Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy

Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy

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Overview

An acclaimed anthology of original short novels by some of the greatest writers in fantasy fiction, including Terry Brooks, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, and Anne McCaffrey

Legends II
picks up where its illustrious predecessor left off. All of the bestselling writers represented in Legends II return to the special universe of the imagination that its author has 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 stand-alones—perfect introductions to the work of their authors—and indispensable additions to the epics on which they are based.

ROBIN HOBB returns to the Realm of the Elderlings with “Homecoming,” a powerful tale in which exiles sent to colonize the Cursed Shores find themselves sinking into an intoxicating but deadly dream . . . or is it a memory?

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN continues the adventures of Dunk, a young hedge knight, and his unusual squire, Egg, in “The Sworn Sword,” set a generation before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire.

ORSON SCOTT CARD tells a tale of Alvin Maker and the mighty Mississippi, featuring a couple of ne’er-do-wells named Jim Bowie and Abe Lincoln, in “The Yazoo Queen.”

DIANA GABALDON turns to an 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.

ROBERT SILVERBERG spins an enthralling tale of Majipoor’s early history—and remote future—as seen through the eyes of a dilettantish poet who discovers an unexpected destiny in “The Book of Changes.”

TAD WILLIAMS explores the strange afterlife of Orlando Gardiner, from his Otherland saga, in “The Happiest Dead Boy in the World.”

ANNE McCAFFREY shines a light into the most mysterious and wondrous of all places on Pern in the heartwarming “Beyond Between.”

RAYMOND E. FEIST turns from the great battles of the Riftwar to the story of one soldier, a young man about to embark on the ride of his life, in “The Messenger.”

ELIZABETH HAYDON tells of the destruction of Serendair and the fate of its last defenders in “Threshold,” set at the end of the Third Age of her Symphony of Ages series.

NEIL GAIMAN gives us a glimpse into what befalls the man called Shadow after the events of his Hugo Award–winning novel American Gods in “The Monarch of the Glen.”

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345471093
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/30/2003
Series: Legends
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 176,670
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Robert Silverberg is the winner of five Hugo and five Nebula awards for his novels and short fiction. His work began appearing during the 1950s; he has received high acclaim for, among many others, such novels as Lord Valentine's Castle (the first in the Majipoor series), Tower of Glass, Dying Inside, and Nightwings.


ROBIN HOBB
returns to the Realm of the Elderlings with “Homecoming,” a powerful tale in which exiles sent to colonize the Cursed Shores find themselves sinking into an intoxicating but deadly dream . . . or is it a memory?
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN continues the adventures of Dunk, a young hedge knight, and his unusual squire, Egg, in “The Sworn Sword,” set a generation before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire.
ORSON SCOTT CARD tells a tale of Alvin Maker and the mighty Mississippi, featuring a couple of ne’er-do-wells named Jim Bowie and Abe Lincoln, in “The Yazoo Queen.”
DIANE GABALDON turns to an 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.
ROBERT SILVERBERG spins an enthralling tale of Majipoor’s early history–and remote future–as seen through the eyes of a dilettantish poet who discovers an unexpected destiny in “The Book of Changes.”
TAD WILLIAMS explores the strange afterlife of Orlando Gardiner, from his Otherland saga, in “The Happiest Dead Boy in the World.”
ANNE McCAFFREY shines a light into the most mysterious and wondrous of all places on Pern in the heartwarming “Beyond Between.”
RAYMOND E. FEIST turns from the great battles of the Riftwar to the story of one soldier, a young man about to embark on the ride of his life, in “The Messenger.”
ELIZABETH HAYDON tells of the destruction of Serendair and the fate of its last defenders in “Threshold,” set at the end of the Third Age of her Symphony of Ages series.
NEIL GAIMAN gives us a glimpse into what befalls the man called Shadow after the events of his Hugo Award—winning novel American Gods in “The Monarch of the Glen.”
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.

Read an Excerpt

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, and–judging by the reception the book received from readers worldwide–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 literature–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 horizon–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 universal–that there have been storytellers as long as there have been beings in this world that could be spoken of as “human�–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 Homer’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 writers–Orson Scott Card, George R. R. Martin, Raymond E. Feist, Anne McCaffrey, Tad Williams, and myself–have returned from the first one. Joining them are four others–Robin Hobb, Elizabeth Haydon, Diana Gabaldon, and Neil Gaiman–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 with such splendid stories. I acknowledge also a debt of special gratitude to Betsy Mitchell of Del Rey Books, whose sagacious advice and unfailing good cheer were essential to the project. Without her help this book most literally would not have come into being.

