"Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers" is copyright 1987 by Lawrence Watt Evans, and first appeared in ISAAC ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINE, July 1987. In 1988, this story won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story; also, it was nominated for the Nebula Award in 1987.
Ethshar? Some readers already recognize the name, but if you aren’t one of them, perhaps a brief explanation is in order. “Ethshar” is the invented world that has been the setting for almost a dozen novels from the pen of Lawrence Watt-Evans. Its inhabitants don’t call it that; they call it “the World.” For readers, though, that’s not specific enough. The dominant nation on the World is the Hegemony of the Three Ethshars, while the largest, richest city, where most of the stories are set, is Ethshar of the Spices, so “Ethshar” is close enough. The name itself comes from words meaning “safe harbor.” You don’t need to have read any of the novels to enjoy the stories herein; each one should stand alone. And if you've read the novels, you will enjoy this return to the world of Ethshar with 11 stories... This is the first time they have all been collected in one book!
What is an aspiring apprentice wizard to do when she finds her mentor and master frozen in his tracks by mysterious magics?
Kilisha of Eastgate, a promising young student of wizardry in the city of Ethshar of the Rocks, still has much to learn before she can assume the robes of a journeyman enchanter. But when her teacher, the venerable Ithanalin the Wise, is overcome by a peculiar spell that scatters his soul amongst a collection of runaway household furnishings, it is up to Kilisha to find the cause and restore him to his former self.
Kilisha goes first to the Street of Wizards, to beg assistance from the high wizard Chorizel. But a dangerous rebellion brewing in the East causes Chorizel to dismiss her pleas, and she is forced to continue on without guidance. Her desperate quest takes her from Ithanalin’s patron, the noble Lady Treasurer Nuvielle, to Kelder, the tax collector whose meddling has caused this calamity, and through the city’s dark taverns and shady shipyards to the mighty fortress keep of Wulran III, Overlord of Ethshar of the Rocks, all the way searching for that which will bring Ithanalin back from beyond.
An exhilarating fantasy adventure from a master storyteller, Ithanalin’s Restoration is the eighth enchanting chronicle in the Legends of Ethshar.