Like a Breath of Flame: Erotic Tales of Dragons (Erotic Fantasy & Science Fiction Selections Book 28)
Early morning surfing aficionados revived the man, who instantly attacked them for their trouble. Defying his condition, he shook his rescuers off like fleas and babbled an insanely violent tale. Wolves and dragons. Storms which descended like Ragnarok from heaven. Add in an overwhelming guilt complex, and intense feelings of persecution. Al claimed he had killed a million men, women and children; he ranted that someone had torn him apart limb from limb and sewn him back together like a rag-doll.
Taken to a psychiatric hospital, the attending doctor documented that first the patient only screamed and shouted at people, and not always in a language they understood or identified Lord Stephen purchases the virginal Healer, and consigns her to the care of two trainers themselves slaves. A gifted leader, Radu forges strong ties of love that bind Antony, Ariane and himself, so as to insure their survival.
During the storming of the Dark Citadel by a traitorous vassal, Radu, Antony, and Ariane escape, bearing their wounded owner with them. Having forced Stephen to open the gate of the secret exit, they flee to the one place where Ariane knows they can live safely: the Keep of the Unburied Dead, an abandoned stronghold shunned by the superstitious populace.
With the help of the two bosom companions whom he loves, Radu first captures, and then recruits, a rag-tag group of noble outcasts, whose liege lord and all of his followers died in battle. When a band of unemployed mercenaries attacks the Keep of the Unburied Dead, Radu utilizes all of his formidable military skill, and all of his native craftiness, during the ensuing battle. Ebook and soon to be released paperback! Sally and Anne Mae Harris, the deeply loved wife and daughter of successful L. On a trip to Copenhagen a year after the accident, Mica believes he is hallucinating when he sees the two of them, seemingly still alive.
Follow Gisel Matah and the thunder of hooves as she strikes back at the Imperial armies that threaten all she has worked for. Risking her life and her love, Gisel negotiates even greater hazards in a new adventure. Partner, Yohan Felger, becomes a problem when the Baron has him smuggle a steam engine to the Empire. Gisel knows of the subterfuge but cannot admit it, while Yohan is almost torn apart by the need to deceive her. She protects her fledgling Radical movement with the hope it will bring more justice for the peasants and workers in societies now ruled by money and aristocracy, but has to lie to friends to achieve it.
Her reckless courage is needed to carry out missions in the rear of an Imperial army. The fight finds her opposed by ever increasing odds until in the final confrontation she must outwit two enemies who vie to dominate Iskander. Beneath the shimmering veneer of the human world, there is a war raging. Fought between Vampires and Wraith, it has stretched over untold millennia.
But the balance of power has shifted, and the Wraith now find themselves, and humanity, facing extinction. The fate of the entire world rests on the unborn child of two preternatural creatures. It falls to Wraith Emily St. Louise to protect the child from the world, but will its birth bring salvation, or damnation? Some would call them angels, but they could be the harbingers of the apocalypse. Rolling waves of violence and dangerous adventures, quirky desperados, long-lost romance and heated passions collide on the back roads of the Southwest as the charismatic and mysterious Man With The Scar tries to bring order to his chaotic world.
For humanity the transformation from savagery into civilisation can only be led by heroes and geniuses, but new inventions, like the concept of zero, the first books and the use of metals, come at a heavy price. Does love really change us? Or rather, does it distract us from our true selves? In each relationship, Monty realizes more and more how different he is with each woman and all the variety of ways he loves them. Daria, the first woman he ever loved and the only one to have ever broken his heart has always held some unexplainable power over him--to the point where, she could just reappear in his life a year after she broke his heart and change him in an instant.
Ice, best friends with the woman who falls for him as soon as she rests her eyes on him, remains as his cool, rejecting his affection at first, until finally thawing under the attention. Their relationship blossoms like something Monty has never experienced. Angel is his heart. Angel is the woman with whom Monty melts from the need to protect her and respects above all, well, besides Mildred, his perfect woman--his strength.
Could the fact that they know everything about each other make or break their relationship? Only time and exploration will tell.
In essence, their mutual truth is what keeps them the same. The heart-heavy tale is wrapped in love, loss, pain and everything and everybody in between. Fast forward a full decade later, where he finds himself pursued across the rolling plains of the Southland by a mysterious, otherworldly assassin responsible for systematically eliminating members of his former unit in a retribution-laced killing spree. Retracing fantastic events from his own hand-scribed journals, as well as those of the young Chinese immigrant girl for which he is forced to Guardian, Luther Henry describes facing down all manner of supernatural horrors with little more than his trusty Colt Peacemaker, a sharp-edged Bowie knife, and ample supplies of grit and determination.
Amongst the brooding woods that line the field is a pond that constrains an evil of immensity and cunning. No one except Morgan has faced this evil A must read from suspense thriller superstar Bill Wilson. No amount of philanthropy or repentance can change that fact. She's seen it all, but nothing prepared her for what was to come next. The end of a day disastrous. The end of a cataclysmic century. The end of a fateful era. The falling apart of a fragile relationship.
The fall of a fractured empire. The demise of a deal demonic. Plans gone awry. Your final fight for that last breath. As you may note in the introductory paragraph of my first newsletter below, I had a purpose for beginning to publish a newsletter in a monthly format. However, as time went on, I found that I really enjoyed writing it, much more than I thought I would.
It has also become quite popular, even with readers who have never read one of my books or stories. Only the highlights of the newsletters are being published here, the rambling part, so to speak. I have also edited here and there and added explanatory footnotes in places. I devoted much more space in the first newsletters to promotion of my books than I do now. My Progress Report is one of the smallest sections of the latest newsletters. My wife Betty asked me once where I get all the ideas for the topics.
So I keep a little notepad by my computer, one by my easy chair and one by my bed. I like receiving letters from fans and readers. I can be e-mailed from my web site www. Okay, Go! Have fun and may you always have happy reading and time to pursue what is one of the most pleasurable of human activities. Well, that all depends on how the word is used.
The context, you know. Irreverence is not limited to what many people think-something to do with religion, although that can be a large part of it. Nope, it is a big word with broad meaning. Let me give you a few examples of how it is used:. Its basic meaning is "disrespectful". Now you have an idea of just how broad it can be. There is a whole world of irreverence in the pot.
Our authors gleefully dip their pens into that pot and scribble out their twisted views of this world-or other worlds. Words that can be used in place of irreverent synonyms are: aweless, cheeky, cocky, contemptuous, crusty, derisive, flip, flippant, fresh, iconoclastic, impertinent, impious, impudent, insolent, irreverential, mocking, out-of-line, profane, rude, sacrilegious, sassy, saucy, tongue-in-cheek, ungodly, unhallowed, unholy and so forth.
