Featuring three brand-new stories and an original introduction by Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn.
Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of her newest work, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Within these pages you will find a youthful artist possessed by both his painting and his muse and seductive travelers from the sea enrapturing distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life, and two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate. Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will find much to delight them; those lucky enough to be discovering her work will find much to enchant them.
The Gorgon in the Cupboard
Edith and Henry Go Motoring*
Something Rich and Strange
Writing High Fantasy*
* Original to this collection.
Advance Praise for Dreams of Distant Shores
[STAR] “McKillip (Wonders of the Invisible World), winner of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, collects nine dazzling shorter pieces (both originals and reprints) in this outstanding collection. The brief, creepy “Weird” opens the volume, merging an oddly romantic picnic in a bathroom and a mysterious threat outside into something that exists in a darkly beautiful interstitial place. The longest piece, “Something Rich and Strange,” which appeared originally as a standalone novella in Brian Froud’s Faerielands series, is an ecological fairy tale that contains the most gorgeous of McKillip’s prose (“her blind stare of pearl and wormwood”)—and the weakest of her plots, but even weaker McKillip is well worth reading. The newer stories also shine. “Mer” is a small gem about a nameless witch, a fishing village, and a mermaid statue. “Edith and Henry Go Motoring” features a toll bridge that leads travelers on an unexpected journey. Beyond the short fiction, the volume finishes with an essay on writing high fantasy, and an appreciation of McKillip’s work by renowned fantasist Peter S. Beagle. Fans of exquisite prose and ethereal fantasy will need to own this.”
“I love Patricia McKillip’s novels, but even more, I am passionate about her brilliant short stories—those coruscating jewels that are both remarkable for their language, their power, their wit, and their depth. She writes pure fantasy and historical fantasy with equal ease. More, more please.”
–Jane Yolen, author of Briar Rose, Sister Emily’s Lightship, Devil’s Arithmetic, Sister Light/Sister Dark
“Ever since finding and loving The Riddlemaster of Hed many years ago, I have read everything Patricia McKillip has written. You should too. Start with this book!”
—Garth Nix, author of Clarion: The Lost Abhorsen and The Old Kingdom series
“Anyone about to open this book is a very lucky person indeed. You are about to encounter mysteries, monsters jewels, songs, witches, a treasure chest of story. Here are magic worlds, places of enchantment, and a wonderful, lyrical voice to guide you through them.”
—Lisa Goldstein, author of The Red Magician and Uncertain Places
“Some authors we read for their characters and their plots, others for the beauty of their language. I read Pat McKillip for all three. She’s gifted beyond compare, a national treasure who should be cherished by all lovers of literature, and Dreams of Distant Shores is a perfect example of why I hold her in such high esteem.”
—Charles de Lint, author of The Riddle of the Wren and The Blue Girl
About the Author
Patricia A. McKillip is the bestselling author of more than thirty much-beloved fantasy novels, including The Riddle-Master of Hed, Harpist in the Wind, and The Sorceress and the Cygnet. She has received the World Fantasy Award for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Ombria in Shadow, and Solstice Wood, for which she also received the Mythopoeic Award. McKillip has also received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2015, three of her novels are being collected in the prestigious SF Gateway Omnibus series. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Praise for Patricia McKillip
“McKillip’s is the first name that comes to mind when I’m asked whom I read myself, whom I’d recommend that others read, and who makes me shake my grizzled head and say, ‘Damn I wish I’d done that.’”
—Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn and Sleight of Hand
“World Fantasy Award winner McKillip can take the most common fantasy elements—dragons and bards, sorcerers and shape-shifters—and reshape them in surprising and resonant ways.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“I read—and reread—McKillip eagerly. She reminds me that fantasy is worth writing.”
—Stephen R. Donaldson, author of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
“Patricia McKillip is the real thing and always has been. She shows the rest of us that magic can be made with words and air; that is it worth doing and worth doing well.”
—Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint and Thomas the Rhymer
“Lush imagery and wry humor…McKillip’s rich language conveys real strangeness and power.”
“McKillip skillfully knits disparate threads into a rewardingly rich and satisfying story.”
“McKillip’s luminous prose and compelling characters combine to produce a masterwork of style and substance.”