The Best of Stephen R. Donaldson

Stephen R. Donaldson, Subterranean (, $40 (440p) ISBN 978-1-59606-367-9
Editor Bill Sheehan selects 11 short works by Donaldson, best known for his long-running Thomas Covenant series, for this retrospective, which is uncluttered by commentary from the author or editor. Published between 1978 and 1999, these fantasy and science fiction stories are generally gloomy but occasionally depict protagonists prevailing: the title character of "Daughter of Regals" overcomes conniving would-be usurpers, while the oppressive regime of the futuristic "Mythological Beast" can only fail in its quest to crush wonder. Sheehan belies the collection's title with the inclusion of some lesser stories, like the castration fantasy "The Conqueror Worm," but on the whole the restrictions of length force Donaldson to adopt appealingly disciplined prose while exploring intriguing ideas. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/21/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Hardcover - 978-1-59606-361-7
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