The connected stories of people from the past and the distant future, from a nineteenth-century notary and an investigative journalist in the 1970s to a young man who searches for meaning in a post-apocalayptic world.
In E. Nesbit’s classic tale of adventure and mayhem, five children discover a Psammead, a grumpy magical creature with the ability to grant wishes. At first, their newfound power seems exciting and full of promise, but soon the children realize that getting what you wish for can land you in a whole heap of trouble!
A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie--magical, comforting, wise beyond her years--promised to protect him, no matter what.
Here are original stories that straddle the borderline between fantasy and mainstream fiction, stories both bright and dark in tone (without straying into the realm of horror fiction). Sometimes set in the contemporary or historical world, sometimes pure fantasy or an imagined history, these are striking, fresh, finely crafted works that demonstrate the best the short story form has to offer. Among the authors included are Delia Sherman, Peter Beagle, Greer Gilman, Paul Di Filippo, Jeffrey Ford, Gregory Maguire, and Lucius Shepard.
Haunted by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C.S. Lewis wrote this, his last, extraordinary novel, to retell their story through the gaze of Psyche’s sister, Orual. Disfigured and embittered, Orual loves her younger sister to a fault and suffers deeply when she is sent away to Cupid, the God of the Mountain. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god’s face, but is persuaded by her sister to do so; she is banished for her betrayal. Orual is left alone to grow in power but never in love, to wonder at the silence of the gods. Only at the end of her life, in visions of her lost beloved sister, will she hear an answer.
The remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap.
Often compared to Tolkien's Middle-earth or Lewis's Narnia, Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea is a stunning fantasy world that grabs quickly at our hearts, pulling us deeply into its imaginary realms. Four books (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu) tell the whole Earthsea cycle--a tale about a reckless, awkward boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes a wizard's apprentice after the wizard reveals Sparrowhawk's true name. The boy comes to realize that his fate may be far more important than he ever dreamed possible.
Elven magic meets gunslinger grit. What happens when two elven travellers find themselves in the United States in the middle of the Civil War? The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider tells the story of two elven women who’s curiosity gets the better of them.
The wild ride takes them from the Union to the Confederacy and back again. Along the way they make enemies and friends and learn a little bit about this world, and about themselves. An adventure of six guns and sorcery.
Who doesn't love dragons? Whether they're breathing fire or thrashing their tails, frightful or friendly, gigantic or tiny, their adventures are always filled with magic and surprises -- and sometimes even humor.
In an alternative world where myths and legends are real, Daya Scott, Heir to a Gargoan Regency, is partnered with a human cop who hates all monsters, but especially her. To solve the brutal slaying of a family, secrets long held will be revealed. And, monster or not, Daya is going to find the killer... but the killer may just find her first.
James Scotesdale went to school and studied the right things, he had all the right friends, he had the love of a good woman and the support of his family. And then the economic crisis began and his secure life was suddenly not so secure.
Now age 25 he lives on his mother's couch, in debt and brokenhearted. But all that changes when The Boston 395 train line appears in his living room. The Boston 395 is like no train you have ever seen. Each stop exits into James life, revealing truths he would rather not deal with. Guided by The Conductor and populated by a colorful cast of characters The Boston 395 will take James - and the reader - to places they never expected.
A light-hearted fantasy about a regular 21-year-old woman from Earth who learns that she is going to be the Queen on a distant planet called Raz. Hathor is sent to bring her to her new home, but first she must survive attacks from the Palers who seek to kill her before she can assume the crown. She must also choose who will be her king: William or Hathor.
One of the most successful and beloved of Victorian fairy tales, George Macdonald’s The Princess and the Goblin tells the story of young Princess Irene and her friend Curdie, who must outwit the threatening goblins who live in caves beneath her mountain home. Macdonald’s pioneering use of fanstasy as a literary medium had a great influence on Lewis Carroll, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle, all great admirers of his work, which has remained popular to this day. "I write, not for children," he wrote, "but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five."
In this humorous fantasy for all ages, Squirrel Girl, a passenger pigeon, and a calico cat attempt to organize the wildlife to try to save the colonial forests and their own lives. With the unknowing help of the calico cat’s human partner, a radical Spanish naturalist, Squirrel Girl and her friends take on the seemingly impossible. Determined to do some good and justify the fact that her mother died to save her life, she gets predators and prey to cooperate for one spectacular attempt to discourage settlers and send them back home. There is a clear villain, Finn, a man who enslaves the indentured servants he brings to America and forces them to clear the land for development, and most animals are more than willing to fight against him. But her cause is hopeless, because the stream of settlers is endless, and most of them are not like Finn but are just struggling like the wild critters to exist. So Squirrel Girl takes on one last challenge—coexistence with man.
"The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories" is the third book by Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany, considered a major influence on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula K. Le Guin and others. It was first published in hardcover in 1908, and has been reprinted a number of times since. The book is a series of short stories, some of them linked by Dunsany's invented pantheon of deities who dwell in Pegana, which were the focus of his earlier collections "The Gods of Pegana" and "Time and the Gods."
In one of the most beloved fantasy stories ever, a girl's dream world comes to life as the cyclone lifts Dorothy from Kansas, depositing her in the enchanted land of the Munchkins. H ere she meets the famous Oz characters: the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West. Her adventures along the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City and the Wizard himself evoke the rich, universal appeal of a classic fairy tale.