As you can readily see, the majority of the Twisted Tails authors are world class representatives of the word in all its specific meanings; not just a couple. I have gathered together several cheeky authors whose impiety is well known and asked them to grace these pages with words of insolence for your reading pleasure. As always, there is no genre restriction. The only common element here is Irreverence. The other big deal about the Twisted Tails series that is a must are unexpected endings and sheer quality of writing.
Have fun while you cringe at their out-of-line talent at twisting irreverent tales and we hope to see you again-should there be a next time. I have it on good authority that there probably will be a next time, so keep a watch for it. In the 23rd century a young woman disillusioned with the sterile life of a utopian society is taken on a profound journey of self discovery and personal transformation. It's a land where humans mingle with stubborn dwarves, mysterious elves, and feathered biata against shape-shifting gryphons, necromantic zombies, and silly goblins. It's a land where things are never as they seem; where good and evil are not always clear-cut, and where the strong do not always prevail.
In Fortannis, one can learn magic by summoning the power of the flow of order in the world, to tie yourself to the living cycle of all around you. Or, if your inclinations are darker, you can be tempted by the flow of chaos and entropy, which allows you to create undead abominations and cast substantially more powerful spells in exchange for the corruption of your soul.
Hey, the choice is yours. This is the fifth collection of stories which take place in the world of Fortannis. Some of these stories feature characters introduced in the novels and the first four collections, but you don't have to read the earlier ones to enjoy these stories.
You'll enjoy them more if you do, however. Enter Search Text:. Titles Available from A clandestine society, financed by a billionaire, has created a new infectious virus capable of inserting genes which determine the way individuals feel about sex. The virus spreads rapidly, but its effects are not noticed by individuals to begin with? When an FBI investigator finally does suspect that something unusual is going on, the Center for Disease Control is contacted and brought into the investigation. It is quickly discovered that indeed a virus capable of changing sexual attitudes is spreading over the world.
While the FBI and CDC are racing to discover the originators of the virus and to create a cure or vaccine, the investigation is hampered by the fact that the agents themselves are becoming infected. The men and women trying desperately to stop the sex virus have to cope with their own changed attitudes and hope the virus can be stopped before society is irrevocably changed. And it may already be too late. She is every man's fantasy, but all things come with a price.
When the sexiest, most mysterious woman in the world takes you as a lover. Song Shia warned Alex right from the beginning that he should run like hell, but he didn't listen, and neither of them had any idea where things would lead. The only thing he knew for sure was that Song was a wild one, and that he would never attempt to tame her. Outpost Earth proposes an alternate reality where man descends from an alien culture shipwrecked on Earth after greed, lust, and love sabotage their mission.
Close friends since birth, Dana and Rucker have grown up aboard the Pangaean space transport Hyperion. While Rucker is sexually attracted to Dana, she refuses to become another of his one-night stands.
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Rucker's sexual frustration is further aggravated by Gay, an exotic beauty he encounters while marooned on ancient Earth. Rucker truly loves both women but knows he must make choice, if he can keep them both alive. At the brink of an impending dark age, year-old Allison Taylor escapes Earth on a colony ship to the stars. But a catastrophic quark drive failure forces a desperate, near-light-speed return a millennium into Earth's future. Allison is surprised to find humanity in a "New Renaissance" and to see the Great Geostationary Towers her father engineered still stretching majestically from ground to high orbit, now housing Earth's billions.
Allison is torn. Will fulfilling her father's dream be worth abandoning her chance to finally reach the stars? Would you like to live for years? The benevolent global government of LIV can help. With the miracle of Extender Technology, you can be a fit, healthy, sexy specimen for centuries. All that's required is a bit of genetic engineering, a daily dose of True Age Bromide and complete loyalty to a new world order. In this new society, concepts such as marriage, work and the meaning of life have been retooled for the billions of people fighting for their place on the planet.
While most people decide to become Extenders and embrace the chance to live for centuries, there is a growing resistance. A rebellion brews and soon explodes into a war that asks you to decide what matters most - living long or living well? There is no easy answer. For Hollywood stunt girl Juniper Warren, the dangers of running a motor bike off a sheer cliff are nothing compared to the sheer terror of being forced out of a vintage airplane without a parachute.
Juniper has to use the witching powers bequeathed by her grandmother if she is to survive. And once she does, she will find herself face to face with her evil black widow spider Aunt Regina who will do anything to destroy her. The scarefest begins from the start of the book and doesn? If you? His tales are beyond what the generation X? Within these stories you will find icons and archetypes that you are familiar with. The reason being Melody Chalis survives each vampiric night by feeding off of the blood of her lovers until one night when she is confronted by Eric, the elder vampire.
She can either join him, or face a horrible death by the sun. Besides having the ability to speak, as have all animals, Biff and Buff bring to every experience the exuberance and enthusiasm associated with dogs. They also have academic sophistication, artistic and pragmatic talents, as well as compassionate, understanding, and helpful natures. Biff and Buff complete a family. Mom and Dad and their girls, Garrett and Raine, constitute the core cast of characters. The reader is also introduced to Boom, Toady, Piddle and Puddle, who are best friends and who appear in other stories.
Of those who make things happen, watch things happen, or wonder what just happened, Biff and Buff certainly make things happen. Whether it's helping a little girl in a learning center understand subtraction, or ensuring their friends' safety at night, Biff and Buff rise to the challenge with inventiveness, imagination, and? I, Robert Winstead, was brought here by someone I did not know for some purpose I had yet to discover.
But I also knew that only by fulfilling that purpose would I be allowed to leave Somewhere among the hallways and denizens of this haunted environment I would find the answer. I had to. Collected herein are the stories of another character created by Pat Welch that will please those of us who still miss the Grey Mouser stories of Fritz Leiber and the Retief stories of Keith Laumer. Brendell is a member of the Thieves Guild and these are his adventures as he tries to gain his Journeyman status. On this world there are thieves but they have a code of honor and only steal when under contract and have a set of rules to live by.
In these stories, Brendall must obey the rules but he will bend them as much as possible in order to do the right thing by his own instincts. There is plenty of magic, twists, double-crosses, dragons, demons, and delightful reading and if you are a fan of well written light fantasy with a well drawn lead character, this is one of the best ones to come along in a while. Are heroes born, or are they made? Hecker weaves an intriguing story of two brothers--fliers in the bloody skies over Europe--who bear each other no love and who were cetainly no heroes.
At the current temperature of seventy degrees, I figure my shelf-life is about half a day. Being a zombie certainly has its complications, but Paris is determined to survive. An old-fashioned remedy might hold the secret to her longevity.
If only she can stay alive long enough to test it out Because of the presence of the Entity, the creatures that live on the Earth are liable to be corrupted and manipulated to bring about the escape. Beings from other parts of the galaxy have been watching Earth for untold ages, occasionally taking a message of hope down to the Babil, as they are known.
On earth she is a pop singer.
