L. Camp: The Exotic Enchanter

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L. Camp The Exotic Enchanter
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The Exotic Enchanter

 

L. Sprague de Camp

&

Christopher Stasheff

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 1995 by L. Sprague de Camp & Christopher Stasheff

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original

Baen Publishing Enterprises

P.O. Box 1403

Riverdale, N.Y.10471

ISBN: 0-671-87666-X

Cover art by Ruth Sanderson

First printing, June 1995

Distributed by

SIMON & SCHUSTER

1230 Avenue of the Americas

New York. N.Y. 10020

Printed in the United States of America

Also by L. Sprague de Camp & Christopher Stasheff:

The Enchanter Reborn

Also by L. Sprague de Camp:

Rivers of Time

The Fallible Fiend

The Incorporated Knight (with Catherine Crook de Camp)

The Undesired Princess & The Enchanted Bunny (with David Drake)

The Complete Compleat Enchanter (with Fletcher Pratt)

Also by Christopher Stasheff:

Dragon’s Eye

The Gods of War

Wing Commander: End Run (with William R. Forstchen)

CONTENTS

Excerpt

Synopsis

Part I: Enchanter Kiev

I

II

III

IV

Part II: Sir Harold And The Hindu King

Part III: Sir Harold Of Zodanga

I

II

III

IV

V

Part IV: Harold Sheakspeare

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VIIExcerpt

There Are Some Things Men Were Not Meant to Know. . .

The Polovets warrior ran off toward the river, tearing off his clothes as he ran.

He wasn’t the only one. Polovtsi swatted, punched and clawed at themselves, making their ragged clothes even more so. Some drew their knives and started slashing at their garments or even stabbing at themselves, although Shea noted that none of those seemed to hit a vital spot.

In what must have been less than five minutes, the camp area was completely empty of live, or at least conscious, Polovtsi. A couple lay staring at the sky, after stabbing themselves or perhaps knocking themselves silly falling off their horses.

“By God’s Holy Mother, Egorov Andreivich!” Igor exclaimed. “That was like something out of a tale. What did they see?” There was more than a touch of awe in the look Igor gave Shea, but also more than a touch of comradeship.

“Rurik Vasilyevich and I gave them a good look at their lice, Your Highness. Ah, does Your Highness know what a louse looks like?”

“Monsters,” Igor said.

Shea nodded. “Exactly. The Polovtsi saw themselves covered with monsters, and panicked.”

The prince’s look was now one of complete amazement. “No bogatyr in any tale ever did a thing like that.”Synopsis

WITH THE SYLLOGISMOBILE ALL UNIVERSES ARE POSSIBLE

When last seen, Harold Shea, the Incomplete Enchanter, and Reed Chalmers, his partner in interdimensional derring-do, had just managed to escape the wrath of Apollo — but a parting shot from the god had sent their “syllogismobile” careening through the mythological universes.

Their next point of contact is the Russia of Prince Igor, from whence the fierce Polovtsi warriors pursue them into and through an Arabian Nightmare. And where-oh-where is the wicked Malambroso, kidnapper of Chalmers’ wife — to say nothing of the delicious Florimel herself, object of their own pursuit? To shake their fierce pursuers, they leap again, this time into the universe of Edgar Rice Burroughs, where they are pursued on thoatback across the dead dry sea bottoms beneath the hurtling moons of Barsoom. Next port of call: Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a brave new world with goblins in it — from whence Shea and company well nigh instantly conceive an urgent desire to get far, far away.

Fortunately, the Incomplete Enchanter’s spells always save the day, even if not quite as their caster intended. . . .

Part I:

Enchanter Kiev

Roland J. Green

And

Frieda A. MurrayI

The kaleidoscope of colored dots had slowed to an occasional swirl of green and purple ones. Now that their eyes could focus again, Sir Reed Chalmers, Ph.D. etc., etc., and Sir Harold Shea, Ph.D. took a good look at the country in front of them. It was virgin forest, some willow but mostly birch and oak, with the hint of yellow in the leaves that heralds autumn. The ground cover was thick brush, with an occasional wildflower.

There was only enough wind to stir the leaves, but the temperature said “autumn” even more than the yellow-tinged leaves. It was brisk enough to stimulate minds fogged by their transition from the world of the Aeneid.

“We’ll need something heavier than these tunics and cloaks,” Shea remarked, pulling his cloak tight and his tunic down. “This is not a Mediterranean climate.”

“Obviously, my boy,” Chalmers replied. “Have you any speculation as to where we might be?”

“In a temperate-zone forest,” Shea suggested. “They all look alike to me, and they turn up in mythology and literature from all over the world.”

He looked around, trying to wave away the flies that sought the blood on his clothes and hands. They had left mythological Carthage shortly after attending a sacrifice, with no chance to wash.

They were in a sort of clearing, but otherwise Shea saw nothing but forest in all directions. He heard rustles and chirpings, but except for the flies and an occasional flash of wings, no animal life was visible.

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