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An original short fiction anthology set in Mercedes Lackey's bestselling world of Valdemar-featuring heroic Heralds and their horselike companions-and including an all-new novella by Lackey herself, as well as stories by masters such as Mickey Zucker Reichert, Judith Tarr, Tanya Huff, and others. .
Jett is a girl disguised as a boy, living as a gambler in the old West as she searches for her long-lost brother. Honoria Gibbons is a smart, self-sufficient young woman who also happens to be a fabulous inventor. Both young women travel the prairie alone - until they are brought together by a zombie invasion! As Jett and Honoria investigate, they soon learn that these zombies aren't rising from the dead of their own accord ... but who would want an undead army? And why? This gunslinging, hair-raising, zombie western mashup is perfect for fans ofCowboys vs. Aliens and Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.
Around the world, the dragon has been reborn in modern fantasy fiction. The classic winged fire-breathing reptiles often associated with evil (they do despoil villages and demand virgin sacrifices, after all) tend nowadays to be more kindly disposed to humanity, sometimes aloofly offering magical wisdom, sometimes actively involving themselves in human lives, whether as a servant or friend. In this volume, originally compiled exclusively for the members of the Science Fiction Book Club and not available in stores, editor Marvin Kaye has skillfully gathered brand- new contributions to the hoard of dragon lore by five top fantasy authors. Orson Scott Card-an expert at writing from a child's point of view, as evidenced in his bestselling Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow-offers a gothic yarn "In the Dragon's House" set in contemporary suburbia. Card tells about the mysterious dragon that lives in the wiring of an old house, palpable only to a young boy who in dreams shares its body and feels its true size and power. But what does it really want? Mercedes Lackey, prolific author of the Valdemar saga, writes of a slave boy who is chosen to care for a warrior's dragon. Vetch (and the reader) will learn much about dragon behavior . . . and this special dragon's secrets may be the key to his freedom. (Lackey was so taken by young Vetch that she expanded his adventures into a full-length novel with the same name as this novella-"Joust.") Tanith Lee is no stranger to dragons, which appeal quite often in her award-winning fantasies. The fable "Love in a Time of Dragons" is imbued with her signature atmosphere-Old World, moody, erotic-as a kitchen maid goes a-questing with a handsome champion to slay the local drakkor. But the tale takes a surprising twist. . . . Elizabeth Moon author of the popular Esmay Suiza and Heris Serrano series, takes a break from military science fiction to give us the tale of a young man forced by lies to flee his village . . . into an adventure of dwarfs and dragonspawn, of trust and wisdom, and, ultimately, "Judgment". Rounding off the collection is Michael Swanwick's "King Dragon", a strange amalgam of twentieth-century technology and faery magic, in which the award-winning author invokes a truly sinister and repellent creature-a being with the soul of a beast and the body of a machine- part metal, part devil... all merciless.
When Anne McCaffrey passed in November 2011, it was not only those closest to her who mourned her death; legions of readers also felt the loss deeply. The pioneering science fiction author behind the Dragonriders of Pern® series crafted intricate stories, enthralling worlds, and strong heroines that profoundly impacted the science fiction community and genre.In Dragonwriter, Anne's son and Pern writer Todd McCaffrey collects memories and stories about the beloved author, along with insights into her writing and legacy, from those who knew her best. Nebula Award-winner Elizabeth Moon relates the lessons she learned from Pern's Lessa (and from Lessa's creator); Hugo Award-winner David Brin recalls Anne's steadfast belief that the world to come will be better than the one before; legendary SFF artist Michael Whelan shares (and tells stories about) never-before-published Pern sketches from his archives; and more.Join Anne's co-writers, fellow science fiction authors, family, and friends in remembering her life, and exploring how her mind and pen shaped not only the Weyrs of Pern, but also the literary landscape as we know it.Contributors include: Angelina Adams David Brin David Gerrold John Goodwin Janis Ian Alec Johnson Georgeanne Kennedy Mercedes Lackey Sharon Lee and Steve Miller Lois McMaster Bujold Elizabeth Moon Charlotte Moore Robert Neilson Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett Robin Roberts Elizabeth Ann Scarborough Wen Spencer Michael Whelan Richard J. Woods Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Nightingale, a gypsy Free Bard, is tasked with finding out why the High King of the human kingdoms is allowing the Church to become ever more overtly hostile to non-human sentients, as well as to anything that it does not at least indirectly control, such as gypsies and Free Bards.
