The year is 1610. Continental Europe is briefly at peace after years of war, but Henri IV of France is planning to invade the German principalities. In England, only five years earlier, conspirators nearly succeeded in blowing up King James I and his Parliament. The seeds of the English Civil War and the Thirty Years War are visibly being sown, and the possibility for both enlightenment and disaster abounds.
But Valentin Rochefort, duelist and spy for France’s powerful financial minister, could not care less. Until he is drawn into the glittering palaces, bawdy back streets, and stunning theatrics of Renaissance France and Shakespearean London in a deadly plot both to kill King James I and to save him. For this swordsman without a conscience is about to find himself caught between loyalty, love, and blackmail, between kings, queens, politicians, and Rosicrucians, and the woman he has, unknowingly, crossed land and sea to meet.
Here are nine tales of Henghis Hapthorn, foremost freelance discriminator of Old Earth in the planet’s penultimate age. Included are the six stories that ran in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (and were previously collected in The Gist Hunter and Other Stories), leading up to the events that began the first Hapthorn novel, Majestrum, plus three more.
In an age of wizards and walled cities, Raffalon is a journeyman member of the Ancient and Honorable Guild of Purloiners and Purveyors. In other words, a thief.
His skills allow him to scale walls, tickle locks, defeat magical wards. He lifts treasures and trinkets, and spends the proceeds on ale and sausages in taverns where a wise thief sits with his back to the wall.
But somehow things often go the way they shouldn’t and then Raffalon has to rely upon his wits and a well calibrated sense of daring.
Here are nine tales that take our enterprising thief into the Underworld and Overworld, and pit him against prideful thaumaturges, grasping magnates, crooked guild masters, ghosts, spies, ogres, and a talented amateur assassin.
Includes “Inn of the Seven Blessings,” from the bestselling anthology, ROGUES, and “Sternutative Sortilege,” which appears only in this collection.
In early 20th-century England, Edward Lessingham and Lasy Mary Scarnsdale conduct a passionate if tumultuous courtship. After the First World War, they raise their children in their Cumbrian idyll, until tragedy strikes.
On the world of Zimiamvia, Duke Barganax pursues the divine Lady Florinda who toys with his affections like a cat with a mouse. Meanwhile, King Mezentius struggles to hold his Threee Kingdoms together against the intrigues of his enemies.
And over a fish dinner in Memison the true relationship between worlds and lovers will be made shockingly clear . . .
The winner of the National Book Award, Ursula K. Le Guin has created a profound and transformational literature. The award-winning stories in A Fisherman of the Inland Sea range from the everyday to the outer limits of experience, where the quantum uncertainties of space and time are resolved only in the depths of the human heart. Astonishing in their diversity and power, they exhibit both the artistry of a major writer at the height of her powers and the humanity of a mature artist confronting the world with her gift of wonder still intact.
Teenaged Holly finds a strange coin which leads her and her friend Chris into strange adventures with the magical people of the Hollow Hills.
The fortune teller had spoken the words, shown her the cards that predicted she would become the focal point of great events. But now, a captive of those who had invaded her land, Ara could only wait, hoping to discover the true path of her destiny. But in a world ruled by the war, what chance did Ara have to attain her heart’s desire? Carried far from her home, alone among strangers, only the will of the goddess, the Lady Volmardra, could protect and guide her.
Yet the path the Lady had set her upon would lead Ara to the very heart of conflict. And through she might gain great wealth or lose it, become both pawn and player in the power games of princes and warlords, there was only one for whom she would risk everything, a soldier who some named traitor and others liberator, the man for whom she would strive to become-A HEROINE OF THE WORLD.
Emily Dickinson takes a carriage ride with Death. A couple are invited over to a neighbor’s daughter’s exorcism. A country witch with a sea-captain’s head in a glass globe intercedes on behalf of abused and abandoned children. In July of 1915, in Hardin County, Ohio, a boy sees ghosts. Explore contemporary natural history in a baker’s dozen of exhilarating visions.
-The Angel Seems
-Mount Chary Galore
-A Natural History of Autumn
-A Terror Rocket Ship to Hell
-The Fairy Enterprise
-The Last Triangle
-Spirits of Salt: A Tale of the Coral Heart The Thyme Fiend
-The Prelate’s Commission
Once there was only the land of Phesaotois, with a cold and baleful Stone at its magical heart. Much later came the land of Pheyarcet, younger and hotter, with its Well of Fire inextricably bound up with its ruler, the great Panurgus.
Then Panurgus died, touching off a bitter struggle between his sons that ended with Avril on the throne and Prospero, mightiest of the sorcerers, in permanent exile.
All that was an age ago. Now Prospero, grown ancient and subtle, has found a new, third land: bright Argylle, with its primal Spring of clear water. Argylle is a fair realm in its own right; but the children of Panurgus never forgive and never forget.
And so Prospero decides it is an auspicious time to seize the throne of Phesaotois from Avril – thereby setting in motion a vast tale of romance and espionage, of talking animals and mythic beasts, of metaphysics and primal creation, of mannerly drama and gritty military detail: an epic that can only end in a conflagration of blood and honor.
After attending a séance, Maskull, a restless and rootless man, finds himself embarking on a journey to the planet Tormance, which orbits Arcturus. Alone, he wanders the startling landscape, open to a bewildering range of experiences from love to ritual murder, encountering new monsters at every turn, metamorphosing, constantly seeking the truth about the divinity known as Shaping, Surtur and Crystalman. A Voyage to Arcturus is David Lindsay’s masterpiece, an extraordinary imaginative tour de force.
Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.
Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.
There is more than one history of the world. Before science defined the modern age, other powers, wondrous and magical, once governed the universe, their lore perfected within a lost capital of hieroglyphs, wizard-kings, and fabulous monuments.
In the 1970s, a historian named Pierce Moffett moves to the New England countryside to write a book about Ægypt, driven by an idea he dare not believe: that the physical laws of the universe once changed and may change again. Yet the notion is not his alone. Something waits at the locked estate of Fellowes Kraft, author of romances about Will Shakespeare and Giordano Bruno and Dr. John Dee, something for which Pierce and those near him have long sought without knowing it: a key, perhaps, to Ægypt …