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Phyllis Eisenstein

Phyllis Eisenstein(1946- )
Phyllis Eisenstein has been nominated twice for the Hugo Award and three times for the Nebula Award. She has also written science fiction, horror, short stories, and a well-received book about arthritis. She teaches part-time at Columbia College in Chicago. Read excerpts at Phyllis Eisenstein’s website.

Sorcerer’s Son: Hell hath no fury like a sorcerer scorned

Sorcerer's Son by Phyllis Eisenstein

After the sorceress Delivev Ormoru rejects his marriage proposal, sorcerer Smada Rezhyk becomes worried that she's out to get him. In order to reduce her powers so that he'll have time to weave himself a protective gold shirt, Rezhyk sends his demon slave Gildrum to impregnate Delivev with Rezhyk's own seed. Gildrum takes on the form of a handsome young knight (Mellor) and shows up injured at Delivev's doorstep. As expected, Delivev falls in love with Mellor, but unexpectedly, Gildrum (who doesn't even have a heart) falls in love with her, too. However, Gildrum must return to serve Rezhyk. He doesn't tell Delivev that he's really a demon — he lies and tells her that he'll come back after he delivers a message.

Sure enough, Delivev becomes pregnant and gives birth to Cray. And, of course, Mellor never returns. When Cray becomes a teenager, he decides to find out what happened to the father who... Read More

Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance

Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance is the best anthology I’ve ever read. These stories will be enjoyed by any SFF reader, but they’ll be ten times more fun if you’ve read Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, because they are all written in honor of that fantastic work. Each tale is written in the style of Vance, which is quite amusing in itself, and each takes place on the Dying Earth, that far-future wasteland in which natural selection means survival of the cleverest, nastiest, sneakiest, and most self-serving.

Songs of the Dying Earth was written by “many high-echelon, top-drawer writers” (as Mr.... Read More

Rogues: A diverse and satisfying collection

Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Rogues, a short-story anthology by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is a marvelously diverse collection of stories and genres, tied together by those scoundrels, those tricksters, those rascals, those rogues that you can't help but love. I listened to it on audiobook and loved the experience, especially because a few of the readers were actors from Game of Thrones.

When I picked this up, I was most excited to hear two stories in particular: "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back," by Neil Gaiman, and "The Lightning Tree," by Patrick Rothfus... Read More

More fantasy by Phyllis Eisenstein

The Tales of Alaric the Minstrel — (1977-1989) Publisher: The solitary wanderings of a charming and unassuming minstrel with preternatural powers lead him to many adventures before he is ultimately restored to his supernatural antecedents, the Lords of All Power. In the sequel, he has a brush with death in the valley of the Red Lord and he realizes that only his special talents can bring an end to that tyrant’s hideous reign…

Phyllis Eisenstein The Tales of Alaric the Minstrel: Born to Exile, In the Red Lord's ReachPhyllis Eisenstein The Tales of Alaric the Minstrel: Born to Exile, In the Red Lord's Reach

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsStand-alones and collections:

Phyllis Eisenstein Shadow of EarthShadow of Earth — (1979) Publisher: Her history was a dream, her own world a fantasy — and “reality” was a barbarous nightmare.


In the Hands of Glory — (1981) Publisher: She honored and fought for the law of the Patrol — until she learned its deadly secret.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsNight Lives: Nine Stories of the Dark Fantastic — (2003) Publisher: From time-viewing to teleportation, from secret worlds to dream worlds, from the medieval to the modern, these stories explore the yearnings of the human heart. In these pages you will meet Edward, Jane, and Stephen, whose dreams are more real than their realities. You will journey with Alaric to the fortress in the Lake of Death, walk the seashore with Lydia in search of the great dark bird, and follow the blind man under the subway with Donnie and his father. You will pursue revenge with Tayis and heart’s desire with the sleeping beauty’s one true love.