A fantasy masterpiece from a five-time Hugo Award winner!
A war-dragon of Babel crashes in the idyllic fields of a post-industrialized Faerie and, dragging himself into the nearest village, declares himself king and makes young Will his lieutenant. Nightly, he crawls inside the young fey's brain to get a measure of what his subjects think.
Forced out of his village, Will travels with female centaur soldiers, witnesses the violent clash of giants, and acquires a surrogate daughter, Esme, who has no knowledge of the past and may be immortal. Evacuated to the Tower of Babel -- infinitely high, infinitely vulgar, very much like New York City -- Will meets the confidence trickster Nat Whilk. Inside the Dread Tower, Will becomes a hero to the homeless living in the tunnels under the city, rises as an underling to a politician, and meets his one true love - a high-elven woman he dare not aspire to.
You've heard of hard SF: This is hard fantasy from a master of the form.
As the planet Miranda slowly drowns under the weight of its own tides, a bureaucrat from the Division of Technology Transfer conducts an investigation into the life of a local celebrity, a “magician” who possesses proscribed technology and whose personal powers hold much of the dying planet in thrall.
Won Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1992.
Nominated for Hugo and Campbell awards in 1992.
Nominated for Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1993.
With these words, author Michael Swanwick ushers us into a remarkable realm of darkest fantasy, erotic dreams and industrial magicks—equaling the undiluted power and uniqueness of vision of his Nebula award-winning masterwork
Jane is a human changeling child coming of age in a world of violence and monsters. An abused outcast, she toils unceasingly alongside trolls, dwarves, shifters and feys in the dank, stygian bowels of a steam dragon plant—helping to construct the massive, black iron flying machines the elvan rulers use for waging war. Young Jane's days are bleak and her future seems hopeless—until a cold yet tantalizing inner voice whispers to her of high lakes, autumn stars…and freedom.
The voice leads her to a junkyard dragon—old and broken, kept alive by hatred and a still-unsatisfied thirst for blood. And he promises to help Jane escape, if she will, in turn, help him to fly again. But untold wonders and terrors both lie beyond the factory gates—where a true name is a weapon…and erotic temptations wait to corrupt a young girl already hardened by life's cruel inequities.
A quick mind and a taste and talent for thievery will sustain Jane, however, on her strange and arduous journey from slave to student, from alchemist to avenger—while drugs and dreams transport her Elsewhere, on fleeting trips to a stolen reality. And through it all, the dragon lurks in the shadows—filling her head with violent visions, drawing her into a web of unknown plots and unseen forces. And, ultimately, at his controls, the changeling will confront the powers that have always ruled her life—seeking impossible answers through the obliteration of history…and the end of all things.
World Fantasy (nominee)
Arthur C. Clarke Award (nominee)
Paleontologist Richard Leyster has achieved professional nirvana: a position with the Smithsonian Museum plus a groundbreaking dinosaur fossil site he can research, publish on, and learn from for years to come. There is nothing that could lure him away—until a disturbingly secretive stranger named Griffin enters Leysters office with an ice cooler and a job offer. In the cooler is the head of a freshly killed Stegosaurus.
Griffin has been entrusted with an extraordinary gift, an impossible technology on loan to humanity from unknown beings for an undisclosed purpose. Time travel has become a reality millions of years before it rationally could be. With it, Richard Leyster and his colleagues can make their most cherished fantasy come true. They can study the dinosaurs up close, in their own time and milieu.
Now, suddenly, individual lives can turn back on themselves. People can meet, shake hands, and converse with their younger versions at various crossroads in time. One wrong word, a single misguided act, could be disastrous to the project and to the world. But Griffin must make sure everything that is supposed to happen does happen—no matter who is destined to be hurt… or die.
And then there’s Dr. Gertrude Salley—passionate, fearless, and brutally ambitious—a genius rebel in the tight community of “bone men” and women. Alternately both Leyster’s and Griffin’s chief rival, trusted colleague, despised nemesis, and inscrutable lover at various junctures throughout time, Salley is relentlessly driven to screw with the working mechanisms of natural law, audaciously trespassing in forbidden areas, pushing paradox to the edge no matter what the consequences may be. And, when they concern the largest, most savage creatures that ever lived, the consequences may be terrifying indeed.