The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz

The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz

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by Dan Simmons, Tom Kidd
     
 

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Jack Vance’s stories of the Dying Earth are among the most indelible creations of 20th century fantasy. Set on a far future Earth moving toward extinction under a slowly dying sun, these baroque tales of wonder have exerted a profound influence on generations of writers. One of those writers is Dan Simmons, who acknowledges that influence in spectacular fashion… See more details below

Overview

Jack Vance’s stories of the Dying Earth are among the most indelible creations of 20th century fantasy. Set on a far future Earth moving toward extinction under a slowly dying sun, these baroque tales of wonder have exerted a profound influence on generations of writers. One of those writers is Dan Simmons, who acknowledges that influence in spectacular fashion in The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderoz, an informed and loving act of literary homage.

The narrative begins at a critical moment in the Dying Earth’s history, a moment when signs and portents indicate that the long anticipated death of the planet is finally at hand. Against this backdrop, Simmons’s protagonist—Shrue the diabolist—learns of the death of Ulfant Banderoz, ancient magus and sole proprietor of the legendary Ultimate Library and Final Compendium of Thaumaturgical Lore. Determined to possess its secrets, Shrue sets out in search of the fabled library, guided by the severed nose of the deceased magician. The narrative that follows tells the story of that quest, a quest whose outcome will affect the fate of the entire dying planet.

The result is a hugely engrossing novella filled with marvels, bizarre encounters, and an array of astonishing creatures—the pelgranes, daihaks, and assorted elementals of Jack Vance’s boundless imagination. Written with wit, fidelity, and grace, and rooted in its author’s obvious affection for his source material, The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderoz is something special, a collaborative gem in which the talents and sensibilities of two master storytellers come powerfully—and seamlessly—together.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This witty and wistful novella, first published in the Songs of the Dying Earth anthology of homages to Jack Vance’s Dying Earth works, leads a stately progress across the landscape of a far-future world, lit more by human avarice than by its bloated sun. Shrue the diabolist, in seclusion to avoid an uprising against magicians, learns that ancient magus Ulfänt Banderoz has died. This news sets Shrue on a journey to gain access to the Ultimate Library. Accompanied by female mercenary Myrmazons and chased by Elementals astride flying predatory pelgranes, Shrue has to navigate both his companions’ agendas and the traps that Banderoz has left. Taking a more plaintive and concerned tack than Vance’s evanescent and insouciant tone, Simmons (Drood) uses familiar characters and settings in ways that restore their original luster and sharp edges. Readers of quest fantasies may find it slow going, but those who linger on the aerial cruise will enjoy the ride. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates. (July)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596065413
Publisher:
Subterranean Press
Publication date:
06/28/2013
Edition description:
Deluxe
Pages:
120
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.50(d)

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