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Wheel of the Winds

Arbor House, 1988 (hardcover); Tor, 1989 (paper); Grafton, 1989 (paper). Also available from E-reads in electronic format or print-on-demand.

There was one of the little coastal ships that plied from Beng to Rotl, and back again, which people called the Mouse, and its captain they called the Woman Without a God, because she had once incautiously answered “None” when somebody asked her which god she looked to for protection.

This is my “just for fun” novel. Actually I began it in reaction against the gender stereotyping and “Battle-Between-Cosmic-Forces-of-Good-and-Evil” nonsense of too many fantasies, but of course it grew into something else. When I wrote the first sentence of Chapter 1 (quoted above) I really didn’t know whether I was starting a fantasy or a science fiction story. It turned out to be very much science fiction, but set on a planet that would do as a fantasy backdrop. It’s serious enough (it’s about messing up other people’s worlds) but it’s also light. The characters, with very minor exceptions, are people (though not necessarily humans) whom I could love, and I hope you could too. I’ve had fan letters about this novel from junior high kids as well as thoughtful adults. The plot? Well, it’s basically three people and a dog circumnavigating a planet (partly searching for something, partly chasing each other) and then doing it again, all for very good reasons. By the way, the planet has permanent day on one side, permanent night on the other.