In the monitoring station orbiting Jupiter she was known as Glindra. Her son Anbethan does not know that his mother is a Messenger. Every kid has parents who embarrass them on occasion, but Gabrielle Jordan has more to complain about than most. A vampire must not sire a child on a mortal.
Hazardous voyages, desperate battle on land and sea, human sacrifice and arrest by ruthless Amazons confront Hero and Aito in their quest to save the people of Crete from starvation and ruin. Amazon Grain finds them in peril, and only courage and determination will ensure that they achieve their aim. They must also evade the clutches of their deadly enemies in the sinister and unforgiving tin syndicate who relentlessly pursue them to suppress the knowledge they have gained.
When the Williard brothers get going, any resemblance to a real war is purely coincidental! James Williard uses his position as the hauncho of a medical dispensary in Vietnam as a base, while he and his crazy medics turn the war zone into a party zone. Williard's two brothers, Jerry, a naval ensign and Jason Jumpin' Jase the Marine fighter pilot who regualrly loses 15 million dollar planes join the fun and then it is like no war ever recorded.
After the war the zany Williard brothers and their paramours go looking for adventure and find all they can handle when they decide to see if there really is a dinosur still living deep in the Congo. Flying a beatup old seaplane, the brothers are shot up, shot down, chased by the Mafia for carrying drug money they don?
The Williard brothers are tired of the sedentary life. It started with a corpse sitting in Jim's office chair Who's Waldo? Jim sat across from the dead man, an unfired gun in his hand. What are you doing at my desk? The weapon's scarlet tassel clashed with the burgundy fabric of the chair, as did the red plume in his hat.
He changed professions abruptly after his partner and best friend was shot in the line of duty. He blames himself. You will learn about his strengths and weaknesses. You may forgive him, although he can not forgive himself. You will pity him. These short stories feature Private Detective Keith Richardson, who has one adventure after another and somewhere in the whole mess gets involved with the government.
Crystal Blue Keith discovers something he did not expect while investigating a girl's missing identity. Spring Break See what happens when a Private Investigator goes on vacation. The Governor Keith is hired as bodyguard for the Governor. Ruby Just when you thought Keith was clear of the government, they come back.
Marcel Maki Marc is a gigolo and a "kept man". He doesn't see it that way, and he's the writer. The reader should know better. Marc's a ghost-writer, specializing in celebrity autobiographies. When his wealthy university "sweetheart" asks him to look into the disappearance of her father he resists until she and her family make it clear that he has no choice but to do what they want. Trouble is, all the members of the family want different things.
A book for everyone who is interested in naval history, Deeply Canadian: New Submarines for a New Millennium tells the story of how Canada nearly lost her submarine service in the s after decades of dedicated duty. The story follows the couple through almost ten years of their lives, their two meetings, their marriage and divorce.
It then follows each separately yet still joined by the common bond of Morgan's brother, Patrick, a charming ne'er do well with whom Morgan doesn't get along. Finally, there is a book that tells you how to handle the toughest problem in our organizations, homes and sports today - how to talk to someone when you are irritated, angry or hurt.
Did you know when you are upset you disconnect from that part of the brain where you effectively solve problems? You can't think straight. The Body Shop consists of a novella and twelve short stories. The title piece is the most engaging and original story in the whole collection.
Its 40, odd words pack in a fair amount of black satirical horror. Set in a post apocalyptic future where life is very cheap and rapidly cannibalised, we discover the human body to be very much in need of a Dr. Frankenstein figure Edgerton to put us back together. Of course there's a high monetary cost, and disregard of gender and ethics. For our hideous human vanity will do anything to procure a functional body. My favourite moments are when the heads only , of the injured rich, argue about their needs.
They've been waiting for a body for years. Even become a little community, that gets to sing carols with Edgerton once a year! No one sane wants either of the two most powerful positions on the planet Nublis. Emperor and archon, supreme judge, are slaves to 3, years of tradition. The emperor can abdicate. Only death can free the archon. But the planet of Nublis is rich and the ripe plum desired by a pirate who would be king.
Can those who have pledged their lives to serve their world save their world? Unholy alliance and weapon without defense, who shall free the worlds from the conscienceless? Who shall choose the one who cannot be corrupted to free all the fearful voiceless suffering injustice? Where lies the duty of an emperor? Only to his people? Or to all? Book three from Nublian Chronicles I - The Julian Trilogy Concubine's son, illegal witch child, consummate trader for a world in bondage. On Nublis he proved his worth. But the prophecy was only that one would be born who might have the strength to endure and end the bondage of a world.
Shattered words, trust abused, maimed and slowly dying, who will hear the soliloquy of the silenced? Sanctuary of peace in the grasp of demon spawn, love is forbidden to the one leashed between the realms. What price will he pay for tasting the forbidden? Vice of men consuming greed, the defense awakens near too late. Hell hound and full moon, what price a demon to defend the light? Beyond priceless is friendship to the one whose price has been established, to the one too useful to be allowed the title person.
Princess Sybilla of Lodebar is forcibly married to her mortal enemy, Prince Darius of Illyria, and falls deeply in love with him. When she discovers that her reluctant bridegroom is carrying a torch for another woman who is as beautiful as she is not. Sybilla decides that all is fair in love and war and sets out to win him for herself. The much-acclaimed A Circle of Arcs, which is a unique blend of time travel, actual historical figures and speculative fiction.
Joan of Arc and an alien sorcerer, time travel and a centuries-old mystery, Gilles de Rais on a modern city street, why? Following the biggest heist of his career, interplanetary jewel thief Alar Zarkadon rescues the only daughter of the wealthiest man in the Interplanetary Synod and becomes a media hero. Since he's anyone but who he seems, the last thing Alar needs is public attention, and even his magical spirit dog, Min-Ha, can't help him get out of this one. Change your sex; change your life! One day thousand of gates suddenly and mysteriously appear on Earth.
No one knows where they are from. Some think it is the start of an alien invasion. Others credit God. When the old and the sick go through these gates, they become young again and their illnesses disappear. But there are several problems! Not everyone makes it through the first time. Some people simply disappear. When you go through a gate, your sex changes -- men become women and women become men. And no one can go back through the gate a second time. Everyone who tries disappears.
False identities, the persistence of memory, and the refusal to admit that love can not save you, combine in a razor-edged crime novel that establishes Randall Silvis as one of the preeminent practitioners of the literary art. The hero of this novel, Mac Parris, isn? A wildlife photographer living under an assumed name, he knows firsthand that the most dangerous animal of all is the one behind the camera.
He has spent his adult life hiding from the FBI and his own past, while locked in a feverish pursuit of revenge. Although a master of self-denial, Parris has not learned to subdue the one quality that might prove his undoing: his compassion for the other wounded creatures with whom he shares this planet. She pretends to be an Order priestess to keep the others from taking Wolfram away, but finds she cannot shed this falsehood so easily. Blowing the whistle on one of the biggest food manufacturers carries a risk.
