Edited by Bill Sheehan.
Although best known for such epic accomplishments as the ongoing
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and the multi-volume Gap Cycle, Stephen R.
Donaldson has also written some of the most distinctive short fiction
of recent decades. This generous collection brings together much of the
best of that shorter work and provides an ideal showcase for its author's
depth, versatility, and consummate literary artistry.
Included here are eleven stories and novellas that run the gamut from horror (The Conqueror Worm) to high fantasy (Daughter of Regals), from contemporary spiritual drama (Unworthy of the Angel) to action-oriented SF (Animal Lover), together with such uncategorizable gems as The Killing Stroke, with its unique combination of magic and martial arts, and The Woman Who Loved Pigs, an astonishing account of personal transformation and long-delayed revenge.
In settings that range from the deeply familiar to the wholly imagined, The Best of Stephen R. Donaldson offers a gallery of tales that have the resonance and moral complexity of compact novels. Beneath their often-gaudy surfaces, they show us very real people who confront, and sometimes overcome, extreme adversity, who struggle to find balance and harmony in an inherently chaotic universe. Each story is the clear product of a master storyteller. Each demands and rewards repeated readings. Together, they form one of the cornerstone volumes of modern fantasy, a book that will be read and treasured by Donaldson's many fans, and by anyone who values imaginative literature at its finest.
Stephen R. Donaldson (US, born 1947) is one of the most successful fantasy authors. Every volume of his epic fantasy The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, beginning with Lord Foul's Bane in 1977, has been an international bestseller. Donaldson returned to the series with The Runes of the Earth in 2004. He lives in New Mexico.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.