This collection of thirteen captivating short stories and novellas samples the wide range of Nebula Grand Master Norton’s work. The first six stories, set in the Witch World universe, depict mostly female protagonists coping with the aftermath of wars made even more devastating by the deployment of magic. “Toads of Grimmerdale” and “Changeling” recount the travails of Hertha, a noblewoman who is cast out into “drifts of ice-crusted snow” by her brother after she refuses to abort the fetus of a rapist. “Spider Silk” is what blind, former slave Dairine is taught to weave by male-hating giant arachnids. In the title novella, an Esper fleeing a lynch mob is carried into another world, where his kind rules–but even there he is different and must fight for survival. A dreamer who creates worlds for others finds her work, herself and her client in grave danger in “Toys of Tamisan.” “Mousetrap,” the earliest story here, envisions a not-too-distant future in which mankind explores Mars but human nature remains the same.
“The grande dame of science fiction.” – Life Magazine
“A superb storyteller with a narrative pace all her own.” – The New York Times
“Andre Norton is a superb storyteller.” – Chicago Tribune
“One of the most popular authors of our time.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“One of the most distinguished living SF and fantasy writers.” – Booklist
“She remains one of the most underrated masters of science fiction and fantasy.” – Minneapolis Star-Tribune