A collection of short fiction, including those in Sunfall (1981) and Visible Light (1986).
"It's rare that I'm not working on a novel. Short stories often happen between novels. Consequently my output is fairly small. But I love the tale-telling concept, the notion that I can spin a yarn, rather than construct something architectural and precise." So writes triple Hugo Award-winning author C.J. Cherryh in the introduction to this book, the first comprehensive collection of her independent short fiction. For though C.J. is primarily known for her novels, it's clear both from the more than two dozen brilliant and varied stories collected here, as well as her commentaries about them, that she loves the short forms and truly enjoys her forays into them.
As a classics scholar, she explains why: "Let me tell you: for me the purest and truest art in the world is science fiction... It's romance. It's the world as it can be, ought to be - must someday, somewhere be... Science fiction is the oldest form of tale-telling... Homer; Sinbad's story; Gilgamesh; Beowulf; and up and up the line of history wherever mankind's scouts encounter the unknown... It's a peaceful progress. Like the whales in their migrations. Tale-telling is the most peaceful thing we do. It's investigatory. The best tale-telling has always been full of what-if... Once upon a time is the only true enchantment the elves left to us, the gift of truthful lies and travel in time and space."
We welcome you to join this expert far-traveler in realms of her imagination, where you'll visit:
"Cassandra" - the Hugo Award-winning tale of a woman cursed with a unique, prophetic madness.
"Threads of Time" - an unforgettable reminder that when you play tricks in time, Time itself may play the greatest trick on you.
"The Last Tower" - in which an old man discovers how an "ally" may topple defenses an enemy could never breach.
"The Brothers" - a story set in a land of castles, kings, and curses, where the Fair Folk presume to meddle in the affairs of men.
"Sunfall" - in which six mighty Earth cities laden with the grandeur of history confront their fates in the far future light of our dying sun.
"The Dreamstone" - where during the dawn of man and the death of Faerie, one lone being kept the old magic intact.
And many other magical, alien, and future worlds, in a volume which incorporates all C.J. Cherryh's previous, long unavailable collections, individual short stories which have never been compiled before, and includes a never before published novella written specifically for this book. So board this spaceship, where your tour guide is one of the most gifted and brilliant of all science fiction and fantasy writers, and embark on a journey fueled by the imagination of hte incomparable C.J. Cherryh.
C. J. Cherryh (born 1942) is the pen name of Carolyn Janice Cherry, a multiple-award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer. She currently resides in Spokane County, Washington.
Cherryh is pronounced ”Cherry”. The author appended a silent ”h” to her real name because her first editor felt that ”Cherry” sounded too much like a romance writer.
The asteroid 77185 Cherryh has been named in her honour.