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Novels and story collections by Geoff Hart

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A "medieval" fantasy set in a post-diaspora world, in which humans have fled to a new continent after destroying their original homeland in a magical catastrophe. Now, more than two centuries later, they have successfully re-established their civilization and begun to spread through the new lands, despite conflicts among kingdoms and between humans and the land's original inhabitants. In this story, the protagonist is Morley, a human dwarf (that is, the achondroplastic kind, not the Tolkein kind) who has survived an abusive childhood and is now serving as a court jester. When he is offered the chance to become "normal", he accepts—but there is a high price, and one he may be unwilling to pay. Chronologically, the story follows that in Chords (see below), but you don't need to have read Chords to understand or appreciate Jester.

A "medieval" fantasy set in the same world as Jester (see above), but about a decade earlier. At the time of the story, the western human kingdom of Amelior has begun invading the eastern lands, apparently with imperial ambitions. To complicate matters, there are hints of magical assistance—despite a ban on magic for the past two centuries—leading to the death of key figures and the fall of several cities to Amelior's armies. At the time of the story, a former Ameliorite knight (Bram) and a mercenary (Gareth) are thrown together by circumstances, and find themselves forced to work together to help the eastern kingdoms withstand Amelior's steady advance. But Bram has not escaped his past, and will need Gareth's help to defeat the ancient magic that is following in his wake.

A "young adult" fantasy novel; that is, one with teenage protagonists but not dumbed down because of it. In the story world, there has traditionally been a truce between Light, the prevailing force of stability, and Shadow, a force of change and dynamism and possibly even chaos—but not in the clichéd sense of "evil" (pronounced with a dramatically drawn out initial "eeeeee"). Light predominates where humans live; at some distance from these areas lie regions of Shadow. Powerful and poorly understood forces cause humans who enter Shadow to change as fluidly as shadows seem to transform in a campfire's dancing light. Those who have acquired some understanding of Shadow can harness that energy; for example, a hunter might choose to become a wolf, at the risk of forgetting their humanity if they retain that form too long. Amodai, our protagonist,is one of a small group of Rangers who have been trained to safely enter areas of Shadow, retaining their humanity or taking on the form of any forest animal without losing that humanity. Their responsibility is to watch for and deal with any creatures of Shadow that might threaten their isolated village. The freedom of Shadow is intoxicating, and spending time in Shadow is far more interesting than mundane duties such as retrieving strayed livestock and hunting for food. As the story begins, travelers between villages have grown few, and Shadow seems to be encroaching on the areas of Light. Can Amodai and his fellow Rangers cope with this potential threat to their way of life?

A collection of the 17 short stories and one longer piece that I published online before 2012.



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