THUMBPRINTS by Pamela Sargent. Urbana, IL; Golden Gryphon Press; 2004. 1st edition hardcover.
In 1993, author Pamela Sargent published the historical novel Ruler of the Sky, about which Gary Jennings, the author of Aztec, wrote: "This formidably researched and exquisitely written novel is surely destined to be known hereafter as the definitive history of the life and times and conquests of Genghis, mightiest of Khans." Now, in Thumbprints, her first short fiction collection for Golden Gryphon Press, Pamela Sargent returns to twelfth-century Mongolia with two tales: "Erdeni's Tiger," the story of a young Mongol wife who reluctantly struggles to master the spirit world in order to save her people, and "Spirit Brother," the story of a spirit-warrior's love for his blood brother, Genghis Khan, while seeking revenge against the Khan for his own death. A third story, "Climb the Wind," takes place in present-day Mongolia, where the populace observes nightly visions of Mongol riders from the past. An American tourist believes the phenomena to be mass group hysteria, until he is summoned to join the riders.
"Thumbprints," the title story, published in this collection for the first time, explores the dark world of the literary agent — and just how far the agent will go to ensure his authors' fees are paid in full: Conspiracy and murder? Or simply death by natural causes?
"Venus Flowers at Night" is centered on a character from Pamela Sargent's "Venus" trilogy — Venus of Dreams (1986), Venus of Shadows (1988), and Child of Venus (2001) — who appears in the novels only as a legendary figure. In this new story, one of the world's reigning Islamic officials visits America on a diplomatic mission — the trip a reproof for challenging the other Mukhtars and the status quo. Yet during this mission, he works toward envisioning a new, terraformed Venus — a vision that will surely antagonize the Mukhtars even more, and possibly jeopardize his life.
"One of the genre's best writers," states The Washington Post Book World of Pamela Sargent, and the twelve handpicked stories in Thumbprints showcase that talent. From one of her earliest stories, 1972's "Gather Blue Roses," a dark tale of a young girl's sympathetic pain, to one of her most recent works, "Utmost Bones," a story of a future Earth when the great accomplishments of our species lie far in the past.
With an Introduction by James Morrow, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of "The Godhead Trilogy," and a 3000-word Afterword by Pamela Sargent, in which the author places these stories within the context of today's events.
Cover art by Jill Bauman.
"If you have not read Pamela Sargent, then you should make it your business to do so at once. She is in many ways a pioneer, both as a novelist and a short story writer . . . She is one of the best."
— Michael Moorcock, recipient of the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award
"Over the years, I've come to expect a great deal from Pamela Sargent. Her worlds are deeply and thoroughly imagined — she is one of the few science fiction writers who measures up to the Shogun standard of world creation . . ."
— Orson Scott Card, author of the award-winning Ender's Game.
100-Copy Slipcased Limited Edition Signed and Thumbprinted by the Author.
Fine in fine dj & slipcase.