Inspired by the legends of the Dark Ages, is the story of the mighty Vergil — not quit the Vergil of our history books (the poet who penned The Aeneid), but the Vergil conjured by by the medieval imagination: hero, alchemist, and sorcerer extraordinaire.
Hugo Award winner Avram Davidson has mingled fact with fantasy, turned history askew, and come up with a powerful fantasy adventure that is an acknowledged classic of the field.
It began with an accident, as if Fate had a plan for Vergil Magus…
After his trials in the Very Rich City of Averno but before his crowning achievement of a certain magic mirror, the great sorcerer and alchemist finds himself on a journey nothing short of epic. Sure he is slated for death in Rome, Vergil seeks safety in the far reaches of the Empire — and finds a world teeming with wonders and magical oddities.
The “unhistoric” sea adventure is a deft mix of fantastic fact and fable, showcasing the author’s keen attention to the often forgotten connections between them.
Avram Davidson was one of the great original American writers of this century. He was literate, erudite, cranky, Jewish, wildly creative, and sold most of his short stories to genre pulp magazines.Here are thirty-eight of the best: all the award-winners and nominees and best-of honored stories, with introductions by such notable authors as Ursula K. Le Guin, William Gibson, Peter S. Beagle, Thomas M. Disch, Gene Wolfe, Poul Anderson, Guy Davenport, Gregory Benford, Alan Dean Foster, and dozens of others, plus introductions and afterwords by Grania Davis, Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, and Ray Bradbury.
Earth is flat, empty, weary, and bare. Her children, too, had left her, all but a few who lived peacefully off the land. And then came the Kar-Chee, to crack Earth open and suck out what remained of her richness, threatening the twilight of th old planet with an evil beyond anything that had gone before. With them they brought their servants, beasts so creul and horrible that men could recall their like only from ancestral nightmares, and named them “Dragons…”
Jon-Joras had come to Earth simply to oversee arrangements for a dragon hunt to amuse the king. These hunts were as much pageantry as sport — the dragons, brought to Earth centuries before as pets of an alien race, were powerful but slow-witted. But suddenly the dragons had become dangerous — quick, deceptive, a menace to the nobles who hunted them. And Jon-Joras found himself caught in the middle of an uprising that could shake the powers that ruled the star-worlds.
AVRAM DAVIDSON has been a respected figure in both science-fiction and mystery circles for a decade or more. He has won both the Hugo award for the best science-fiction short story of the year, and the Edgar award for the best mystery story, and was editor of until turning to full-time writing.
Ace Books has previously published a collection of his best short stories under the title of (F-330).