cover image Woods and Waters Wild

Woods and Waters Wild

Charles de Lint, . . Subterranean, $40 (295pp) ISBN 978-1-59606-229-0

Completing Subterranean's series of urban fantasist de Lint's early stories, this collection comprises 17 tales inspired by the quirky high fantasies that dominated before the Tolkien tidal wave. In brocaded prose, bejeweled and stiff (“the stars sent their hearts to dream as they lay bespeckling the midnight skies”), de Lint pays homage to Lord Dunsany in “Nareth the Questioner” and William Morris in “Llew the Homeless.” A tribute to Andre Norton's Witch World (“The White Road”) and stories for Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress collections (“Cold Blows the Wind,” “The Weeping Oak” and “Into the Green”) show him learning from modern masters as well. Though undisguised jabs at organized religion may put some readers off, fans will treasure the rare material and snap up the simultaneously released $200 limited edition. (Dec.)