My name is Merrie Haskell, and I confess: I used to be obsessed with King Arthur.
I started keeping a notebook on interesting King Arthur facts, and notes on every book I read about him (fiction and non-fiction) when I was 12. In my senior year of high school, I did an independent study on King Arthur and churned out a 50-page paper on “Arthur’s Britain.” (I later put all that stuff on a website which is now defunct, feeling that while it reflected my best work when I was 18? Now, not so much.)
Like many people who are obsessed with things, I also burned out. I can’t think of the last time I’ve read an Arthur-related book and really enjoyed it. I’ll watch the occasional movie (the Clive Owen King Arthur movie was both absurd and insightful, IMO), the occasional myth-abusive TV show (the Merlin episode of Stargate:SG-1), but I tend to avoid longer-term investments like the TV shows Merlin and Camelot. Novels are also longer-term time investments.
So, a short story clearly fits my criteria. And awesomely, the Alphabet Quartet by Tim Pratt, Heather Shaw, Greg van Eekhout and Jenn Reese kicks off with “A is for Arthur“. And it became my favorite short story of The Past Long While, because it asks THE question about King Arthur that I’ve always really wondered about: why did Shakespeare never write a great Arthurian play?
Read it. Love it.
Or don’t, I really have a dog in this race, I just wanted to share how awesome I thought the story was.