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The Moon Maid and Other Fantastic Adventures Hardcover – March, 1998

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This handsome collection from small press publisher Golden Gryphon includes eight stories from R. Garcia y Robertson, one of the most interesting short fiction writers in the science fiction field. Robertson writes fast-paced action/adventure stories reminiscent of sci-fi's golden age, but with his own characteristic touch for fine detail. Robertson, who sports a Ph.D. in the history of science technology, has a knack for making his stories come alive, giving readers enough background to make his ideas seem credible without hindering his often flamboyant plots. It's a strong combination that makes this book hard to put down. --Craig Engler

From Publishers Weekly

Few writers can match Robertson's skill at innovative historical fantasy. The eight stories collected here (previously published in F&SF and Asimov's) neatly demonstrate his tremendous range and creativity, taking readers from ancient Greece to other planets in a distant future. In "Gypsy Trade," time-traveling Gypsies scheme to get rich by buying fine art in the past and selling it in the future, until a wrong turn lands them in the middle of Nazi Germany. A Chinese girl in booming gold-rush San Francisco teams up with some unusual allies to bring down the man who tried to cheat her out of her freedom in "Four Kings and an Ace." "The Moon Maid" is a tale of Amazonian derring-do with the feel of an old-fashioned sword-and sorcery story, while "The Wagon God's Wife" follows a luckless Christian Saxon who's caught between feuding Norse gods. The final tale, "Werewolves of Luna," depicts a tourist-choked Moon where virtual adventure-game casinos lure the hopeful and the desperate with promises of big payoffs. Robertson's neatly detailed settings and adventurous characters make for entertaining reading that will appeal especially to fans of Golden Age SF.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Gryphon Pr; 1st edition (March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965590186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965590181
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,626,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Richard R. Horton on August 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
R. Garcia y Robertson is an historian, and the benefits of his particular training shine through in his stories. Most obviously, he loves to write historical fantasies, as with his novel The Spiral Dance (set on the Scottish-English border in the 15th Century), or with several stories in the collection at hand, set in a wide range of historical milieus. He also likes time-travel storiesas with "Gypsy Trade" included here.
The title story is one of the most "Fantastic" of the historical stories included. "The Moon Maid" is an Amazon, one of an historical group of women warriors, located near the Don (or Amazon) River in what is now Russia. Her "tribe" honors lions, and when a nomad Hetman's son is killed by a lion, she must capture and destroy the animal, or risk having her whole tribe exterminated by the nomads. Her tracking of the lion is a mixture of realistic animal tracking, and rather wildly fantastic events, such as a meeting with Hercules, described in hilarious detail.
The place of women in historical societies is a recurring theme in these stories (and strong women characters occur in almost all the stories, including the futuristic ones). "The Other Magpie" features real historical figures at the Battle of Little Big Horn. The title character is a very independent Crow woman, mourning her brother's death at the hands of the Sioux. Partly as a result, she and her friend end up joining Custer's army. The Magpie and her friend are historical characters, though the specifics of the Magpie's dealings with her dead brother, and of her attempts to save Captain Reno from the coming disaster, are a bit more speculative.
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Format: Hardcover
Despite the cheezy cover, this collection of eight sci-fi/fantasy short stories are all fairly interesting, if not overwhelming. Robertson has a nice touch for detail, and many of the stories incorporate or are based upon actual events or places in history. The lead story "Gypsy Story" was optioned by a major movie studio, and it's instantly apparent why, as it concerns time-traveling gypsies captured by Nazis in WWII and other interesting adventures. "Four Kings and an Ace" is a rather weak story set in 19th-century San Francisco. "Cast On A Distant" shore is solid alien tale with a nice reversal at the end, somewhat similar in some ways to the more straightforward entertainment of "Werewolves on Luna." Perhaps the two most solid tales are "The Moon Maid" which has a Central-Asianish Amazon meet Hercules, and "The Wagon God's Wife" which is a retelling of an old Scandinavian tale. Both "Gone to Glory" and "The Other Magpie" are perhaps a little heavy-handed and less effective at entertaining the reader. Even so, this is a collection worth browsing through at the very least.
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Format: Hardcover
It would be a shame if this author ever gave up on his particular brand of historical science fiction! Although it is truly not very deep, more of the pulpy swashbuckling variety, it is loads of fun! He certainly keeps the reader surprised enough. "Gypsy Trade" did have enough emotional content to get me choked up, and that's not an easy task.
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Format: Hardcover
Eric Robbins from Booklist states in his review of `The Moon Maid and Other Fantastic Adventures' that "Barsoom is the name of the lunar realm in Edgar Rice Burroughs' moon tales." As Barsoom relates to Burroughs' Mars tales and has nothing relevance to another famous ERB novel (`The Moon Maid'), one should perhaps be skeptical as to the accuracy of Robbins' review of this title.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, despite its rather 'pulpish' and poor cover, actually contains some of the most delightful fantasies that you can get to read. I am using the word 'fantasy' quite liberally, to include several kinds of works that we tend to categorise as "speculative fiction". My favourite work was "The Moon Maid", and others must be having their own favourites. Now, what about getting the guy to produce some more stuff like this? Because, in this era of rising prices and pinching pay, these stories are surefire anti-depressants. Recommended.
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