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Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy, Vol. B (of 2)

av Robert Silverberg (Redaktör)

Andra författare: Orson Scott Card (Bidragsgivare), Raymond E. Feist (Bidragsgivare), Terry Goodkind (Bidragsgivare), Stephen King (Bidragsgivare), Ursula K. Le Guin (Bidragsgivare)1 till, Robert Silverberg (Bidragsgivare)

Serier: Legends (Book I, vol. B)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1365191,476 (3.4)1
Stories of fantasy fiction, each set in the universe of the imagination.
  1. 00
    Revolvermannen av Stephen King (barpurple)
    barpurple: It's not essential to have read The Dark Tower cycle before you read the first short story in this collection, but it would help to understand the characters more.

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Visar 5 av 5
This was a perfect book for a long car trip. Apparently it's an early version of a successful series. The four selections in this 1998 release now feel like classics, but I want to go back and read some of the full narratives from which they are drawn, especially King's Dark Tower. ( )
  jpsnow | Jul 24, 2015 |
I've only read the Dark Tower story from this collection. It's a good little tale of a younger Roland and contains some nasty vampires that will put fans of Stephen King in mind of 'Salam's Lot. ( )
  barpurple | Oct 2, 2011 |
This is a collection of fantasy stories set in the various worlds created by “the best known and most accomplished modern creators of fantasy fiction.”
The Little Sisters of Eluria by Stephen King. (Set in the milieu of The Dark Tower.)
A gunslinger staggers into town with his knackered horse, which promptly dies. He gets beaten up by zombies and handed over to a set of nurses who wish to feed on him and is saved only by the medallion he removed from a dead body earlier.
I’ve never read any Stephen King before - horror isn’t much my thing – and after this I doubt I’ll be reading any more. I wasn’t drawn in, nor was I engaged with the main character at all and as a result didn’t much care what happened to him.

The Sea and Little Fishes by Terry Pratchett. (A Discworld story.)
Granny Weatherwax is asked not to compete in this year’s Witch Trials because she always wins. She accedes, graciously, and everyone else is spooked.
The usual Pratchett, competently written, diverting, but not earth shattering.

Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind. (The Sword of Truth.)
A young woman petitions The First Wizard for help to rescue her husband and daughter who have been captured by the evil invaders the D’Hara. For reasons of his own the Wizard assents, but not without seeming reluctance. From there the story unfolds as you might expect, though Goodkind throws in the odd twist or two. The resolution depends on the utilisation of magic; which is always bothersome. If anything can be done (no matter the cost in terms of deterioration to the health of the caster of the spells) then nothing is of consequence. In short, where is the real peril? And why was the good magic not used long since to prevent the bad situation occurring? (Except, of course, to provide us with a story.) On a less philosophical note, just before the climax of the story - the obligatory pyrotechnics and illusions - one of the enemy sorceresses, a Mord-Sith – is, unconvincingly I would have thought, fixated on her immediate task and as a result is overcome too easily. But this is required for plot purposes. In addition, the story’s dénouement is not as dark as the setup warrants.

Grinning Man by Orson Scott Card. (The Tales of Alvin Maker.)
Alvin Maker and his companion, Arthur Stuart, meet a man who enters grinning contests with bears. (The winner gains power over the other.) They then travel on to a small town where they at first - due to the grinning man’s lies - encounter mistrust but are accommodated by a miller with dodgy business practices which Alvin eventually reveals with the aid of a bear. The bear, with Alvin’s intervention, has taken the grinning man as a kind of slave. This all sounds bizarre but within the tale it has its own logic.

The Seventh Shrine by Robert Silverberg. (Majipoor.)
Lord Valentine, now Pontifex of Majipoor, delighted to escape The Labyrinth to which his position normally confines him, investigates a murder in the former capital of the aboriginal inhabitants of the planet, the shapeshifting Metamorphs. The Metamorph archaeologist Dr Huukaminaan (or Huukaminaam; the two spellings appear annoyingly interchangeable) has been found dismembered in an ancient Metamorph religious site. Lord Valentine eventually solves the puzzle of the untimely death.
Entertaiining but not vintage Silverberg.

Dragonfly by Ursula K Le Guin. (Earthsea)
Dragonfly is the first female ever to be admitted to the establishment on the island of Roke where mages are trained. The reasons for this, her journey to that point, the reluctance of some of the mages to accept her, are rendered with Le Guin’s characteristic sympathy and attention to detail.

