Each of the bestselling writers represented in these selections from Legend II returns to the fantasy universe he or she made famous throughout the world. Whether set before or after events already recounted elsewhere, whether featuring beloved characters or compelling new creations, these masterful short novels are both mesmerizing standalones – perfect introductions to the work of their authors – and indispensable additions to the epics on which they are based.
Diana Gabaldon turns to and important character from her Outlander saga – Lord John Grey – in "Lord John and the Succubus," a supernatural thriller set in the early days of the Seven Years War.
Terry Brooks adds an exciting epilogue to The Wishsong of Shannara in "Indomitable," the tale of Jair Ohmsford's desperate quest to complete the destruction of the evil Ildatch . . . armed only with the magic of illusion.
|Publisher:||Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||Unabridged, 3 cassettes, 5 hrs. 15 min.|
|Product dimensions:||4.39(w) x 7.08(h) x 1.12(d)|
About the Author
Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such classic books such as Gilgamesh the King, Dying Inside, Nightwings, and Lord Valentine’s Castle. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards—including one for the short story Passengers—and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America presented him with the Grand Master Award.
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I N T RO D U C T I O N
The first Legends anthology, which was published in 1998, contained eleven never-before-published short novels by eleven best-selling fantasy writers, each story set in the special universe of the imagination that its author had made famous throughout the world. It was intended as the definitive anthology of modern fantasy, andâ€"judging by the reception the book received from readers worldwideâ€"it succeeded at that.
And now comes Legends II. If the first book was definitive, why do another one?
The short answer is that fantasy is inexhaustible. There are always new stories to tell, new writers to tell them; and no theme, no matter how hoary, can ever be depleted.
As I said in the introduction to the first volume, fantasy is the oldest branch of imaginative literatureâ€"as old as the human imagination itself. It is not difficult to believe that the same artistic impulse that produced the extraordinary cave paintings of Lascaux and Altamira and Chauvet, fifteen and twenty and even thirty thousand years ago, also probably produced astounding tales of gods and demons, of talismans and spells, of dragons and werewolves, of wondrous lands beyond the horizonâ€"tales that fur-clad shamans recited to fascinated audiences around the campfires of Ice Age Europe. So, too, in torrid Africa, in the China of prehistory, in ancient India, in the Americas: everywhere, in fact, on and on back through time for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years. I like to think that the storytelling impulse is universalâ€"that there have been storytellers as long as there have been beings in this world that could be spoken of as â€œhumanâ€?â€"and that those storytellers have in particular devoted their skills and energies and talents, throughout our long evolutionary path, to the creation of extraordinary marvels and wonders. The Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh is a tale of fantasy; so, too, is Homerâ€™s Odyssey, and on and on up through such modern fantasists as E. R. Eddison, A. Merritt, H. P. Lovecraft, and J. R. R. Tolkien, and all the great science-fiction writers from Verne and Wells to our own time. (I include science fiction because science fiction, as I see it, belongs firmly in the fantasy category: It is a specialized branch of fantasy, a technology-oriented kind of visionary literature in which the imagination is given free play for the sake of making the scientifically impossible, or at least the implausible, seem altogether probable.)
Many of the contributors to the first Legends were eager to return to their special worlds of fantasy for a second round. Several of them raised the subject of a new anthology so often that finally I began to agree with them that a second book would be a good idea. And here it is. Six writersâ€"Orson Scott Card, George R. R. Martin, Raymond E. Feist, Anne McCaffrey, Tad Williams, and myselfâ€"have returned from the first one. Joining them are four othersâ€"Robin Hobb, Elizabeth Haydon, Diana Gabaldon, and Neil Gaimanâ€"who have risen to great fame among fantasy enthusiasts since the first anthology was published, and one grand veteran of fantasy, Terry Brooks, who had found himself unable at the last minute to participate in the first volume of Legends but who joins us for this one.
My thanks are due once again to my wife, Karen, and to my literary agent, Ralph Vicinanza, both of whom aided me in all sorts of ways in the preparation of this book, and, of course, to all the authors who came through...