Land of Unreason
By L. Sprague deCamp and Fletcher Pratt
On Midsummer's Eve, as everybody knows, you should leave a bowl of milk out for the fairies. Unfortunately - or fortunately - Fred Barber, an American diplomat convalescing in Yorkshire, didn't take the obligation with proper seriousness. He swapped the milk for a stiff dose of Scotch. So he had only himself to blame if the fairies got a bit muddled. Barber found himself in an Old English Fairyland. At the Court of King Oberon, to be precise. The natural - or supernatural - laws there were, to say the least of it, distinctly odd. Things kept changing. This made the mssion with which he was entrusted, as the price of his return to the normal world, even harder than he expected. He had to penetrate the Kobold Hills, where it was said that swords were being made, and discover if an ancient enemy had returned. He was given a magic wand - but not told how to use it. Through the fields and forests he went, meeting dryads and sprites, ogres and two-headed eagles, on the way. Danger, seduction and magic lay all around him. And, as the adventure continued, somehow it darkened and became more seriousness. At the end of Fred Barber's quest lay a shattering revelation.
Lyon Sprague de Camp was born in 1907 and died in 2000. During a writing career that spanned seven decades, he wrote over a hundred books in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. Although arguably best known for his continuation of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, de Camp was an important figure in the formative period of modern SF, alongside the likes of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, and was a winner of the Hugo, World Fantasy Life Achievement and SFWA Grand Master awards.
Fletcher Pratt (1897-1956) was an American SF and fantasy author. He worked in collaboration with L. Sprague de Camp on many books, most famously the Harold Shea series.
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29 Sep 2011
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