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Legends
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New or Used: $32.00
New or Used: $32.00

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About the Author

Robert Silverberg has written more than 160 science fiction novels and nonfiction books, and has edited over 60 anthologies. He published his first story in 1954 while just a sophomore at Columbia University; in 1956, he won his first Hugo Award, for Most Promising New Author. His works include the bestselling Lord Valentine trilogy and the timeless classics Dying Inside and A Time of Changes. Silverberg has won the prestigious Nebula Award an astonishing five times, as well as four Hugo Awards. He holds the additional honor of winning these honors in five decades, and he has been nominated for both awards more times that any other writer.

Reviews

Microcosmic glimpses of broadly imagined worlds and their larger-than-life characters distinguish this hefty volume of heavyweight fantasy. Silverberg collects 11 previously unpublished short "novels" by genre celebrities, each a window on a sprawling saga that has shaped the way modern fantasy fiction is written and read. Stephen King weighs in with "The Little Sisters of Eluria," set early in the Dark Tower saga and deftly weaving threads of horror, quest fantasy and the western into a dangerous snare for his indefatigable gunslinger, Roland of Gilead. Ursula K. Le Guin contributes "Dragonfly," a tale about a young woman who would be a wizard that offers a savvy dissection of the sexual politics that govern Le Guin's Earthsea empire. Neo-Arthurian fantasy gets its due in George R.R. Martin's "The Hedge Knight," a prequel to the Song of Ice and Fire series. Only a sliver of fantasy insinuates Silverberg's own "The Seventh Shrine," a Majipoor murder mystery that becomes a fascinating exploration of clashing cultures. Although most of the selections are sober sidebars to serious literary fantasy cycles, Terry Pratchett's "The Sea and Little Fishes" is a giddy Discworld romp that pits cantankerous witch Granny Weatherwax against her crone cronies, and Orson Scott Card's "Grinning Man" is corn-fed tall talk in which Alvin Maker outwits a crooked miller in the alternate America of Hatrick River. Some entries, among them Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar tale "The Wood Boy" and Anne McCaffrey's "Runner of Pern," shine only as light glosses on their authors' earlier achievements. Still, there's enough color, vitality and bravura displays of mythmaking in this rich sampler, which also includes tales by Terry Goodkind, Tad Williams and Robert Jordan, to sate faithful fans and nurture new readers on the stuff of legends still being created. (Oct.)

These are Volumes 2 and 3 of the four planned unabridged audiobook programs that together comprise the new fantasy anthology Legends: Stories by the Masters of Modern Fantasy, edited by Silverberg (see Vol. 1, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/1/98). The anthology contains new and original works from famous writers of epic fantasy, with each set in an established fictional universe. Conveying this large anthology as four separate volumes, containing two to three stories each, is a double-edged sword: it allows the consumer to pick and choose only the programs that appeal but makes the entire work rather pricey. Volume 2 contains Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time: New Spring," Terry Pratchett's "Discworld: The Sea and Little Fishes," and Orson Scott Card's "Tales of Alvin Maker: The Grinning Man." Volume 3 adds Terry Goodkind's "The Sword of Truth: Debt of Bones," Ursula K. Le Guin's "Earthsea: Dragonfly," and Tad Williams's "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: The Burning Man." Frank Muller, Sam Tsoutsouvas, and Kathryn Walker are the skilled and imaginative readers here. Although the performances and production are impeccable, the stories vary somewhat, if not in quality then in the facility with which they engage a listener who is uninitiated to the corresponding epic cycle. The packaging provides one- to two-line descriptions, but other contextual material available in the printed book (e.g., the introduction by Silverberg, listings of all the books in the series to date) are absent. Still, both volumes are recommended for all fantasy fiction collections.ÄKristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA

"There's enough color, vitality and bravura displays of mythmaking in this rich sampler to sate faithful fans and nurture new readers on the stuff of legends still being created." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)"An enjoyable sampler of the best high fantasy available today." --San Francisco Chronicle"Best Anthology of the Year." --Rocky Mountain News"A dream team . . . Legends is the rarest of the rare--an entire collection of original short novels by top fantasy writers . . . Here is a dab of each writer at the top, a worthy sampler that could yield a reader someone new to enjoy." --USA Today"Orson Scott Card, Ursula Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, et al. It reads like a who's who of modern sf/fantasy writers. This anthology is a stellar compilation of new stories by 11 masters of the genre, with each tale set in a well-established and well-loved universe. Stephen King leads off with a grisly but compelling episode in the Dark Tower saga. Terry Pratchett's offering is an amusing incident in his Discworld series; editor Silverberg revisits the Majipoor of Lord Valentine; Tad Williams tells a haunting story that stems from his Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy; and Raymond Feist spins a poignant tale of revenge within his Riftwar setting. Fans of Jordan's massive Wheel of Time saga will be especially interested to learn just how Lan and Moiraine first met and how their search for the baby who would become the Dragon Reborn began. Silverberg sets the scene with a fine introduction to fantasy in general and the contributors in particular; each of the novellas is preceded not only by an introductory note on the saga involved but also by a listing of all the books in the series to date. What is so noteworthy about this collection is the fact that all the selections are first rate and are well integrated into their universes, making the book a bonanza not only for avid fans who are familiar with the various series and want more but also for less well read fantasy readers, who will find each story herein a great introduction to a writer's world." --Sally Estes, Booklist"A superb Baedeker to the fantasy worlds of 11 of the field's finest writers." --Dallas Morning News"Perhaps Legends, an anthology of brand-new novellas by nearly a dozen of the more-famous modern writers in the field, will help secure long-overdue respect. All the writing is of the highest caliber; and each of the tales is compelling. To top it off, artists such as Michael Whelan, Keith Parkinson and Erik Wilson have contributed illustrations that become icing on the cake. Legends makes for a fine road map to the worlds of 11 masters of the genre and serves as a perfect milestone for future fantasy anthologists. Silverberg has put together an anthology of which he and his fellow writers can be justly proud." --Des Moines Daily Register

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