Among Mercedes Lackey's many novels, few are as critically acclaimed and beloved as those about the Elemental Masters. The novels in this series are loosely based on classic fairy tales, and take place in a fantasy version of turn-of-the-century London, where magic is real and Elemental Masters control the powers of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Now other authors join Mercedes Lackey to add their own special touches to this delightful alternate history, in a world where magic is always just around the corner. . . .
In March 1987, Mercedes Lackey, a young author from Oklahoma, published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. No one could have envisioned that this modest book would be the beginning of a fantasy career that would span decades and more than a hundred novels, with no signs of slowing yet. And among Ms. Lackey's many novels, few are as critically-acclaimed and beloved as those of the Elemental Masters. The novels in this series are loosely based on classic fairy tales, and take place in a fantasy version of turn-of-the-century London, where magic is real and Elemental Masters control the powers of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Now the voices of other authors join Mercedes Lackey to add their own special touches to this delightful alternate history, in a world where magic is always just around the corner. . . .
1st book in the Halfblood series.
The powerful magic of ruthless Elvenlord masters has for centuries rules the world. Even Shana, the legendary Elvenbane prophesied to deliver the oppressed into freedom, is helpless before such power. She and her ragtag band of outcasts, half-blood wizards, escaped human slaves, and free-thinking dragons have gained only a token victory against the mighty lords.<P><P> Only the long-forgotten Iron People, a band of human nomads, have escaped the tyranny of the reigning wizards. How have they survived through the centuries?<P> As the winds of change sweep the world, and as tensions seething beneath the surface of Elven society threaten to break into open revolt. Shana meets the ancient tribe. Could an age-old secret free Shana and her people...or will its discovery call down their doom.
In a world in which elven nobles hold the power of life or death over their human slaves, an elvenlord turns traitor to elvenkind.
Alberich had spent most of his youth in the Karsite military schools training to be an officer. As the son of an impoverished mother, he had no other career choice open to him. And Alberich had risen in the ranks with almost unnatural speed. He developed expertise with many weapons and excelled in academic subjects with an ease that was the envy of his classmates. But in fact, the reclusive Alberich studied long and hard, pushing himself ruthlessly.<P> In battle, Alberich had always had a sort of "sixth sense" about things which were about to happen--when and from where the enemy would attack. Instinctively, he his this ability, for the Sunpriests kept careful watch for anyone exhibiting "demon powers" which were the hallmark of Karse's greatest enemy--the witch-nation of Valdemar. Those they caught were "cleansed" in the fires of Vkandis Sunlord.<P> Both Alberich's skill and secret served him well in the army of Karse, and when Alberich became one of Karse's youngest captains, he received a special gift--a powerful white stallion "liberated" from the enemy. But this honor was merely a distraction, for the Sunpriests had laid a trap which even Alberich's strange foresight could not predict...<P> Saved from burning as a witch when this odd white stallion braved flames and carried him over the border into Valdemar, he was healed by the same enemies he had been taught to hate his entire life. Though he knew he could never again return to his home, Alberich also knew he could never truly become a Valdemaran. How could Alberich remain true to his own people and still retain his honor while helping to train the direst enemy of Karse?
This stand-alone novel in the Valdemar series continues the story of prickly weapons-master Alberich. Once a heroic Captain in the army of Karse, a kingdom at war with Valdemar, Alberich becomes one of Valdemar's Heralds. Despite prejudice against him, he becomes the personal protector of young Queen Selenay. But can he protect her from the dangers of her own heart? .
In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can't carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale. . . . Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom's Cinderella--until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! So she set out to make a new life for herself. But breaking with "The Tradition" was no easy matter--until she got a little help from her own fairy godmother. Who promptly offered Elena a most unexpected job. . . . Now, instead of sleeping in the chimney, she has to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who keep trying to rise above their place in the tale. And there's one in particular who needs to be dealt with. . . . Sometimes a fairy godmother's work is never done. . . .
A COMMAND PERFORMANCE BY FANTASY'S GRAND DIVA<P>Mercedes Lackey has, in a few short years, soared to the peak of the fantasy field, and her thousands of enthusiastic readers clamor for more and more. Now comes a volume demonstrating the wide range of her talent, running the gamut from her beloved Bardic fantasies to urban fantasy set in the modern world; from science fiction adventure to chilling horror. And throughout Fiddler Fair, Lackey's sheer storytelling skill will hold the reader spellbound. Learn what happens when animal rights fanatics try to "liberate" genetically reconstructed dinosaurs. Follow Lawrence of Arabia into the desert to meet a power beyond human comprehension; and be with King Arthur, reborn into the present day, when he again gains possession of the enchanted sword Excalibur. And, in a very weird encounter of the most bizarre kind, learn why an alien from a UFO took an unusual interest in a battered Chevy pickup truck.<P>Fiddler Fair is a feast for the multitudes of Lackeyfans everywhere -- and for new readers, a powerful introduction to the most significant new fantasy writer of the decade.