Charles Turcott may have understood that he was taking a chance but the intentional use of unhealthy and adulterated food was endangering thousands of people throughout the world. He couldn? Then Harvey meets Little Mary, a three-foot woman who impacts his circus in a way he could never imagine. There is more to this novel then meets the eye, I loved it! At night Sandi's perfect life seems less than perfect. The only child of a well-to-do family that runs an art gallery, in the light of day she's beautiful although she doesn't think so , and engaged to a successful stockbroker.
But at night, there are the whispers? Are the whispers trying to say something, or is she simply insane? Sandi doesn't understand, and is sure her family and fianc? She changes her major from art history to psychology to look for answers. Then, one evening in class, the professor tries an experiment in self-hypnosis and, the whispers get a voice, her voice. A lonely, disgruntled adventurer named Doc Cowles and his associate Stan Samuels encounter a prophetic woman while exploring the Egyptian ruins of Giza.
Cowles and Samuels are enthralled by her captivating persona as they follow her through the embattled Middle East, and eventually to the United States. Within days they are joined by four others and as a team they journey across the country, struggling with their troubled pasts and their ominous futures. In this alternate reality, the US swings to an ultra right-wing position in which personal freedoms have been suspended. Interwoven with newspaper excerpts to portray the growing political and social atmosphere, Zane Smith places his characters in a time and place that could frighteningly become reality.
Cold River: a survivor's story is about man's desire for freedom during a time when none existed. Jozef describes the village in which he grew up with such emotion and sadness that the reader can hear the snow crunching beneath his expectant mother's feet as she makes her way through the snow drifts. The day after Halloween, the world population awakes to a planet with no electricity. Raphael Edmonds, known to his friends as Bear, explores his neighborhood to find that not only is there no electricity, but the atmosphere itself seems to have changed. When he hears the sound of gunfire within his usually peaceful area of the city, he knows the safest place for him and his girlfriend is a small town in the Texas Hill Country named Rollingblock.
Thirteen-year-old Ronnie, part of a trio of best friends that seems to be falling apart because Amy and Jimmy are growing up faster than she is, finds solace in the company of her island's eccentric catlady, an eighty-three-year-old retired concert pianist. A fantasy adventure based on an Icelandic myth for readers of all ages. When Tory Simmons accidentally fell into the underworld during a school field trip he never dreamed that life could be so different. At that moment S? Once you get in you can? Tory was now faced with an unknown destiny in a forbidden territory harboring horrendous creatures beyond his imagination.
He will explore unique trails and valleys, encounter magical friends as well as terrifying enemies to fulfill a prophesied fate that will determine the final outcome of the badlands and the protected territory. The Book of the Black Sun is thirty-two Lovecraftian stories arranged in eight clusters of four stories: a micro story, a flash piece, a short story and a longer short story. Each cluster is named after a chapter in the Book of the Black Sun. References to the Cthulhu Mythos, strange mandalas, spinning eldritch gates and other themes are woven throughout the book so that the reader learns more about the mythology of the Black Sun as they read along.
The final result is a creepy, self-referential mandala in itself. Lady Rebecca seems to have a perfect life. A doting father, a man who loves her. But all that changes when a dark stranger enters her life and people begin to die, horribly. When fingers point toward her as being responsible, and thinking her love lost forever, Lady Rebecca finds herself forced to make a choice- wed a man she despises or be destroyed by the villagers, who distrust her because she has "The Power". Lady Rebecca's choice leads to a centuries long search for Damien, the ark Sorcerer to gain vengeance for what he did to her and those she loved.
The Image of Christian is a fable about fame, celebrity, and other illusions. Christian answers a "help wanted" ad on the Internet and gets more than the job he desperately needs. His new boss, Grace, owns bits and pieces of this and that all over the world. In an erotic future society genetically enhanced pets have overrun the world and driven humans into vast barricaded enclaves, where social and sexual mores have undergone drastic changes.
When an alien spaceship crashes in the wilds, two competing enclaves form expeditions to recover the advanced technology. A battle between them is certain, but first they must fight their way through an overgrown countryside where intelligent animals rule supreme. Book 3 of the Felix Trilogy.
Wages of Deception takes place in the future, during a time when a new emperor is about to be crowned and take a new bride. He decides to take one last "fling" and switches places with his rogue half brother; resulting in surprises for both and the new bride to be! Georg has always known how his life would go.
He would take over as Lord when his father died. But when his brother, Marcus, who has been studying with the wizards, suddenly dies, Georg is chosen to take his place. He is far from happy about this, but a member of his family has always been expected to work with the wizards. When they refuse to take his other brother, Edward. So he agrees to go. Once there, he realizes there is something peculiar about his brother's death. Nobody seems to be willing to tell exactly what happened to Marcus. So he sets out to find out what happened. He begins by befriending the companions of his late brother.
He soon finds out that his brother died from attempting to use a powerful magical relic. He also finds out that he also has the ability to use this relic. Will he agree to use this ability and accept his new position with the wizards? The Compact ending the "Atlantis thing" prohibited Diluvian interference on Terra. But treaties are made to be broken and, from the beginning, some Diluvians meddled. Others were assigned to observe and, occasionally, report back. On the remote grounds of an isolated Mississippi penitentiary, a long buried evil crawls towards the surface, the unbridled rage seething within it's rotted form matched only by the poisonous virus incubating inside it's surging veins.
What would happen if a hole in space suddenly appeared above the North Pole? Who stands ready to use the event In their tireless quest for power? And how would they do it? The long, magical wars ended when the elves left the lands of men, conjuring an impenetrable barrier to keep the humans out of their new realm. They left man only with the sorcery he could create, taking all the creatures of magic to Ishan with them Patrick Welch What can you expect to find within this volume?
I won't even try to describe it. Nothing I say can prepare you for Patrick Welch. Even a man of words like me, can scarcely think of the appropriate adjectives to heap upon him. And being the modest fellow he is, it's unlikely that he'd do more than blush and turn away in any case. Quotes by Ophelia Bell. Spread your pussy wider, little beast. If I can find heaven in that sweet place, maybe … just maybe, you can be my goddess again.
Topics Mentioning This Author. Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity. We are here to provide discussion groups and share great books we've read with each other in the fantasy and sci-fi genre and sub-genres. While many of the books are for the adult audience, this is not an exclusive erotica group. Our group covers anything from young adult fiction to asexual romance to erotica.
Let the fun begin! Welcome romance readers! Be advised you must have a public profile prior to submitting your request to join; preference given to those who truly use this site as readers. While we encourage you to join groups to meet readers, do so as a reader. The r A Brain to Books Group Welcome to the Book Shelf where authors shelve their books and readers are invited to browse the selection, spam free.
