cover image A Heat Wave in the Hellers and Other Tales of Darkover

A Heat Wave in the Hellers and Other Tales of Darkover

Deborah J. Ross. Book View Cafe, $16.99 trade paper (162p) ISBN 978-1-61138-776-6

Fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover epic fantasy novels and anthologies will find familiar territory in this homage collection from Ross, who was mentored by Bradley. The nine short stories—six previously published—were written in the 1980s, early in Ross’s career, and it shows. The Free Amazons, a legendary band of women who have renounced family ties to serve and protect others, are the protagonists of “Midwife” and “A Midsummer Night’s Gift.” In “The Death of Brendon Ensolare,” young soldiers find a false identity both challenging and helpful. Family conflicts and magic fuel “Acurrhir Todo; Nada Perdonad,” “Wasteland,” and “The White Oudrakhi.” “Cradle of Lies” fills an important gap in the history of Darkover’s magical Towers. Bradley herself stars in the final story. These straightforward stories are Ross’s journeyman work, as her introduction explains, and most were written with Bradley’s assistance. Gathered here, they provide a trip back in time to a fantasy setting that influenced many, though few know it today. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Oct.)