The Sea is Full of Stars
by Jack L. Chalker
This has to be for Marg and Joe Brazil and their son, Nathan, who didn’t know about me until
Now we know that Nathan Brazil is a Canadian. That’s a fact. A
Sorry Nathan’s not in the book, but…
Now, then, any Mavra Changs out there?
Foreword: Slightly Different
In 1976, I wrote a book called
Being poor and just starting out in the business, I was suddenly faced with my second novel being a kind of bestseller for the new line, and thus I was urged to do a sequel. I hadn’t really thought about it, but they were offering a
Then, ten years later, I got an offer I couldn’t refuse at a time when I was riding high, and I discovered that it was kind of fun to revisit after all that time. Thus the three volume
When I went back to the Well, so to speak, I wanted to do something different. For one thing, I wanted to visit some of the underwater hexes. I also wanted to return to the Northern Hemisphere with its bizarrely different creations.
Unfortunately, the plot and the requirements that my two principal characters remain “human” really killed the deal. To divert them would be to lengthen an already long book.
If I were to do that, then I’d have to create a book that had no previous characters in it and was not, strictly speaking, directly part of the Canon.
Nathan and Mavra are not here. Do not look for them. They are not hiding, they will not show up in the end. In fact, much of the book takes place to the
Originally I was going to do two different books, which gave me the idea to call the set
This book will take you first to a whole new interstellar civilization, and from that point to the Well, but, again, with things going very wrong. Why aren’t Nathan and Mavra called? Well, you decide for now. Maybe I’ll tell you before this two-book, rather different adventure is done.
These are the last two Well World books for which I have any sort of notes or outline, so it is hard to say if this is the last or the latest Well World saga. You, to a large extent, will determine the answer, although I have other work to do. This one came out darker but more interesting than any of the others, and I’m content with it. I hope you will like it, too.
In the meantime, visit me anytime at http://people. delphi.com/jchalker/, and check on the sometimes active Well World newsgroup alt.fan.nathan.brazil.
Asswam Junction, Near the Crab Nebula
Monsters are not always so easy to spot, and when they walk among you they often do so with a smile, and when they become what they are underneath the glare, you don’t really know what’s happened. And when a monster has friends and followers and sometimes even worshipers, it can become far more than a single dark blot of evil on the fabric of time; then it has the capacity to suddenly rear off and carry even the most innocent straight to Hell, or to do even worse and take your own existence and extend Hell to that as well. This is a story of monsters and maidens and the walking dead. The fact that it begins on a starship only drives home the point…
He had the smell of death and the look of the grave in him. Everyone could sense it, almost as if he were somehow broadcasting the cold chill that those of any race who encountered him instantly felt.
He’d been handsome once, but long ago. Now his face was badly weathered, wrinkled, and pockmarked, and there was a scar on one cheek that didn’t look to be the result of a slip in some friendly fencing match. His eyes were deep, sunken, cold, and empty, his hair thick but silver, worn long and looking something like a mane.
It was eerie when he walked past the small group of passengers in the waiting lounge; they were of perhaps a half-dozen races, some inscrutable to others and tending to hold far different views of the universe and all that was in it, yet when he passed, every one of them reacted, some turning to look, some turning away, and some edging back as if the mere touch of his garment would bring instant death.
A Rithian watched him walk down the hall toward the vendor hall, its snakelike head and burning orange eyes almost hypnotized by the figure now going farther away. “I had not believed that he could draw so much more of the nether regions than he already had long ago,” it muttered, almost to itself.
The Terran woman shook off a final chill, turned and looked at the creature who’d made the comment. “You know him?” she asked.
She shook her head, trying to get a grip on herself. “I—I don’t think I ever felt anyone so—so
“Evil? Perhaps. It is impossible to know what he has become inside, and to what he’s sold his soul. But he is not precisely evil. In fact, he seeks an evil, and until he finds it and faces it and either kills it or it kills him, he cannot rest or ever find peace. He is Jeremiah Wong Kincaid. Does that name mean nothing to you?”
She thought hard. “Should it?”
“Then what about the scouring of Magan Triune?”
It was history to her, ancient history from the time of her parents at least, and thus the kind of thing you