The rules for readers are simple : Be polite and respectful. Please do not post in The "Book Shelf" Discussion group. Moderator Angela B. The Bulletin Board posts the latest events. At the center of this group is "The Book Shelf" where hundreds of books are shelved by genre just like in a library. The Book Store is a structured library styled book store where you can view the selection spam and promo free. Newsletters consist of news posted on the Bulletin Board, reading groups, giveaways, new additions, changes to the group, and requests from readers looking for a reading partner.
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Cindy Johnson author of My Weight Add a reference: Book Author. Search for a book to add a reference. Jan 01, PM. Feel free and stop by my wall or drop me a message any time! He, of course, finds a way to outwit the machine and escape. The storyline is rather inconsequential; what counts here is the ingenuity with which the biology of these aliens has been worked out. Again, for the Freudian, sexual symbolism is poured in with a lavish hand to flavor the outlandish stew. It's certainly an important book in the development of SF, but I wish there was a critical introduction saying why.
The stories stand up very well after 20 years even if the shock value is no longer there. Ballantine Books, New York. The original novelette was probably the most talked-about story of the year; if there had been Hugo's then, it would surely have won one. Now, expanded into a novel, it gets another chance, and if it should be the winner for , the award will mean more than it would have ten years ago.
First, and perhaps foremost, it was a science-fiction story in which sexual relations played the central part. Second, there was a potent sexual gimmick that I don't feel able to reveal even now. Old fans know what it is, but a new generation is entitled to that last slug in the wind. Now Mr. Farmer has strengthened his story by building up the structure of the Sigmen society of A. This portrait of a warped, puritanical, hierarchical social order is a major achievement of science fiction.
The world of these two books is more intensely realized than Robert A. Heinlein's "Future History"; it is almost as real--cruelly real--as the world of Orwell's " It also follows--since that appears the author's crusade-- that the illogic and hypocrisy of our own sexual code is exaggerated to the point where the hero, Hal Yarrow, is walled off from any kind of normal relations--by Twentieth Century standards, at least--with his wife, or any other woman. Taboos, prohibitions, rituals--this is as hag-haunted a future as anyone has shown us. Then, on a distant planet whose intelligent arthropods are to be destroyed to provide lebensraum for the Sigmen world, Yarrow comes up hard and suddenly against a woman who knows nothing about the kind of conditioning he has had.
Little by little the barriers are broken down, little by little Yarrow becomes more human--and then the sky falls. It's a tour de force, it's a landmark, and it's only the beginning of what Farmer can and probably will do. It's too bad that the book is published only as a paperback. Ballantine - pp. By the end of the first paragraph, the reader has been instructed not to read further before reading the story. Readers of the article must have been few, since the book was then unavailable.
Happily, Ballantine has seen fit at last to correct this situation and those lacking a copy are advised to get one as soon as possible. Don't think that it is graphic sexual descriptions that caused the uproar, as I had been led to think; this isn't even soft-core porn. It is instead a reader's treat in which characterization and idea receive equal attention. This is the realm of one Hal Yarrow, linguist and joat, and also of his meeting and forbidden love for Jeannette Rastinac of the planet Ozagen. It is the domain of the Sturch gee, Phil, where do you get your neat slang? Enter it.
If you are fortunate enough not to know the plot, there is a well constructed mystery awaiting you and an ending which takes the old story of love in a repressive society and rejuvenates it as only SF can. I judge that the actual novelette begins with chapter 6, for those interested. The earlier chapters are, structurally, the weakest part of the book and can be skipped if they bore you.
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I trust that this was the part Phil meant when he said that he wanted to revise the book, but Ballantine wouldn't let him; publication costs wouldn't justify it. Still another reason SF doesn't "measure up" to the level of the mainstream. Farmer writes two kinds of books: in is strictly an adventure story, perhaps even a single draft, written to maintain financial stability while he works on the other, a more serious undertaking. The world of Ozagen lives, is coherent and credible. The central thesis of the story is biologically sound, a similar situation occurring among certain lizard and salamander populations.
Did you know that? Item: Blurb from the back cover In , [Farmer] wrote and published the full-length novel based on "The Lovers. Both are inexcusable. Under such circumstances, I might accept the price. If it wouldn't sell, I could accept the denied permission for revision. In combination, they are incompatible and reprehensible. Del Rey , hardcover reprint Before the publication of this story in shorter form in , only the genteelest of biological premises ever showed their faces in science-fiction magazines, but The Lovers first in book form in may now seem like pretty tame stuff.
Hal Yarrow, product of a sexually repressive theocracy, leaps at the chance to accompany a mission to the newly discovered alien civilization of Ozagen. Here he meets the beautiful Jeanette , apparently the offspring of an earlier Terran explorer and a native humanoid.
Their clandestine affair, carried out against the background of a secret Terran plot to wipe out the indigenous population of Ozagen, culminates in disaster brought about by Hal's ignorance of Jeanette's true biological ancestry. Farmer's busy circumstantiations of the puritanical Terran culture and the Ozagen reproductive cycle, even though apparently revised for this new edition, do not wear very well, but it's good nonetheless to have this ground-breaking book in print. Del Rey hardcover reprint "Since the early '50s, no SF novel has more often been described as taboo-breaking than this one," remarked PW.
Farmer speculates about alien sexuality and the possibility of love between human and alien. We concluded that the work has "interesting settings, depth of characterization and a concept that still has the power to amaze. This landmark book belongs in every SF collection.
Del Rey hardcover reprint Since the early '50s, no SF novel has more often been described as taboo-breaking than this one, now in hardcover for the first time. Sex was almost nonexistent in SF until Farmer began to break down the barriers with his speculations about alien sexuality and the possibility of love between human and alien. Despite at least one structural problem inherent in the plot, the novel holds up well.
It has interesting settings both the planet Ozagen and the religious tyranny on Earth the hero comes from , a depth of characterization that was rare when the book was new and is still not as common as it should be in SF and a concept that still has the power to amaze. This landmark book belongs in every science fiction collection. Del Rey hardcover reprint This is the first publication in hardcover of a major novel in the sf genre and it has been revised by the author for this edition.
Its theme is the sexual attraction of human Hal Yarrow for a beautiful native of the planet Ozagen; and its magazine publication marked a permanent departure from the Calvinistic mores of the sf mode called modern science fiction in the s and 50s. Acceptably written and equipped with an ingenious plot and explosive sf premise, this is a book of which many have heard.
It thus comes equipped with a built-in audience. It is also, of course, mandatory reading for all those interested in the evolution and nature of sf as a literature. Algis Budrys. When Hal Yarrow, a member of the Big Brother society of the future, dares to think "unrealistically" and falls in love with a human-looking insect, his love proves to be both his salvation and undoing. A fine science fiction tale recommended for older teenagers.
