why, there they were! I put it down to being eighty-three and not remembering everything I have written from the 1960s onward.

So, John, shed a tear, or a laugh, or a sigh. Make a memory that never existed. And settle down to love the humans and others who find romance or a passing fancy in these stories. It couldn’t hurt!

The Scarlet Circus: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Bookshop|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site.

5 Comments on “The Big Idea: Jane Yolen”

  1. For the avoidance of doubt, Jane and I have known each other for years (we are both past presidents of SFWA, as it happens), and have been friends for much of that time. She’s lovely.

  2. Looking forward to meeting Jane Yolen who will be GOH at Balticon this coming Memorial Day weekend. And also John Scalzi, who is this year’s recipient of Balticon’s Heinlein Award.

  3. ALAS, Tim Doyle, because of massive surgery on my teeth right before Balticon, I will only be able to be there virtually, though I will be (this weekend) at Boskone in person as it is three months before the surgery!


  4. Jane, congratulations from me and from Jo on your new marriage, congratulations on the new book, and also, a very slightly belated birthday (Jane and my mother share a day, although one year apart).

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