In March 1987, a young author from Oklahoma published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. This modest book about a magical land called Valdemar was the beginning of a fantasy masterwork series that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles. Now readers can take a journey to the world of Valdemar-including Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, and Judith Tarr-each adding their own special touches. .
An alchemist bungles a transformation and is trapped in wolf form. Rosalind can help him regain his humanity, but there is another alchemist, and another temptation.
Ilya, son of a Russian prince, is largely ignored by his father and tormented by his larger, older brothers. His only friends are three old people: a priest, a magician, and a woman who toils in the palace dairy. From them Ilya learns faith, a smattering of magic, and the power of love--all of which he will need desperately, for his life is about to be turned upside-down. The prince's magnificent cherry orchard is visited at midnight by the legendary Firebird, whose wings are made of flame. Ilya's brothers' attempts capture the magical creature fail. When Ilya tries to catch the Firebird, he sees her as a beautiful woman and earns a magical gift: the speech of animals. Banished, the young man journeys through a fantastical Russia full of magical mazes, enchanted creatures, and untold dangers. As happens in the best fairy tales, Ilya falls in love with an enchanted princess, but to win her freedom will be no easy task.
The seventh daughter of the Sea King, Ekaterina is more than a pampered princess--she's also the family spy. Which makes her the perfect emissary to check out interesting happenings in the neighboring kingdom...and nothing interests her more than Sasha, the seventh son of the king of Belrus. Ekaterina suspects he's far from the fool people think him. But before she can find out what lies beneath his facade, she is kidnapped!Trapped in a castle at the mercy of a possessive Jinn, Ekaterina knows her chances of being found are slim. Now fortune, a fool and a paper bird are the only things she can count on--along with her own clever mind and intrepid heart....
Mags had been working at the Pieters' mine, slaving in the dark, cold seams, looking for sparklies, for as long as he could remember. The children who worked the mine were orphans, kids who had been abandoned, who had lost their parents, or were generally unwanted. But Mags was different. Mags was "Bad Blood," because his parents were bandits who had been killed in a raid by the Royal Guard. "Bad Blood" because he'd been found in a cradle in the bandits'camp. Blood so bad that no one had wanted to take him in except Cole Pieters. When he was big enough to see over the sides of the sluices he had gone to work at the mine. Mags knew nothing of the world beyond the mine, and was unaware of how unusual his paltry existence was. Then some strangers on huge white horses forced their way past the Pieters family and carried him away to Haven to become a Herald Trainee. Suddenly the whole world opened up for him. He was warm and well fed for the first time in his life, and he had Dallen, his Companion, who seemed more miraculous than an angel. But the world of the Collegium was not all heavenly. There was political upheaval in Valdemar's capital, for the court had been infiltrated by foreign "diplomats," who seemed to be more interested in seeding discontent than in actual diplomacy. . . and Mags seemed to be the only one who'd noticed. . .
A magical maniac is loose in Alanda. A magical murderer is loose in Alanda. The victims are always women, always lower-class, and the weapon is always a three-sided stiletto, most often found among Church regalia. But the killers are never churchmen, and they always commit suicide immediately after the bloody deed.
From a High Tower is newest adventure in Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series, featuring a retelling of Rapunzel's not-so-happily-ever-after ending.