When this story of human-alien love first appeared in , it generated so much controversy that Farmer felt compelled to expand it to book length. Now with several sorts of sexual revolution behind us, The Lovers can be read as a tale of love, death and first encounter — instead of just an iconoclastic exercise for shock effect. The sex here is so discreet that you wonder how anyone could have been offended, even 20 years ago.
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His subsequent body of work, including the best-selling Riverworld series, shows that the fans in those days knew what they were talking about. This is an important book in the history of SF and one that still holds up as an interesting and entertaining tale. Bob Mecoy. The third, "The God Business," is Rabelasian fantasy. The opener, "The Alley Man," is another example of the innate variety of science fiction. The idea of a surviving Neanderthal man has been used many times in science fiction, and I think I am safe in saying that no two stories have been alike.
It is a robust, rambling comic tragedy of a dying species, trying to keep its heredity straight, clinging to its old legends, holding its own against the G'yaga , the False Folk who have inherited the Earth. The roaring, rutting, one-armed Old Man Paley who lives on the city dump and hunts the Old King's hat of power through its alleys, who guzzles beer and seduces social workers with equal facilities, is Alley Oop as seen by Eugene O'Neill.
The story is negligible; the character is everything. It is as craftily and solidly fitted together as the best locked-room mystery John Dickson Carr ever constructed, and forces you to create an image of the strange thing that possesses the Captain's daughter, from the accumulating evidence of what it does to her.
A bottle of the legendary brew of a Celtic god, let loose in central Illinois, has converted the valley of the Illinois River into a Never-Never Land of demigods out of Pogo and Apuleus, where symbols take flesh and the dead may rise. Into this place of solidified hallucination, stark naked by way of a disguise, venture an irrascible agent of the Food and Drug Administration and a Major in the Marines, female.
What follows they bring upon themselves - which is another way of saying it was fated, or planned by the Great God Mahrud, nee "Bull" Durham. If you've learned by now that you never know what to expect from a Farmer story - then you know what to expect in "The Alley God. Ballantine Books. Each story contains both good and bad elements — enough good ones so that it is possible to be entertained and enough bad ones so that no lasting impression is made.
In the title work, the author has created a memorable blood-and-guts character called Old Man, who possesses probably the most astonishing family tree this side of Venus. The second tale is, to my mind, the weakest of the lot. Perhaps this is a format not capable of limitless variation, though I find it hard to believe. In the third story, Mr. The main trouble is that it is a bit too drawn out. Titled The God Business, it is a fantasy about a place in Illinois transformed, by some highly developed wishful thinking on the part of a college professor, into a land of bacchanalian orgies.
Most of the action occurs as the armed services bring all forces to bear to put a halt to matters. I hope that Mr. Farmer has better, or rather, more consistent, good fortune next time around. Ballantine U , pp. It concerns humans on an obscure world called Hell which, evidently, had been constructed in the past by a gradually dwindling race of fiends, who are now the slaves of mankind. Jack Cull's natural curiosity leads him to attempt to discover the secret of the world where nonexistence is nonexistent. Gene Rider. Ballantine U Philip Jose Farmer who once set the whole science fiction world on its ear with an extraordinarily powerful story called The Lovers , in the days when everyone thought the field had no glands, has again turned his considerable skills to the end of disturbing, unsettling, sometimes puzzling, yet completely fascinating the reader.
Any attempt to describe in detail this world or hell or this plot or fable must fail; Farmer barely manages it in and by the book. Is it satire? Very probably. Does it contain a warning? For some, surely. It is one of those rarities which yields to the degree the reader participates in it; which gives back quantitatively what the reader brings in - but gives back something vastly different in kind.
It is rife with horror that intrigues, with blood which somehow does not come off on one, with apparent sacrileges which may well be admonishments to those who have lost devotion. An oddment. A most worthwhile oddment. Theodore Sturgeon. Here is a hollow sphere, with the living-space on the inside. Up in the middle of the sphere is the sun always, of course, directly overhead. Cull has an apartment in a tower of one of the cities; out his window he looks over the desert to mountains but the terrain curves upward, fading away into the distant "sky.
While Cull must shave with a flint razor, he has the use of a telephone: Telephones in Hell? Why not? They were the work of those who had been here before man, "demons. Yes, the "demons" had been there first. But as Earth's population of humans expanded, more and more of them it was supposed had died and come to "hell.
Leaving for work, Cull notes that a falling stone has killed someone; he joins the expectant crowd. An ambulance comes to pick up the dead man. Disappointment; "X" has not come this time. And people killed here didn't stay dead; the ambulance -- with silent, unknown propulsion -- took away the corpse but it was expected that within a few hours the man would be back, alive.
All are naked in Cull's city, with the same age and body with certain exceptions as when they "died. Diseases, insanity, have disappeared. Buy oddity continues to pile onto oddity, in this outre tale. The reader cannot help but be intrigued, is forced to read on in ever-building fascination. What is going on here? What is going to happen? This is truly "a book that cannot be put down. In a remarkably few pages Farmer has created an incredible environment. Then, Cull arrives at work, answers his phone, and the game is afoot.
Suffice to say that Cull and two others, after "X" is torn apart by a mob, go on a chase into the sewers, finally into and down an air shaft, and then Then comes the discovery that their world -- this "Hell" -- is artificial, a titantic ship! They can look out a port and see the stars. They manage to make it back to the interior. New earthquakes have flattened their city. And then, they capture the "demon" who had fled with "X's" head; he admits that he is not really a demon, but an extraterrestrial humanoid.
And he reveals that this "world" is controlled by powerful beings of great antiquity. The humanoid escapes, as more quakes come, the a "final" cataclysm; gravitational attraction ebbs and everything floats freely into the inner void. Eventually, Cull and his two friends drift into a large mass of stone, tubing, etc.
Cull finds that he can use certain discs to create duplicate "X's. We are not just interested in our own kind and its preservations Things, though, are not quite as simple as you might suppose. The ancient race of Immortals has set up "soul" stations throughout all creation, supplying souls to all creatures because if left to their natural fate, death would bring total obliteration.
This "Hell" is one such station, its occupants being ethically conditioned while awaiting the births of the creatures to whom they'll become attached. And how much of Farmer's explanations for this setup will parallel his final "Riverworld" explanations? Will his background Immortals-Ethicals here be behind the setup there? But all Riverworld addicts will want to -- must! It may very well give you at least a hint of what is to come. Edward C.
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Books Received: Avon Equinox , March, pp. Farmer was obviously tinkering with the Riverworld series when he wrote this and it contains all the concepts he used later plus an actual ending that pretty well explains things to some degree. The cover by Jack Wyrs in impressionistic of something. Heinlein, throughout the course of their respective careers in SF, have had a fascination with the idea of immortality and the transmigration of souls. Inside Outside is another.
