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The Washer of the Ford: Legendary Moralities and Barbaric Tales

by Fiona MacLeod

This satisfyingly diverse collection of ancient and medieval short stories and fables will please readers with an interest in folklore and mythology. Some have their roots in the Gaelic tradition, while others...


The Mercenaries

by H. Beam Piper

Should a nation's political climate guide its scientific agenda, or should research exist in a separate realm that's unaffected by these types of considerations? That's the question at the heart of "The Mercenaries,"...


Vanitas: Polite Stories

by Vernon Lee

When viewed in light of the fact that "Vernon Lee" was actually a pseudonym for female writer Violet Paget, the engaging tales collected in Vanitas become all the more interesting. These stories cast light on...


The Keeper

by H. Beam Piper

Far in the future, one planet has regressed to a primitive, desolate state. The man called The Keeper maintains a lonely vigil there. When some unexpected visitors make an appearance, he learns some startling...


Rebel Raider

by H. Beam Piper

In the gripping Civil War story "Rebel Raider," H. Beam Piper takes a break from the science fiction that was his typical stock-in-trade and beams readers back into the midst of the conflict that ripped the...


The Purcell Papers

by Sheridan Le Fanu

The Purcell Papers is a comprehensive collection of Sheridan Le Fanu's early short stories, and they reflect his interest in Irish folklore, as well as his burgeoning fascination with the supernatural. Some...


Hunter Patrol

by H. Beam Piper & John J. McGuire

Even when it's undertaken with the best of intentions, time travel can cause more problems than it solves. The unforeseen consequences begin to unfold when protagonist Benson wakes up in a strange time and place...


Two Ghostly Mysteries: A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family and The Murdered Cousin

by Sheridan Le Fanu

Regarded by many as the unsurpassed master of the Victorian ghost story, Sheridan Le Fanu combines keen insight into the culture of his native Ireland with tried and true conventions of the genre. This volume...


Mother America

by Sam McClatchie

In honeybee hives, the "queen" is a female that gives birth to most of the colony's population. A similar concept is at the center of Sam McClatchie's gripping short story, "Mother America," in which the quest...


Words for the Wise

by T. S. Arthur

American author Timothy Shaw Arthur gained widespread acclaim in the nineteenth century by penning a series of stories with strong moral themes. The collection Words for the Wise brings together a number of...


A Drama on the Seashore

by Honore de Balzac & Katharine Prescott Wormeley

This short section of Honore de Balzac's vast story cycle The Human Comedy unfolds against the beautiful backdrop of the western coast of France. A couple on vacation have a chance encounter with a fisherman....


The Elixir of Life

by Honore de Balzac, Clara Bell & James Waring

Some of the short stories in the Philosophical Studies section of Honore de Balzac's The Human Comedy have hints of the mystical and supernatural. These elements are very pronounced in the spine-chilling tale...


Eve and David

by Honore de Balzac & Ellen Marriage

The novel Eve and David is the third entry in Honore de Balzac's Lost Illusions trilogy, which in turn is part of his larger novel cycle, The Human Comedy. The story focuses on a pair of earnest, good-hearted...


The Exiles

by Honore de Balzac, Clara Bell & James Waring

Though Honore de Balzac is now lauded as a master of the literary genre of social realism, a sizable number of his stories and novels also contain supernatural and mystical elements. The story "The Exiles" is...


Facino Cane

by Honore de Balzac & Clara Bell

The short story "Facino Cane" has been categorized as both a "Philosophical Study" and a "Scene of Paris Life" in various editions of French writer Honore de Balzac's sprawling series The Human Comedy. The narrator...


An Episode Under the Terror

by Honore de Balzac & Clara Bell

Set in the aftermath of the French Revolution, this short story from the Scenes of Political Life section of Honore de Balzac's The Human Comedy immerses readers in the terrifying tumult of the period. Brimming...


The Firm of Nucingen

by Honore de Balzac & James Waring

One of the key themes that is woven throughout Balzac's masterpiece, The Human Comedy, relates to the dangers of materialism and greed. In this novella, the narrator overhears some fellow diners discussing a...


Gambara

by Honore de Balzac

The novella Gambara is part of the Philosophical Studies section of Honore de Balzac's The Human Comedy. It follows a tumultuous relationship between Italian nobleman Andrea Marcosini and the beautiful, young...


Gobseck

by Honore de Balzac & Ellen Marriage

An extract from Honore de Balzac's sweeping novel cycle The Human Comedy, Gobseck is a novella that recounts the social ascendancy of young Anastasie de Restaud. Born into a wealthy family, Anastasie marries...


La Grenadiere

by Honore de Balzac & Ellen Marriage

Immerse yourself in a French pastoral idyll in this engrossing tale from Honore de Balzac, whose unparalleled powers of description will whisk you away to La Grenadiere, a quaint estate in the midst of a blossoming...