For as long as she could remember, Marina Roeswood had lived in an old, rambling farmhouse in rural Cornwall in the care of close friends of her wealthy, aristocratic parents. In the seventeen years that she had been fostered by Sebastian and Margherita Tarrant, and Margherita's brother, Thomas Buford, she had lived an almost idyllic existence. As the ward of three bohemian artists in turn-of-the-century England, she had grown to be a free thinker in an environment of fertile creativity and cultural sophistication. under their loving private tutelage, Marian had learned to read and translate five languages, and was as literate as any well-bred woman of her era.<P> But the real core of her education was far outside societal norms. For she and her foster parents were Elemental Masters of magic., and learning to control her growing powers was Marina's primary focus. Each of them commanded the magic of a specific element. Margherita and her brother Thomas were Earth Masters, Sebastian was a Fire Master, and Marina herself was a fledgling Water Master of enormous potential, with a lesser affinity for the element of Air. Marina loved nothing more than to sit by a stream or small waterfall, watching or communing with the lesser Water Elementals, Undines, and Naiads. When she played her lute, harp, or flute, she was sometimes event graced by the presence of Air Elementals, the Sylphs and Zephyrs whom Sebastian had said were her allies, though why she might need allies, Marina had no clue.<P> Actually, there were quite a few mysteries about her life that Marina wasn't able to solve. Why, for example, had she never seen her parents, or been to Oakhurst, her family's ancestral manor in Devon? Her mother and father assured her fervently, in every letter, that they loved her and longed for her presence, yet if her parents loved her so much, why had they sent her away so young, and why had they never once visited her? And why hadn't her real parents, who were also Earth Masters, trained her themselves? Why did neither her foster parents nor her real parents ever attend the Great Circle of Elemental Masters in London? That there was a secret about all this she had known from the time she had begun to question the world around her. Yet try as she might, she could get no clues out of her guardians and instinct told her that a confrontation would cause great pain to her birth mother.<P> But Marina would have answers to her questions all too soon.<P> For with the sudden death of her birth parents while on holiday in Italy, Marina's life was transformed beyond all recognition. Taken from the only home and "parents" she had ever known and brought to the cold and lofty halls of Oakhurst Manor, she met her new guardian -- her closest surviving blood relative -- her father's eldest sister Arachne. Cold, aristocratic, and superior, Aunt Arachne was an industrialist. Her pottery factories brought her a great deal of wealth and power, but Marina sensed that Arachne's real power came from something far different than commerce. For Arachne exuded a dark magical aura unlike anything Marina had encountered, a stifling evil that seemed to threaten Marina's very spirit. Slowly Marina realized that her aunt was the very embodiment of th endanger her parents had been hiding her from in the backwoods of Cornwall. But could Marina unravel the secrets of her life in time to save her from the evil which had been seeking her for nearly eighteen years?
The bestselling author of the Valdemar novels pens a classic tale about King Arthur's legendary queen.
Three unforgettable new stories: A Tangled Web by New York Times bestselling author MERCEDES LACKEY: Kidnapping Persephone should have been an easy task. But in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, nothing's ever simple-and the wrong blonde goddess is stolen by mistake, leaving Prince Leopold without his new bride. At least until he braves the realm of the dead to get her back...Cast in Moonlight by New York Times bestselling author MICHELLE SAGARA: Barely a teenager, Kaylin Neya is a thief, a fugitive and an attempted assassin. She also has a smart mouth, sharp wits and mysterious markings on her skin. All of which make her perfect bait for a child prostitution sting in the city of Elantra--if she survives her first meeting with the Hawks! Retribution by CAMERON HALEY: In the underworld, there are tricks to killing.Like executing rivals at crossroads so ghosts won't follow you home. But sometimes retribution is hard to avoid-and now a supernatural hit man has a contract on Domino Riley's life. Luckily she knows a thing or two about death....
Mari Prothero grew up in a tiny fishing village on the west coast of Wales where she lived alone with her father, Daffyd, a master fisherman. Although the sea had never harmed her father, Mari still worried, for her mother and older brother had been drowned by a rogue wave when she was just an infant. Her father was all she had left, and Mari was not blind to the possibility of losing him. Mari and her father kept to themselves in their village. It would not be wise to call attention to how much more prosperous the Protheros were than any other fisherman's family; Daffyd was out in every storm, pulling in fish where no other man could, and his fish were always the fattest, the tastiest. But their unusual good fortune was not the only reason for their reclusive behavior. For as long as she could remember, Mari had seen things--things that shouldn't, that couldn't be real: tiny manlike creatures that were mischievous and wore only seaweed, and tiny beings that spoke to her kindly but seemed to be made of water. When she was a child, she had asked her father about these creatures, but Daffyd was so upset by these conversations that Mari had given up trying to talk to him. But on the morning of her eighteenth birthday, her father finally told her the great secret of the Prothero Luck -- and what they must do to keep it. Her mother and brother were not truly dead, but neither were they human. They were shape-shifters of the sea, the half-human, half-seal people known as the Selch, and they had returned to their watery domain. Since ancient times, the Prothero family had kept a covenant with these magical creatures. In exchange for protection on the water, a member of the Prothero family would take a Selch to marry, only to relinquish their spouse and one of their children to the sea after a brief number of years. Now Mari's time had come, and her father told her that she must abide by her family's ancient magical compact, or face dire consequences. But Mari was not without protectors: for the tiny creatures she had seen her whole life, which she now knew were real, counseled her to "bargain" with her mother's people. While in faraway London, Lord Alderscroft, the head of the Elemental Masters, was aware that a powerful but untrained Water Master on the far coast of Wales was being threatened by some of the Elemental Elder Spirits, and he had dispatched some very unique champions to come to Mari's aid....
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