The Burning Man by Tad Williams. (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)
A young woman, Breda, whose widowed mother remarried but died a few years later, tries to understand the remoteness at the heart of her stepfather, Sulis, a political refugee from a foreign country, but one who has retained a retinue of armed guards. The burning man of the title is one of the old Powers, summoned by a witch under duress in order to relieve Sulis of his existential angst.
Williams's writing here is impressive, particularly his invocation of the infatuated love affair Breda has with a young soldier, Tellarin. However, he gives his narrator a tendency not so much to foreshadow as to lay out future events. Fair enough, in that she is relating the defining time of her life from the perspective of old age but the habit was a more than a touch relentless and crucially failed to prefigure adequately Tellarin’s core and the choice Breda has to make at the climax.

The Hedge Knight by George R R Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire)
Dunk, squire to Ser Alan of Pennytree, takes over the old man’s possessions when he dies. Despite never having been dubbed he passes himself off as a hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall. He travels to a large tournament where he hopes to succeed in a challenge and thereby make his fortune. Along the way he picks up a stable lad, who seeks training as his squire. So far. so predictable. Martin, however, complicates and recomplicates his narrative - much as he does the larger Song of Ice and Fire cycle - to great effect. This world of aristocratic houses, heraldry, jousting, (some) chivalry and war, while a straight lift from history, seems to be rendered whole. Each walk on character is believable. For a story this long, though, there are too many names. Too many Sers clump each other on the tournament field before we get to the point.

Runner of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (Pern)
A young graduate carrier of messages between the various outposts of civilisation on Pern (the runner of the title) suffers a mishap in her first great long journey across the world. Her convalescence and medical treatment are described in detail as is her outfitting for the Gather to take place in the Hold where she is rehabilitating. There is little conflict, if any, only misunderstandings (telegraphed at that.) None of the characters are in any way wicked, sinful or bad. Nothing much happens here. Move on.

The Wood Boy by Raymond E Feist (The Riftwar Saga)

Topped and tailed by a crude framing device which highlights the unreliable point of view in the main narrative this is the story of a young servant boy who survives the massacre of his household by another of its retainers and tracks the perpetrator (and the young girl who was his co-conspirator) both of whom die in the struggle that ensues when he catches up with them.

New Spring by Robert Jordan (The Wheel Of Time)
A long tale with two main viewpoint characters, Moiraine, one of the Aes Sedai who can channel powers and Lan, the now stateless King of the Malkieri, where a black sisterhood within the Aes Sedai is trying to prevent the coming of age of a boy who can channel. The familiar mayhem and bloodshed ensue. An unusual touch has a coup de grace in a magic duel not delivered by magic.

The Feist and Jordan were both too generic for my tastes.

Overall I found this book a bit of a slog. Some of the settings in Legends are arguably SF rather than fantasy ones but there is a tendency to stock mediævality in too many of the outright fantasies which I find both deadening and disheartening. Is the modern world so unappealing that the comfort of a hierarchical social order is a necessary palliative? Can no-one write a fantasy story set in the here and now?

But then, any sufficiently advanced magic would be indistinguishable from technology. ( )
  jackdeighton | Jul 31, 2011 |
As Ursula K LeGuin's Earthsea is the only one of the six fantasy worlds that I am familiar with, I decided that I would just read 'Dragonfly', a tale of a girl whose real name only describes part of her true self. An unexpected ending reveals the truth, while leaving enough mystery to keep me wishing that the story didn't end there.
  isabelx | Feb 27, 2011 |
Overall, I'd say the book is an interesting read. But if you're going to read works by these authors, you should go ahead and buy the novels rather than this anthology. ( )
  kw50197 | Jul 6, 2010 |
Visar 5 av 5
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» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Silverberg, RobertRedaktörprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Card, Orson ScottBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Feist, Raymond E.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Goodkind, TerryBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
King, StephenBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Le Guin, Ursula K.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Silverberg, RobertBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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This is part B of a 2way split of the original 11 storied Legends 1. Do not combine with any other Legends - possabilities inlcude part 2 of a 3way split of legends, and a completely different Legends II if you are not sure do not combine.

This work contains 6 stories: The Little Sisters of Eluria Roland Gunslinger - Stephen King, Debt of Bones Sword of Truth - Terry Goodkind, Grinning Man Alvin Maker - Orson Scott Card, The Seventh Shrine Majipoor - Robert Silverberg, Dragonfly Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wood Boy Riftwar - Raymond E. Feist. Please only combine with identical works.
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Stories of fantasy fiction, each set in the universe of the imagination.

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