They called him Flinx… He was just a freckle-faced, redheaded kid with green eyes and a strangely compelling stare when Mother Mastiff first saw him on the auctioneer’s block. One hundred credits and he was hers. For years the old woman was his only family. She loved him, fed him, taught him everything she knew – even let him keep the deadly flying snake he called Pip. Then Mother Mastiff mysteriously disappeared and Flinx took Pip to tail her kidnappers. Across the forests and swamps of the winged world called Moth, their only weapons were Pip’s venom…and Flinx’s unusual Talents.
Since the day her father’s fishing boat returned without him, Peri and her mother have mourned his loss. Her mother sinks into a deep depression and spends her days gazing out at the sea. Unable to control her anger and sadness any longer, Peri uses the small magic she knows to hex the sea. And suddenly into her drab life come the King’s sons-changelings with strange ties to the underwater kingdom-a young magician, and, finally, love.
Almost a set of short stories, this novel breaks into discrete episodes, centered on identity, love, and death. Jaqe has no identity until she meets Laurie, introduced and named by Mother Night; in that moment, she knows herself, and that she loves Laurie. But once Mother Night has become part of their lives, Laurie and Jaqe and their daughter Kate cannot live as other people do. Knowing Death, inevitably each of them seeks to use the knowledge, to bargain with Death, and to change the terms in the balance of life and death in the world. Pollack’s characters, major and supporting, living, dead, and divine, are memorably human. As she transplants myths and folklore into a modern setting, she gives new life to old tales and a deeper meaning to a seemingly simple world. Winner of the World Fantasy Award for best novel, 1997
The house… always growing, adding to itself, blooming, decaying, becoming reborn… But Susan doesn’t live in the house of Catherine, her grandmother. Instead, she grows up in a one parent family, with her mother, the glamorous and determined Anne. And Catherine, old forbidding and unkind, is only a nuisance. When Catherine dies, no one mourns. Why is it then that whenever some new problem swamps Susan’s far from calm existence, she is driven to revisit the house? As when her mother takes up with the worrying Wizz. Or years later, at the end of a deeply-felt and broken love-affair of Susan’s own. The house is always changing. As if at last it must achieve some irresistible transformation. Frankly, there is something uncanny about the house. Isn’t there.
A race of octopoid aliens visits earth to restore man’s dying beliefs, with spaceships containing the very Gods themselves. In the future the rich are allowed a four week holiday – into their own futures. A soldier wounded at the front finds his memories too terrifying to live with once his government-approved drugs are withdrawn. A young girl is convinced that mother-earth is male and dedicates her life to consummating her love for him. God is dead and the Devil makes an offer for the real estate of heaven… These dark visions of the future by James Tiptree Jr. are a vivid, sometimes frightening foretelling of what may happen.
When Grendel is drawn up from the caves under the mere, where he lives with his bloated, inarticulate hag of a mother, into the fresh night air, it is to lay waste Hrothgar’s meadhall and heap destruction on the humans he finds there. What else can he do? For he is not like the men who busy themselves with God and love and beauty. He sees the infuriating human rage for order and recognises the meaninglessness of his own existence. GRENDEL is John Gardner’s masterpiece; it vividly reinvents the world of Beowulf. In Grendel himself, a creature of grotesque comedy, pain and disillusioned intelligence, Gardner has created the most unforgettable monster in fantasy.
The King’s Rider Justin has been dispatched to watch any suspicious activity at the convent that houses the fanatical Daughters of the Pale Mother. Worshippers of the moon goddess, they believe that all magic-wielding mystics are evil. Yet, in their midst, a young novice named Ellynor possesses the gift of healing and the ability to move through the night unobserved. Assuming the guise of a stablehand, Justin befriends Ellynor – and love blossoms between them. And when he discovers her magical talents, Justin will risk everything – his own secret, the trust of his friends, even his very life – in order to save her…
It is hard to say how it started – all the unexplained little signs of a new baby about the house in ‘The Silent Cradle’ – but soon none of the O’Bannons could deny that there had been a highly irregular addition to the family. In ‘Max Haunting’ a middle-aged hippie, preserved almost intact from the Sixties, starts showing up on the doorsteps of his old friends and loves who, in acquiring jobs and furniture, have ‘sold out’ rather less than he thought. Hauntings of curious varieties continue in other stories: the sort manufactured out of glass by a man who thinks his godly wife deserves a miracle; the visitation of a mother’s cruelty into the mind of her daughter as she confronts the frustrations of coping with her own child; the specters of opportunities lost or spurned which nag to be laid, like ghosts. Elsewhere Leigh Kennedy considers the impulse of cannibalism in a future world whose greed has induced ecological upheaval, and the phenomenon of speaking in tongues as investigated by a sociology professor. She views the world through the eyes of a victim of seizures and of a primatologist whose devotion to apes has gone a bit too far.
A collection of worlds of wit and wonder, including: “AND I AWOKE AND FOUND ME HERE ON THE COLD HILL’S SIDE” – Man seeks to get into bed with anything new and different, or die trying. But when the new and different was not human…would he die trying? “THE MAN WHO WALKED HOME” – The first-time astronaut, stuck in the far future, slid ever so slowly toward a present whose past was his future and whose future was his past… “I’M TOO BIG BUT I LOVE TO PLAY” – If genuine aliens are to communicate meaningfully, one must make himself into an analogue of the other. But how can you tell the difference between what is human – and what is merely identical? Contents: And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side (1972) The Snows Are Melted, the Snows Are Gone (1969) The Peacefulness of Vivyan (1971) Mamma Come Home (1968) Help (1968) Painwise (1972) Faithful to Thee, Terra, in Our Fashion (1969) The Man Doors Said Hello To (1970) The Man Who Walked Home (1972) Forever to a Hudson Bay Blanket (1972) I’ll Be Waiting for You When the Swimming Pool Is Empty (1971) I’m Too Big but I Love to Play (1970) Birth of a Salesman (1968) Mother in the Sky with Diamonds (1971) Beam Us Home (1969)
Searching for the beautiful witch Jemhara, the magician Thryfe at last finds her in the reinvented town of Kandexa, where a strange and passionate wooing begins. From this union a son is born – golden-skinned, red-haired, blue-eyed – and thus the Lionwolf returns to the world of men. Unaware of this birth, his original mother the goddess Saftri has begun her own search for her lost love Athluan . . . while elsewhere the black and shining ones, the Children of Chillel, seek to establish claims on the ice-locked planet. Beyond, over, under all, the evil god Zzth rages and plans the ruin of these separate and immortal lives. Strafed by the tumult of such conflicting powers, the be-wintered realm of mortals can only wait to learn its destiny.