Those who know Patricia McKillip from her 'Riddle Master
Hed' trilogy and 'The Forgotten Beasts of Eld' will be
rejoicing at the thought of another fantasy book. DREAMS
DISTANT SHORES is a collection of her shorter modern
stories, some of which have appeared in fantasy magazines
or anthologies, some of which are new. We don't get to
visit a high fantasy world, but our own world seems rich
and strange in this light.
Mer is a tale of an ageless witch who seems unsure
to be a mermaid, a cormorant or a goddess, to the
bemusement of the modern inhabitants of a fishing town.
The Gorgon In The Cupboard shows what happens when
artist finds a muse he did not expect. Does an artist
responsibilities to his model? Does the model have a
to a life outside the scope of the painting?
Other stories amuse with scenes of rock music playing
witches, in a coven attended by crows and cats; or haunt
with a couple motoring out for a picnic in the country,
knowing they will have to pass a sinister toll bridge on
the return journey. And what exactly are we to make of a
senior lady, possibly with dementia, who insists that she
has seen aliens?
Perhaps my favourite for its rich descriptive writing is
the novella Something Rich And Strange which
focuses on a
seashore, a beachcombing girl and a fossil-hunting lad.
the last, author Patricia A. McKillip provides an insight
into how she has written fantasy, selecting a hero, a
heroine and a lurking evil from among her works. She
to Jungian theory that all characters in a dream are
aspects of the dreamer; so all evil in a story is an
unfaced aspect of the hero's personality, to be
by becoming one's true self. Peter S. Beagle contributes
afterword as a longtime fan of the fantasy genre and this
While this collection won't replace my preferred novels
Patricia A. McKillip as a new favourite, it's always good
to see variety from an author we think we know well.
OF DISTANT SHORES will deserve a place in the collections
of modern fantasy fans.
A youthful artist is possessed by both his painting and his
muse. Seductive travelers from the sea enrapture distant
lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life. Two
friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.
Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The
Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical
writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of three
brand-new stories, Dreams of Distant Shores is a
true ode to her many talents. Fans of McKillip’s ethereal
fiction will delight in these previously-uncollected tales;
those new to her work will find much to enchant them.