A collection created at the publisher's request as a bargain e-book.
- First publication March 2017.
- Contents copyright 1980, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2011, 2017 by Lawrence Watt-Evans.
It's a 99-cent e-book (though a trade paperback version is also possible) collecting two dozen of my old short fantasy stories, intended to lure readers in to buy lots of my other Wildside books. Twenty-four stories are included, as listed below, none of which are in any of my other short story collections in this form:
Table of Contents
- "The Temple of Life"
- "Mehitabel Goodwin"
- "Heart of Stone"
- "The Final Challenge"
- "Beth's Unicorn"
- "The Bride of Bigfoot"
- "Keeping Up Appearances"
- "Dropping Hints"
- "The Bogle in the Basement"
- "The Man for the Job"
- "Out of the Woods"
- "Ghost Stories"
- "The Frog Wizard" (an alternate version is in Tales of Ethshar)
- "Horsing Around"
- "Spirit Dump"
- "Arms and the Woman"
- "Mittens and Hotfoot" (originally published as by Walter Vance Awsten)
- "Just Perfect"
- "In Re: Nephelegeretes"
- "In for A Pound"
- "Something to Grin About"
- "Best Present Ever!"
One of the problems in writing short stories is that they wind up scattered across a variety of venues, which makes it hard for readers to find them. The stories here were published in an assortment of anthologies and magazines and chapbooks over a period of more than thirty years; up until now I doubt anyone outside my immediate family has read all of them.
Oh, some have been reprinted multiple times, but most haven't seen the light of day in decades. It's nice to have them collected in one place, where readers can find them!
They're all fantasy, from old-fashioned sword-and-sorcery to a Christmas story; you'll find werewolves, elves, dragons, and wizards.
All of these are stories that have not appeared in any of my previous collections. That's a large part of why this is specifically a fantasy collection. You won't find any science fiction, horror, vampire stories, or tales of Ethshar -- those have already been published in previous collections. (Well, mostly; there are a few more science fiction stories that haven't been collected yet.) You won't see any collaborations or licensed properties; it wasn't worth the legal hassles.
I also kept out a couple of stories about the monster-hunting librarian George Pinkerton because I hope to eventually collect that whole series in its own volume. And there's one story called "Sit!" that doesn't seem to fit anywhere, including here, so it will probably never be reprinted.
But what you do have here is all the rest of the short fantasy I've had published. And some of it, if I do say so myself, is pretty darn good.
When I was going through my files to assemble this volume I discovered that I had several of these stories in multiple versions; in those cases I tried to use whichever version had been published originally. I may have gotten that wrong once or twice.
Whatever their history, I hope you like them.
-- Lawrence Watt-Evans
Takoma Park, 2017
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