Few authors have achieved such renown as World Fantasy Life Achievement honoree and Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Andre Norton. With the love of readers and the praise of critics, Norton’s books have sold millions of copies worldwide.
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.