First Story: “Blood, Oak, Iron” by Janny Wurts
The old king of Chaldir lay dying. Everyone knew. Scarcely anyone cared. He lay under quilts in a bed with gold posts and purple hangings, his waxy, cadaverous face throwing grotesque shadows by the guttering glare of the candles. Whole seconds passed, while his unsteady breath seemed to stop….
Janny Wurts’ current audio book titles include stand-alones Master of Whitestorm, Sorcerer’s Legacy, and the Cycle of Fire trilogy, and the Empire trilogy written in collaboration with Raymond E. Feist; in print, a stand-alone fantasy, To Ride Hell’s Chasm, and the Wars of Light and Shadow series.
Her imaginative paintings and cover art have appeared in exhibitions of imaginative artwork, among them, NASA’s 25th Anniversary exhibit, Delaware Art Museum, Canton Art Museum, and Hayden Planetarium in New York, and been recognized by two Chesley Awards, and three times received Best of Show at the World Fantasy Convention.
Story excerpts, announcements, and print shop can be found at www.paravia.com/JannyWurts
Second Story: “Comber” by Gene Wolfe
The news whispered by his radio this morning was the same as the news when he and Mona had gone to bed: the city had topped the crest, and everything was flat and wonderful–if only for a day or two.
“You’re flat yourselves,” he told it softly, and switched it off.
Gene Wolfe is a prolific short-story writer and novelist and has won many science fiction and fantasy literary awards. Wolfe is most famous for The Book of the New Sun (four volumes, 1980–83), the first part of his Solar Cycle. In 1998, Locus magazine ranked it third-best fantasy novel before 1990.
He has this to say about himself – Lives have shapes, and mine has been a circle. I grew up in Texas and took a job far away where I was soon lonely. Impelled by loneliness, I married a beautiful girl whom I came to love deeply. We had children; I found myself anything but lonely in the midst of a large family. One by one our children moved away until the two of us were left alone. My lovely wife grew ill; I nursed her as long as I could, and when I could no longer care for her watched her fade and die in a nursing home. Now I am alone once more. Once around, and we get off.
About the Narrators:
Mark Nelson (aka Harry Shaw) has been recording audiobooks since 2006, starting as a Librivox volunteer and later for such producers as Audible, Audible Frontiers, Hachette, Wonderaudio and Iambik. Recording as Mark Nelson and as “Harry Shaw”, he’s narrated more than fifty commercial audiobooks, including classics, horror, mysteries, and contemporary and classic science fiction. He still regularly contributes to Librivox, which he credits for getting him out of Human Resources and into something useful. Visit his website at www.markdouglasnelson.com
Anthony Babington is a voice in the internet’s head. He looks almost, but not quite, exactly how you expect him to. He currently resides in Houston, Texas, but hastens to add that it was not his idea.