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From Silverberg: The three novellas in this book trace their ancestry to my novel The Gate of Worlds, which I wrote in 1966: an exuberant alternate-universe story which I intended, originally, as the first volume of a trilogy.
The fight against the root of all evil requires a master! Despite being a time traveler and literal Renaissance man, Dr. John Dee has adjusted admirably to life on Earth in 2100. But his mercantile genius is once again put to the test when he and his twenty-second-century comrades, Morgan d'Winter and Kelly Edwards, are called upon to protect their world from the machinations of an alien renegade posing as a messiah. When the chips are down, only John Dee can save the past, present, and future from this pretender and his expanding army of human zombies!
[From the front inside flap:] "When Geena Howe first discovers her ability to project herself inside a painting, she thinks it is the most wonderful thing in the world. She can explore the worlds of her favorite artists, from Mondrian to Rembrandt, for as long as she wants. The only rule is that she must leave at the same spot where she entered the painting in the first place. Disaster strikes when she enters a painting by Claude Monet of a pond filled with water lilies. The inhabitants of the castle at the far end of the painting inform her that the castle and entire vicinity are haunted. Geena is skeptical of this "ghost" that supposedly changes the landscape regularly, but changes her mind when the castle, the land around it, even her clothes and hair are altered! Worse, the changes have eliminated the water lily pond, cutting Geena off from home. Geena must brave a huge maze in order to confront the ghost and convince it--or them--to put the pond back so she can get home!" During her days and nights trapped in the castle, Geena discovers first hand the different between the culture in her time and that of France over a century ago. A boy, Crispin, about her age, who knows he and his surroundings will probably change every few hours, finds the courage to travel through the rough castle with Geena to help her find the place in the lily-covered moat where she arrived. His guidance and information, food he helps her to pack and the lanterns he shows her how to light are among many of his efforts on her behalf. Though he finds what she tells him about her high school impossible to believe, and they argue constantly, he makes pickle and cheese sandwiches for her and shares his best advice. Geena also meets a beautiful, anxious lady and a deceitful, overly friendly centaur and is followed by large, frightening crows in this historic fantasy featuring a famous ghost, or is he a ghost?
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