The Otherworld takes shape in this collection of twelve stories told on a rich, fairytale tapestry of swords, sorcery, romance, dreams, visions and verse.
You never know what a wizard will do, so it’s best to be prudent. Concocting a nasty poppet might get you hunted by a wolf. Turning spring to winter will certainly get you turned into a grasshopper and fed to a frog. But whatever you do, don’t ever shapeshift into a cat and eat a wizard’s crow.
Strange and full of shadows, woods are a staple of every good tale. Trees hide things, wondrous, tricky things best to avoid. Witches like forests, where they wait for wily lovers and knit spells with ash needles. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find an ancient tree that knows many wicked things indeed.
It’s a good bet that if you encounter a god, you’ll be changed in some way. But once, in the dawn of a forest grove, it was the other way around. It’s also generally wise not to awaken a sleeping god, especially a warrior the world has forgotten. And of course, falling in love with a god is, well, daft for a start.
Some of these stories inspired my novels, others were inspired by them, and some take place in the same worlds. This collection also includes Raven of the West, a novelette that takes place in the world featured in the Chronicles of Ealiron.
Many of these stories were originally published in fantasy/scifi magazines; the first edition ebook of Wizards, Woods and Gods was published by Wild Child Publishing, 2012; and Raven of the West was published as Water Dark by Wild Child Publishing, 2013.
Click on the following stories for illustrations and excerpts.
Earth Blood – The earth keeps secrets.
The Om Tree – Trees know things.
Pattern Sense – It all started with a mouse.
The War God Sleeps – An age of ignorance ends on the edge of a sword.
The Fifth Verse – The wise men of the world called her a Shade.
Deathseer – Death doesn’t take sides.
The Trouble with Tansy – Gardens are made of darkness and light entwined.
Marked – Beware the pitfalls of mingling with immortals.
Eating Crow – It is never a good idea to anger a wizard.
The Bridge – Gods appear to wizards as one thing; to warriors, another.
The Origin – Things aren’t always what they seem.
Raven of the West – In the calm deep waters of the mind, the wolf waits.
© F.T. McKinstry 2022. All Rights Reserved.