–Robert Silverberg
February 2003




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Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
CKmtl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As with the first 'Legends' volume, this is an anthology that any fantasy fan should appreciate.I enjoyed the eclectic mix of settings; some being worlds akin to our present or near-future, rather than the typical quasi-medieval. It made for a refreshing change of pace between stories.The warning from the first volume still holds. If you think you might want to read any of the series related to these stories, beware of the editor's introductory essays prior to each story. They contain spoilers.
mohi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The short stories here aren't as powerful as the ones in the first anthology, but it's still an excellent addition to any fantasy fan's library. Notable stories; 'The Sworn Sword' by George R R Martin, 'The Happiest Dead boy in the World' by Tad Williams, 'The Monarch of the Glen' by Neil Gaiman
thioviolight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like in the first book, the short novels in this one are good examples of the genre. However, I had a bit more difficult time finishing some of the selections. It's probably because I wasn't quite in the mood for them at the time and it took more effort to absorb the stories. Also, the fact that they're built around a whole mythology that I'm not familiar with (Neil Gaiman's piece was the only one I had already read on) may be another reason I felt that the stories were so dense.Still, there were a number of stories that I really enjoyed, including Diana Gabaldon's "Lord John and the Succubus," Tad Williams' "The Happiest Dead Boy in the World," Anne McCaffrey's "Beyond Between," Raymond E. Feist's "The Messenger," and, of course, Gaiman's "The Monarch of the Glen," which is my favorite piece in the book. In particular, I'd like to read more of Williams' Otherland series, which has a fascinating setting and storyline.Overall, an anthology worth reading.
BMVCOE on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a collection of fantasy stories in the series that made the authors famous. The fact that I hadn't read several of the series didn't detract from reading the book very much, if at all. In fact, I think I enjoyed several of the stories from unfamiliar authors more than some of the ones I knew. For example, I was a bit disappointed by Anne McCaffrey's Pern story...it didn't really say much, or anything new. Unless Moreta's fate was a big mystery. But it's been a while since I read the series anyway. And Neil Gaiman's story just made me want to go out and buy American Gods to read again.
Cecrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another strong anthology with more welcome visits to familiar worlds. Weaker than the first volume overall, with some questionable participants (Diana Gabaldon??). I especially liked Elizabeth Haydon's, and George R.R. Martin revisits his characters introduced in the previous volume.
jedisluzer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this mainly for the Robin Hobb story, and I love love loved it. I just eat up anything that has to do with the Elderlings and the Liveships world. George R.R. Martin's was also good, but I have to admit being given a sour taste by the Anne McCaffrey short. I didn't think it fit in with the worldview described in any of her previous work.
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brjunkie More than 1 year ago
I only read 2 of the short novels. "The Messenger" by Raymond E. Feist, which was okay. And, "Indomitable" by Terry Brooks. It was an epilogue to The Wishsong of Shannara, and I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
LEGENDS II contains eleven novellas written by fantasy authors in the realms they created that in turn made them famous as these authors are instantly recognizable by the worlds they have fashioned. These include Robert Silverberg¿s Majipoor, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, OTHERLAND by Tad Williams, Raymond E. Feist¿s Riftwar, Orson Scott Card¿s Alvin Maker and the American Gods by cult favorite Neil Gaiman. Toss in orbs by Robin Hobbs, Elizabeth Hayden, and other sub-genre who¿s who in a wonderful buffet and one can feast for a long time.............................. For instance, Diana Gabaldon takes a minor character from her renowned Outlander series and makes him a star in his own mysteries as Lord John investigates murder by a succubus in the middle of war with the enemy surrounding him. No anthology about other realms would be complete without a story about Pern and Anne McCaffrey obliges with a plague sweeping Pern with the dragonriders teleporting from place to place and between times to inoculate everyone. Moreta, riding one of her weyr¿s queens and her dragon are lost between times and must find a way to come home. Readers will be delighted with the last story ¿Indomitable¿ a Shannara story in which Jair Ohnsford learns that his adventures are still happening though he thought he could retires once he burned the book of the Ildoch at Greymard. Unfortunately, he failed to destroy a page........................ LEGENDS II is a sampling of many of the magical worlds of fantasy........................... Harriet Klausner