In 1985, Deborah J. Ross sold her first Darkover short story to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Free Amazons of Darkover. "Midwife" relates the adventures of a young woman who inadvertently becomes the surrogate mother of a banshee chick -- a smelly, sightless, carnivorous bird. Bradley featured Ross's short stories -- dramatic, bittersweet, romantic, and humorous -- in subsequent anthologies, and often cited Ross's turnabout-twist story, "The Death of Brendon Ensolare," as one of her favorites. Eventually the two collaborated on novel-length works set in the world of the Bloody Sun. Following Bradley's death in 1999, Ross has continued the series, as well as editing six more Darkover anthologies. For the first time, here are all of Ross's Darkover short stories, some of them previously unpublished, now collected in one volume.
...A pair of City Guards cadets invent an imaginary recruit in order to avoid their chores, and then must face the consequences... In the Ages of Chaos, a young wizard must rely on his uncertain powers to survive a haunted Tower... When the new lord of a captured castle is found murdered, the all-too-obvious suspect is an Aldaran assassin... Only the legendary Keeper could save her circle under the onslaught of forbidden weapons, but the results would cripple generations of women to come...and in the title story, written as a birthday gift, Ross sends Marion Zimmer Bradley herself to Darkover to solve a crisis in "A Heat Wave in the Hellers"...
About the Author
Deborah J. Ross is an award-nominated writer and editor of fantasy and science fiction, with over a dozen novels and five dozen short stories in print. Recent books include Thunderlord and The Children of Kings (with Marion Zimmer Bradley); Collaborators (Lambda Literary Finalist/James Tiptree Jr. Award recommended list, as Deborah Wheeler), and The Seven-Petaled Shield epic fantasy trilogy. Her short fiction has appeared in F & SF, Asimov's, Star Wars: Tales From Jabba's Palace, Realms of Fantasy, and Sword & Sorceress. She's edited Lace and Blade, Masques of Darkover, and other anthologies and novels. Her work has earned Honorable Mention in Year's Best SF, and nominations for Gaylactic Spectrum Award, the National Fantasy Federation Speculative Fiction Award for Best Author, and inclusion in the Locus Recommended Reading and Kirkus notable new release lists. She has served as Secretary to the Science Fiction Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the Board of Directors of Book View Café, and the jury for the Philip K. Dick Award.
"This is the best Darkover novel in a long time.... It's a tale of culture clash, in classic Darkover style, a delightful return to a fascinating world, and a great read." --Locus on The Children of Kings
"Fans of Bradley will certainly want to read this flashback into Darkover history.... Suspenseful, powerfully written, and deeply moving." --Library Journal
Fans of Darkover rejoice! Ross's literary strength [is] her sensitivity to human needs and talents. - Publisher's Weekly on The Fall of Neskaya
Deborah Ross...does a superlative job [and] perfectly captures the Darkover 'feel.' - Sherwood Smith on Thunderlord
"[The Alton Gift] is a must for fans of the series, and reads as if Deborah has been channeling Marion's spirit." --Center City Weekly Press
Those who fondly remember the "Darkover" books (Stormqueen!; Hawkmistress!) set during the Ages of Chaos will welcome this new entry, which chronicles the aftermath of a conflict between two houses that can control the weather telepathically. - Library Journal Review on Thunderlord