So a long time ago, Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson, who are married, decided it would be a nice thing to create four books of short stories together, one book for each of the elements. Water came out, and Fire came out....and Robin McKinley found that her short stories had a tendency to want to become novels. Three such novels later, the stories Peter Dickinson had written for his contribution to Earth and Air were languishing....until now.
Perusing the program notes for Kidlitcon, I saw an advertisement from Small Beer Press announcing forthcoming books, and, being very fond of Small Beer Press because of their Joan Aiken book, The Serial Garden, I stopped perusing to actually read all the details. And there was the announcement for Earth and Air--Peter Dickinson's stories gathered in one volume, coming out this month.
I must confess that I bought Water and Fire because of being a McKinley fan, but I was very impressed by Dickinson's stories in those volumes, impressed enough to both make a happy "Oh" sound, and to do Earth and Air the penultimate compliment (?) of placing it in my Amazon cart (the ultimate compliment being to stand outside the bookstore on release day) with the expectation of either buying it for myself in the near future, or asking for it for Christmas.
From the publisher's website:
"In this collection, you will find stories that range from the mythic
to contemporary fantasy to science fiction. You will find a troll,
gryphons, a beloved dog, the Land of the Dead, an owl, a minotaur, and a
very alien Cat. Earth and Air is the third and final book in a trilogy
of shared collections connected by the four classical elements. It
follows previous volumes Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits and Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits, written by both Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley.
Ridiki is Steff’s beloved dog, named after Eurydice, whom the poet
Orpheus tried to bring back from the dead. When, like her namesake,
Ridiki is bitten by a snake and dies, Steff decides that he too should
journey to the Underworld to ask the King of the Land of the Dead for
his dog back.
Mari is the seventh child of a family in which troll blood still
runs. When her husband goes missing in a Scottish loch, she must draw
upon the power of her blood to rescue him. Sophie, a young girl,
fashions a witch’s broomstick out of an ash sapling, and gets more than
she bargained for. An escaped slave, Varro, must kill a gryphon, in
order to survive. A boy named Yanni allies himself with an owl and a
goddess in order to fight an ancient evil. A group of mind-bonded space
travelers must face an unknown threat and solve the murder of a
companion before time runs out."
So anyway, thanks again Small Beer Press for The Serial Garden, thanks for your support of Kidlitcon, and thanks for publishing this one!
Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine