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Liavek 1 by Will Shetterly
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Liavek 1

by Will Shetterly (Editor), Emma Bull (Editor)

Other authors: Steven Brust (Contributor), Kara Dalkey (Contributor), Pamela Dean (Contributor), Nancy Kress (Contributor), Megan Lindholm (Contributor)4 more, Barry B. Longyear (Contributor), Gene Wolfe (Contributor), Patricia C. Wrede (Contributor), Jane Yolen (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Liavek (1)

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» See also 13 mentions

English (6)  French (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Even if I didn't enjoy the Liavek stories themselves, I'd have to read these anthologies just because I get weak at the knees thinking of so many of my favorite authors in one room together. And then I think of them roleplaying, and have to chuckle.

As in all anthologies, some stories are better than others. I must always stand loyally by Pamela Dean as my favorite, and "The Green Cat" is as cheerfully dark as her later works. Pat Wrede comes in a close second. The only story I really didn't care for was Barry Goodyear's, which isn't surprising considering the fact that he was a guest to the group.

The best thing about this anthology? It inspires me to write my own fantasy stories...
  kdcdavis | Apr 29, 2010 |
This is the first in a series of shared-world anthologies, the world being Liavek, the city of Luck. The main thing that distinguishes this world is the way in which magic works. Everyone has a certain amount of "luck," and they can access it during the hours of their birth--that is, on their birthdays, for the hours during which their mother was in labor. A wizard is someone who's "invested" their luck--stored it in an object during a ritual that must be repeated yearly during their luck time--so they can access it year-round.

I approached this anthology with skepticism, because it seemed that in the last anthology I'd read in this shared universe, every story was about rival wizards trying to find where each other had stored their luck and to destroy it &/or to disrupt their reinvestiture. And the first story, "Badu's Luck," by Emma Bull, did indeed fit the mold, although it was more about recurring character Snake protecting a wizard during their luck time.

Then "The Green Rabbit from S'Rian" by Gene Wolfe ended the one-story streak, with a story about pirates, of all things. And "Ancient Curses" by Patricia C. Wrede convinced me that there was going to be more to this anthology than I'd suspected. This story was about someone trying to summon the god Rikiki, who'd been turned into a squirrel.

"Birth Luck" by Nancy Kress is a story of revenge--a sister seeks revenge on the wizard who convinced her brother to try to invest his luck--the failure of which killed him.

"An Act of Contrition" by Steven Brust is a tale of intrigue and a convoluted plot--that does involve wizards' luck hours, but only peripherally.

Jane Yolen's "The Inn of the Demon Camel" is a short-short story, told like an Aesop's fable. And "The Hands of the Artist" by Kara Dalkey is a mystery story. So much for my presumption that all the stories would be alike.

"The Green Cat" by Pamela Dean is about a young woman who thinks life's not worth living, so she joins a suicide order--the concept is that once she discharges all her obligations, she can die. And she does, except for this cat... "A Coincidence of Birth" by Megan Lindholm is about another young woman who hires a wizard to learn her birth date.

Will Shetterly's "Bound Things" has recurring character Trav The Magician being hired by a child to recover her dolly and outwitting a rival wizard.

The last story is "The Fortune Maker" by Barry B. Longyear. It's about a garbage picker who invests his luck and becomes a rare "fortune maker"--that is, whenever someone asks him what their fortune will be, whatever's in his heart regarding them will be. It's the longest story in the anthology by far.

The problem with fantasy short stories is that fantasy generally involves a lot of worldbuilding, and trying to squeeze that into 20 pages or so doesn't leave a lot of room for the story. That's where the shared world concept comes in. Some of the stories in this anthology still suffer from that, and quite a few of them suffer from an excess of characters--too many characters with odd names in a short story makes it rather confusing.

The clearest, and therefore most interesting/entertaining stories, IMO, were Brust's (despite the convoluted plot, it was easy to follow), Dalkey's, Dean's, Shetterly's, and Longyear's.

It was better reading than I'd expected (though I'm afraid my enjoyment of Emma Bull's story suffered because of those expectations), and I'm looking forward to the next Liavek anthology in my TBR pile. ( )
  Darla | Nov 27, 2008 |
The Liavek stories were set in one of my favorite fantasy "shared world" locales. I don't think the author collection was quite as good as in Thieves' World, but the world seemed a little better thought out, a little more balanced.

Unfortunately, without the best stories, the world gradually drifted off into oblivion. Too bad; it could have been quite good. ( )
  TadAD | Jul 22, 2008 |
fabulous, inventive shared world series with unique magic system and memorable characters ( )
  MuseofIre | Aug 7, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shetterly, WillEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bull, EmmaEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brust, StevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dalkey, KaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dean, PamelaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kress, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindholm, MeganContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Longyear, Barry B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, GeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wrede, Patricia C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yolen, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wickwire, JackIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Important places
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Epigraph
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For Terri and Val. It's their fault.
First words
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C'était un soulagement, par une chaleur pareille, de se trouver à L'Œil de Tigre. (Un acte de contrition)
La fillette était assise dans l'obscurité, au frais, ses genoux osseux bien serrés ramenés sous le menton. (Hasard de naissance)
Kaloo plissait les yeux, aveuglée par le reflet des vagues lorsque la petite embarcation s'enfonçait et émergeait joyeusement des flots de la baie des Ruisseaux. (La fortune du pot)
L'Héritier du comté jadis appelé Dashforth longeait le chemin de Levar menant au Palais, quand il s'avisa qu'on le suivait. (Un acte de foi)
Kaloo dévala l'escalier de sa chambre, sous les toits de la taverne, jusqu'à la salle commune de La Chope et l'Ancre ; ses pieds en effleuraient à peine les marches. (Un acte de miséricorde)
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Disambiguation notice
The print books of the Liavek series -

Liavek 1
  • Badu's Luck by Emma Bull

  • The Green Rabbit from S'Rian by Gene Wolfe

  • Ancient Curses by Patricia C Wrede

  • Birth Luck by Nancy Kress

  • An Act of Contrition by Steven Brust

  • The Inn of the Demon Camel by Jane Yolen

  • The Hands of the Artist by Kara Dalkey

  • The Green Cat by Pamela Dean

  • A Coincidence of Birth by Megan Lindholm

  • Bound Things by Will Shetterly

  • The Fortune Maker by Barry B Longyear

  • Appendix 1: A Tourist's Guide to Liavek in the Year 3317

  • Appendix 2: A Magician's Primer

  • Appendix 3: Liavek: A Creation Myth


  • Liavek 2: The Players of Luck

  • A Happy Birthday by Will Shetterly

  • Before the Paint is Dry by Kara Dalkey

  • The Rat's Alley Shuffle by Charles de Lint

  • Two Houses in Saltigos by Pamela Dean

  • Rikiki and the Wizard by Patricia C Wrede

  • Dry Well by Nathan A Bucklin

  • Choice of the Black Goddess by Gene Wolfe

  • The Ballad of the Quick Levars by Jane Yolen

  • Pot Luck by Megan Lindholm

  • Show of Faith by Gregory Frost

  • An Act of Trust by Steven Brust

  • Ishu's Gift by Charles R Saunders

  • A Cup of Worrynot Tea by John M Ford

  • The Well-Made Plan by Emma Bull


  • Liavek 3: Wizard's Row

  • An Act of Mercy by Megan Lindholm and Steven Brust

  • Green is the Color by John M Ford

  • Paint the Meadows with Delight by Pamela Dean

  • The World in the Rock by Kara Dalkey

  • Baker's Dozen by Bradley Denton

  • Cenedwine Brocade by Caroline Stevermer

  • A Hypothetical Lizard by Alan Moore

  • Training Ground by Nancy Kress

  • Appendix 1: A Liavekan Songbook

  • ~ City of Luck by Jane Yolen

    ~ The Ballad of the Quick Levars by Jane Yolen

    ~ Eel Island Shoals by John M Ford

    ~ Pot-Boil Blues by John M Ford

  • Appendix 2: A Handbook for the Apprentice Magician


  • Liavek 4: Spells of Binding
  • Riding the Hammer by John M Ford

  • Portrait of Vengeance by Kara Dalkey

  • The Skin and Knife Game by Lee Barwood and Charles de Lint

  • Strings Attached by Nathan A Bucklin

  • The Last Part of the Tragical History of Acrilat by Pamela Dean

  • Mad God by Patricia C Wrede

  • The Tale of the Stuffed Levar by Jane Yolen

  • An Act of Love by Steven Brust, Gregory Frost and Megan Lindholm

  • Spells of Binding by Pamela Dean


  • Liavek 5: Festival Week
  • Procession Day / Remembrance Night: Processional / Recessional by John M Ford

