Note and Disclaimer: This review originally appeared in SF AGE back around 1998, and I’m not changing a word of it. I think of these as much as time capsules as reviews. Speculations that panned out or didn’t, hopes dashed, whatever, are par for the course of time.
LEGENDS edited by Robert Silverberg, Tor Books, September 1998,
hc, 703 pp, $27.95, ISBN: 0-312-86787-5
In LEGENDS, Robert Silverberg has brought together eleven of
the most currently famous and best-selling authors in sf&f, each
telling a new story set in their own chosen milieu. It’s a great
idea in theory, and couldn’t have been easy to manage, yet manage
he has. Let’s see if the fox was worth the chase.
Stephen King leads with a new tale of Roland of Gilead and
his quest for the Dark Tower. In “Little Sisters of Eluria,”
Roland arrives at a dead town on a dying horse. Eluria is empty,
save for one dead body and an oddly marked dog. Or rather,
seemingly empty. After an attack my mutant monsters, Roland
awakens to find himself in the tender care of the Little Sisters
of Eluria, an order of hospitalers. Such care as would soon make
the tender mercies of the monsters look good by comparison.
King can always work the horror element, that’s a given, but
sometimes I don’t think he gets enough credit for the range he
shows, with more or less mainstream work like The Body or his
idiosyncratic take on a fantasy world with The Dark Tower
stories. Those tired of generic fantasy, who sometimes think
that’s all fantasy is, or can be, should really give this
series a try. Continue reading