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13 new stories about TESTING the bonds of fellowship on fantastical worlds
The bonds of friendship and fellowship are key to many fine fantasy and science fiction novels, most notably Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring. Now top tale-spinners offer their own unique takes on fellowship in thirteen original stories, featuring a girl who finds her best friend through a portal to another world, an adventure on an alternate Earth where a not-quite Holmes and Watson take on a fascinating challenge, a group of urban mages playing the "True Game" for high stakes, a squire determined to help his master's ghost fulfill his final mission, and more. Together, these stories dramatically illustrate how fellowships can alter destiny and change worlds.
group? Two years? Yet you keep asking if Wednesday is good. How many times are you going to keep doing that?” “ ’Til you give up yoga?” volunteered Dweezer. “Not going to happen,” responded Lucinda. “Just because I spend an ungodly amount of time in front of a gaming screen doesn’t mean I don’t care about my body.” “Believe me, I care about your body . . .” responded Dweezer with his typical smarmy cockiness. “Tell me, just how accurate is your avatar in terms of proportions . . .” “What
orphans like you are all the same.” “I swear I didn’t eat it! I catch my own food. I swear it on the twelve saints of the Celestrum.” “Eleven saints, stupid boy. You’re not in Tarn. Everyone here knows Vivianne is a witch, not a saint.” Nagel shook his bald head. “And don’t expect me to believe that you be surviving on them skinny rats your ratter dogs kill in the barns.” “We do. The food I . . . found . . . was for—” Nagel pointed the razor at Finn’s crotch. Trembling uncontrollably, Finn
Games now. His dad, Simon Kharm, holds the record with nine Great Games in the twentieth century—he was the Vanguard’s Player from 1936 through 1979.” Colin elbowed Andor and said, “Guess which major events came from the Games, Andor—the Titanic sinking, Jesse Owens winning Olympic gold in Berlin 1936, King Edward’s abdication, or the Enron collapse?” Andor shrugged. “I am Hungarian, and most of that makes no sense to me. All of them?” “Nope,” Sam said. “Just the first two. The Titanic sinking
around the corner. I barely had time to turn around before the man brought something hard and heavy down on my head, stunning me. I had a dim memory of being dragged into the warehouse, shoved into a chair, and having my hands roughly bound behind me. The smell of spoiled fish nearly choked me together with mildew and soot from an improperly vented stove. My eyes focused and I could see my Cockney assailant showing my service revolver to a cluster of men. “He’s a copper I tell you.” The
hat.” She shook her head. “Can’t seem to stay away from parents today, can we? Your fault, bringing up my father.” “Sorry, it’s just that every time I sit down with you, and I don’t have thoughts and feelings pummeling me I want to thank your dad.” She pushed back from the table, stacking their plates. “He just wanted his little girl to have an edge in this big bad old universe.” “I can still be grateful.” He stood and took over. “Let me. You know I hate it when you clean up after me.”