  • A Necessary End by Pamela Dean

  • Bazaar Day: Ballad by John M Ford

  • The True Tale of Count Dashif's Demise by Jane Yolen

  • Festival Day: Catechism by John M Ford

  • Six Days Outside the Year by Will Shetterly

  • The Levar's Night Out by Patricia C Wrede

  • Restoration Day: Plainsong by John M Ford


  • The ebooks of the Liavek series -

    Liavek 1 : City of Luck (volume 1)
  • Badu's Luck by Emma Bull

  • The Green Rabbit from S'Rian by Gene Wolfe

  • Birth Luck by Nancy Kress

  • An Act of Contrition by Steven Brust

  • The Inn of the Demon Camel by Jane Yolen

  • Appendix 1: A Tourist's Guide to Liavek in the Year 3317

  • Appendix 2: A Magician's Primer

  • Appendix 3: A Handbook for the Apprentice Magician

  • Appendix 4: Liavek: A Creation Myth


  • Liavek 2 : City of Luck (volume 2)
  • The Hands of the Artist by Kara Dalkey

  • A Coincidence of Birth by Megan Lindholm

  • Bound Things by Will Shetterly

  • The Fortune Maker by Barry Longyear


  • Liavek 3: The Players of Luck (volume 1)
  • A Happy Birthday by Will Shetterly

  • Before the Paint is Dry by Kara Dalkey

  • The Rat's Alley Shuffle by Charles de Lint

  • Dry Well by Nathan A Bucklin

  • Dry Well of Dondar (lyrics) by Alison Bucklin

  • Choice of the Black Goddess by Gene Wolfe

  • The Ballad of the Quick Levars by Jane Yolen


  • Liavek 4: The Players of Luck (volume 2)
  • Pot Luck by Megan Lindholm

  • Show of Faith by Gregory Frost

  • An Act of Trust by Steven Brust

  • A Cup of Worrynot Tea by John M Ford

  • The Well-Made Plan by Emma Bull


  • Liavek 5: Wizards Row (volume 1)
  • An Act of Mercy by Megan Lindholm and Steven Brust

  • The World in the Rock by Kara Dalkey

  • Baker's Dozen by Bradley Denton

  • Green is the Color by John M Ford

  • Appendix: A Liavekan Songbook

  • ~ City of Luck: The Liavekan National Anthem by Jane Yolen

    ~ The Ballad of the Quick Levars by Jane Yolen

    ~ Eel Island Shoals by John M Ford

    ~ Pot-boil Blues by John M Ford

    Liavek 6: Wizard's Row (volume 2)
  • Cenedwine Brocade by Caroline Stevermer

  • A Hypothetical Lizard by Alan Moore

  • Training Ground by Nancy Kress

  • Riding the Hammer by John M Ford


  • Liavek 7: Spells of Binding
  • Portrait of Vengeance by Kara Dalkey

  • The Skin and Knife Game by Lee Barwood and Charles de Lint

  • Strings Attached by Nathan A Bucklin

  • The Tale of the Stuffed Levar by Jane Yolen

  • An Act of Love by Steven Brust, Gregory Frost and Megan Lindholm

  • Spells of Binding by Pamela Dean


  • Liavek 8: Festival Week
  • The Grand Festival: Sestina by John M Ford

  • Consequences by Walter Jon Williams

  • Divination Day: Invocation by John M Ford

  • As Bright as New Coppers by Bradley Denton

  • Birth Day: Sonnet by John M Ford

  • A Hot Night at Cheeky's by Steven Brust

  • Procession Day/Remembrance Night: Processional/Recessional by John M Ford

  • A Prudent Obedience by Kara Dalkey

  • Bazaar Day: Ballad by John M Ford

  • The True Tale of Count Dashif's Demise by Jane Yolen

  • Festival Day: Catechism by John M Ford

  • Six Days Outside the Year by Will Shetterley

  • Restoration Day: Plainsong by John M Ford


  • It looks like there are some new stories in the ebooks not in the original print editions, and some stories in the print editions do not appear in the ebook editions (but note that many of Pamela Dean's and Patricia C Wrede's stories are collected in Points of Departure).
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