I'm pleased to announce that Aqueduct Press has just issued e-book editions of three, out-of-print novels by Eleanor Arnason: The Sword Smith, To the Resurrection Station, and Daughter of the Bear King. Each includes a new afterword by Eleanor.
The Sword Smith tells the tale of Limper, a master sword smith
running from an oppressive boss-king who forced him to make expensive junk,
and Nargri, his young dragon companion. Written in the early 1970s, and
published in 1978 by Condor, The Sword Smith is an anti-epic fantasy. In a
new Afterword written for this edition, Arnason describes the characters as
"mostly fairly ordinary people, rather than heroes, wizards, and
kings. Their problems are ordinary problems, rather than a gigantic
struggle between good and evil. There is no magic. The dragons are
intelligent therapod dinosaurs, and the trolls are some kind of hominid,
maybe Neanderthals. In many ways, it is a science fiction story disguised
as a fantasy."
To the Resurrection Station, Arnason's second novel (written in the 1970s),
was first published in 1986. On a planet far from our Earth, it begins a
Gothic tale: a moldering mansion full of secrets, a disturbing master of
the house, a young and innocent heroine, and the mansion's robot servant,
who drives the story. A motley crew escapes to Earth (now overrun by
interesting intelligent machines, except for a clearly crazy spaceport)
where they land and begin exploring the ruins of New York City.
In a new Afterword written for this edition, Arnason describes Resurrection
Station as about people who can't fit into social roles. "Claud can't be a
traditional Native. Belinda can't be a straight young woman or a
traditional heroine. Shortpaw is not an acceptable giant mutant
rat. Without being especially heroic, they all refuse to give in or give
Not your everyday fantasy, Daughter of the Bear King clearly arises from
Second Wave Feminism. A middle-aged woman discovers that she has a
role in an epic struggle between shoddiness and integrity. And her battle
flows across time and universes.
On a Monday morning, Esperance Olson is suddenly transported to another
world where dragons fly and wizards divulge her heritage: daughter of the
ancient Bear King, she is a shape-changer with magical powers. This strange
world runs on magic, and the wizards have summoned Esperance to fight a
creeping and shadowy menace. Her epic journey transports her back and forth
between her birth world and Minneapolis, where the magic and monsters
follow, wreaking havoc.
Samples of each book are available for free download at Aqueduct's site, where the books are available in both epub and mobi formats for $7.95.