You never know a good thing till it’s gone. By August, when the air conditioning’s broken down, the sparklers are all burned out, and the car feels like a takeout-bag scented sauna, you’re praying for summer to end. Now that February’s here in all its colorless, slushy glory, you’re probably missing those sparklers and maybe even your smelly car. The closest we can get to a summer vacation right now is escaping into a book or movie—and what’s more summery than a deep-sea mermaid story? Here are six of my favorites.
2.) Men Who Wish to Drown
|Art by Anna & Elena Balbusso|
This one’s as creepy-yet-cool as the title suggests. A reluctant first-time whaler falls overboard and ends up stranded on the Weepecket Islands, where he meets the love of his life. Too bad she’s a mermaid cursed by a sea witch. This short story is available to read for free over at Tor.com.
3.) The Secret of Roan Inish
Fiona’s brother, Jamie, disappeared the day her family left Roan Inish. His cradle drifted out to sea, but when she returns years later Fiona spots a boy his age living alone on the island. Fiona’s family is supposedly descended from a fisherman who married a selkie woman, and Jamie takes after her side of the family. In some ways similar to Ondine, yet also completely different, The Secret of Roan Inish is the movie that made me fall in love with selkies.
Mara’s human mother abandoned their family, supposedly to save her immortal soul. As a mermaid, Mara knows she doesn’t have a soul and doesn’t care—she just wants her mother to come home. This chapter book, written by Katherine Langrish, retells Matthew Arnold’s poem “The Forsaken Merman.”
This Russian movie is a little hard to find but well worth looking for. It’s a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” featuring a gorgeous mermaid, an arrogant prince, and a kind-hearted storyteller, and ends with a tragic yet perfect romantic twist.
6.) The Mermaid’s Three Wisdoms
What are your favorite mermaid stories?