Jack Cull lives in Hell, which is populated by resurrected humans and demons and ruled over by The Authorities. He remembers his life on Earth vaguely and has adapted to his hellish existence by getting a job with the local equivalent of Bell Telephone combined with the Secret Service. Hell is much like Earth, except for the demons and the periodic earthquakes. And the fact that no one knows quite what is going on - it may be Purgatory, not Hell, for instance. So Jack, Phyllis and Fyodor who may or may not be a Russian writer whose last name is Dostoievsky set out on a journey into the bowels of Hell to track down the mysterious X, who may or may not be Christ, still in hell, because -- oh, never mind.
If this is beginning to sound a bit like Riverworld, well, it is. A fact that illuminates Farmer's career as a writer is that Riverworld was originally a single book, written in the s -Farmer's first SF novel. He won a prize for it from a publisher that promptly went out of business and didn't pay him. Riverworld remained unpublished until the s, when Farmer began to re-write it as stories and novels. Meanwhile, it must have struck him that he could do a kind of Riverworld in reverse in Inside Outside.
The world is actually the inside of a spherical shell in space, with an unmoving light source that dims regularly at night. Jack and his companions discover that humans and demons alike are prisoners. Then, in a final switch, the transmigration of souls is explained and the whole thing turns out to be different than we thought - but that need not be given away here.
Inside Outside is a justifiable SF rediscovery - original, sloppy, provocative, hard to classify - a Farmer novel. It is one of those SF books that is better in the seventies somehow than when it came out in And a pleasant way to pass the time until we get the final novel in the Riverworld series next year. David G. Berkley Paperback, pp. Jack Cull jackal , a sexy lady and a character that's supposed to be Fyodor Dostoevsky but comes out more like Mr. Natural, are caught up in a revolution that literally sweeps Hell off its foundations. Fast paced and gripping despite plenty of "theological" small talk between Cull and Fyodor, Farmer's short novel starts out as pure fantasy but ends up science fiction if you can buy the all-powerful pseudo-science that's revealed in the end.
Jack Cull is convincing enough and Fyodor is an amusing cartoon, but the sexy lady is so nondescript as to be nonexistent. Too bad Farmer didn't make her at least as real as Cull -- if he had this would be an outstanding novel than just above average. New introduction by Lou Stathis. This library edition, offset from the original text, is the first hardcover edition. Pyramid, R , pp. The Ultimate Weapon is set off on Earth, effectively obliterating life.
An intra-Soviet struggle between the American and other remaining factions of the survivors on Luna begins, while hanging over the Soviets' heads is the knowledge that the Axis fleet was in space, probably near Mars, at the time of holocaust. The book is notable only for the interrelations of the characters; the science is not explained and the future society is not as fully developed as it could be. A good time-passer, but not memorable. Robert W. The idea upon which the story is based is by far the most interesting thing in the book: a variety of Terran colonies on the moon and elsewhere continue to exist after a devastating nuclear war, and carry on the hostilities of their parent societies.
But Farmer does little with the idea after presenting it, and the novel sort of drags along for pages. Pyramid T, International politics -- only the names have been changed from today's bloc-building -- continue after the bombs. The survivors engage in senseless squabbles, barely political considering the number of people left; moon base against moon base, wiping out some of the people the bombs missed, before the hero finally triumphs.
This book moves very rapidly, and is basically an action story. Farmer seems to be saying that humans will fight, even if there are only two left in the world. I've seen better elsewhere. Read this as a space war adventure, if at all. This book, first published by Ace , is the first volume in Farmer's "Tier of Universes" series. It's good Burroughs type adventure fiction, but I can't really see it as an important enough book to rate this hardcover reprint. In the first half of NIGHT OF LIGHT he is close to his best which makes the book well worth attention , but in its second half he gives us merely a series of violent adventures which add nothing that could not have been said in five or six pages.
Weinkauf from which I learn that Farmer writes "mythic fiction No matter how high the quality of the work chosen by Del Rey, the fact remains - Farmer is best known and generally appreciated for his early mid '50s experimental work combining sex, biology, and traditional science fiction themes. In Seekers of Tomorrow, Sam Moskowitz credits work like The Lovers and the stories collected in Strange Relations as the cause of a "traumatic revolution contributing toward the maturation of science fiction".
Indeed, Farmer's early work represents one of the few generally recognizable landmarks in the modern history of science fiction, but, whatever his reasons, del Rey chose to reprint examples of Farmer's later work. All considered, more significant or singularly outstanding examples of Farmer's work might have been chosen, but both of these volumes are representative of his better work in the 60s and deserve a place on the serious reader-collector's shelves.
Ace, pp. This is his "World of Tiers" series. These began in and numbered five books altogether. For some reason, I never found the fifth, so I'm hoping to rectify this lapse soon. Ace Books, in its most welcome new policy of putting the best of its backlist out again rapidly, is now issuing the series on a one-a-month basis.
These books deal with a decadent race who once mastered all science. Each Lord, as he calls himself, can now literally build himself a private universe - a pocket universe, as it is called - to his own design and with its own laws of physics. The first book shows us Robert Wolff being called into one of these universes - a world laid out something like a Babylonian ziggurat. The Lord had peopled it with all sorts of mythical beings, abducted from Earth or created. And now the Lord is missing, and the universe is going to hell in a hurry. Wolff and the mischievous Kickaha the Trickster set out to rescue damsels and restore order.
It's a romp of adventure and marvelous inventions. After that, the second book takes off on another wild romp as the Lords fight each other in their own vicious way through a perfidious ubiquity of pocket universes. The books are totally lacking in significance, relevance, or symbolism - and they are just pure fun to read.
Lester del Rey. This first volume of the "World of Tiers" pentology has been specially revised for this copy limited edition. There is also a new introduction by Farmer. ISBN Farmer takes his inspiration from the famous "lost" colony of Roanoke, Virginia, where the first white baby in North America, Virginia Dare, was born.
He speculates that the colony may have been transferred to another world, together with a ship that also disappeared about this time , and a large caravan described in Ibn Khulail's History of the Turks. All of these people are settled on a planet named Dare, the "second planet of a star classified as Tau Ceti by the moderns. Farmer then picks up the story with the Roanoke descendants.
Dare is a world where such mythological creatures as dragons, werewolves, unicorns, and humanoids with horsetails still exist. The colonists have lived in relative peace with the goldenmaned Wiyr also called "Horstels" , but now there's a movement afoot to kill the natives and grab their land. Jack Cage gets involved almost simultaneously and by chance with the horstel killers and a beautiful member of the native species. The background is well developed, the action competently handled.
Those who enjoyed Farmer's Riverworld stories will also enjoy this. Robert E. Berkley, , pp. I don't know if the book has been revised since it was written, but if so Farmer did it on a whole series of off days. The main problem is that the plot runs continuously and dangerously close to standard cowboys and Indians. There are some good science fictional ideas, notably a huge underground being in whose "horns" one can live symbiotically, and there are some rather charming intelligent dragons, but none of these are integral to the story.
It's the old favorite about the young man caught up in the unjust war between the settlers and the natives and unable to decide which side he's on. Farmer's is a lot more superficial, with strictly one-dimensional characters and so much action that in a stricter sense very little happens. Nothing interesting goes on between the people involved. The title, by the way, isn't daring you to read this book which has a naked lady on the cover , but refers to a planet named after Virginia Dare, the first English baby born in North America.
The Roanoke colony was spirited off to the stars, it seems, for reasons never quite made clear. Also, for unclear reasons, the descendants of the settlers seem to be Roman Catholics and used to hearing masses in Latin, even though , the year the colony was "lost" was also the year of the Spanish Armada, and being a Catholic in Protestant England was less fun than being a Communist in America in Of course, the book maintains a certain level of readability, but Farmer has done a lot better.
Darrell Schweitzer. First hardcover edition; library binding and good paper. Belmont B, The frustration of his knowledge, no longer 'modern' and the knowledge of the world in which he finds himself is played off neatly against his growing realization and gradual acceptance of new values. Roger Two Hawks may remind some of Andre Norton's protagonist in "The Beast Master," which is all to the good -- both are fine characters, as are both fine books. David C. An abridged version of this work, called The Gate of Time, was published in by Belmont.
This new version restores Farmer's original title, includes three chapters which extend the story's ending, and reinstates several violently sexual passages which were edited out of the original edition. This is a parallel universe story in which Roger Two Hawks, a World War II bomber pilot, is transferred into a similar, although less technologically advanced, "Earth.
Mediocre fare, of interest only for Farmer enthusiasts. Jerry L. But the last halves of both sections are integrally related and powerfully modeled, in full depth and dimension. Judith Merrill. Garland X, pp. This is the first hardcover edition of one of Farmer's odd imaginitive novels. It's part of the Father Carmody series and is a successful blend of fantasy images and SF themes.
I'm glad to see it finally in hardcover. My paperback copy is falling apart. Limited edition, good paper. In Night of Light , Farmer combined his use of sexual material with an equally unaffected use of religion. The protagonist, John Carmody, travels to the planet Dante's Joy to investigate its religion, the worship of a continually reincarnated god called Yess and his mother Boonta, and a regularly recurring madness and loss of communication tied into the religious rites.
With the help of special equipment, Carmody hopes to stay awake during The Night, a period of intense solar activity and radiation that results in intense psychic activity when the unconscious mind's archetypal images are given physical reality and loosed on the planet. Carmody experiences gods, demons, archetypes, symbols, and mythical realities sufficient to cow Freud, Jung, and Campbell. As with much of Farmer's work, Night of Light is an intensely interesting action tale set against an incredibly bizarre, almost hallucinogenic background that warrants re-reading and closer examination.
If you don't, then you can put down the characteristics of the school itself. If you do, you can defend them. But there isn't much you can say about an individual book except to point out how well the author operated within the rather restrictive format. To have swashbuckling adventure you have to have phoney swashbuckling, adventurous heroes and villians. You can't use real people except as minor characters; if you try, the effect isn't worth the effort. For instance, the hero of Glory Road is Heinlein's attempt to combine a swashbuckling hero with a clearly drawn "real person", and that's all Oscar Gordon is, a combination—elements of several types of personality thrown together in one body.
And you can't even use the real swashbucklers of history as an example—they're all such mean, brutish, immoral bastards the reader wouldn't want to identify with them. So all that's left is to use a personality type that exists only in literature—the stereotyped violent but virtuous hero. And that's why villians are usually so much better portrayed.
If you haven't read the first two books, you really should before you read the third—the series is set in this very complex universe that's hard to figure out even when you read the books in order. All three are in print from Ace right now, or at least Bookmaster has all of them displayed. In any case, the whole series is worth reading. If you are an ERB fan, though, maybe you'd better not read it—"The World of Tiers" is Farmer's attempt to write washbuckling adventure fantasy in the ERB vein, and he shows Burroughs up just about any way you judge the stories. I have an idea that Farmer designed his "World of Tiers" universe with a fairly lengthy series in mind, and it's the best fantasy universe I've encountered outside Tolkien.
First, there's the world itself—an artificial construct of "The Lords", an alien super-scientist race who act as movers behind the scenes in all the books. Farmer has constructed his world in tiers, each tier with more area than an Earthly continent and with its own distinct civilization s , each people patterned after some people on Earth or from some other sf or fantasy series. Farmer has lifted elements from just about all his competitors, and manages to use each element as well or better than its originator.
Then there are the Gates—teleportation devices built by the Lords—which allow his heroes to pass from one tier to another and allow the Lords to get around behind the scenes. And there is some indication in Cosmos that the fourth book of the series will be set, at least partly, on Earth. The real fantasy element is the science of the Lords, who are portayed as the typical hedonistic, lazy, and generally neurotic descendents of the creators of all the shiny machines.
Only in this case they aren't actually descendents: all the Lords in the series so far are around ten thousand years old—immortal. The swashbuckling elements are provided by Farmer's heroes, and by the inhabitants of the Tier World itself—the technological level of the world being pre-gunpowder, with swords, etcetara being the order of the day. You can see the complexity of the background from my brief sketch, but you can't see the details that make the series the best of its kind—just a bout every background detail Farmer brings in comes from either the real world or from other sf or fantasy.
For instance, A Private Cosmos starts on the Amerind level of the Tier World and is peopled with Amerinds of various types, from tribes of Plains Indians to the more civilized Tishquemetmoac, who seem to be patterned after the Incas. The rest of the details are straight anthroplology, history, archeology, etcetera. As I say, a good deal of the appeal of the series comes from sorting out the various details and trying to figure out which element is based on fact, which is lifted from a particular piece of fiction, and so on. In any case, the elements are fitted together reasonably well Of course, virtually all the action is deus-ex-machina: the protagonist rarely does anything on his own initiative, but just rolls with the punches and tries to get out of trap after trap and fight after fight.
He always triumphs in the end, but his actions from beginning to end are all defensive. As far as I'm concerned this is perfectly all right. I don't think any other type of story could be set in this type of universe. The story line of A Private Cosmos isn't particularly believable in summary, and I'm not going to summerize it but the action keeps your eye moving fast enough so you don't notice. The details of background keep the inquiring part of your mind busy, so reader identification is almost total, which is about the best the writer of adventure fiction can hope to achieve.
All three "World of Tiers" books are a hell of a lot of fun to read, and I'll even recommend them to more "serious" sf readers who don't usually go for ERB-type adventure fantasy. Earl Evers.