Earth and Air by Peter Dickinson
Tales of Elemental Creatures

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Mining folklore for ideas is routine in modern fantasy, but not many can add the surprising twists and novel logic that Peter Dickinson does. These are beautiful stories, deft, satisfying, unexpected.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

In this collection, you will find stories that range from the mythic to contemporary fantasy to science fiction. You will find a troll, gryphons, a beloved dog, the Land of the Dead, an owl, a minotaur, and a very alien Cat. Earth and Air is the third and final book in a trilogy of shared collections connected by the four classical elements. It follows previous volumes Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits and Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits, written by both Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley.

Ridiki is Steff’s beloved dog, named after Eurydice, whom the poet Orpheus tried to bring back from the dead. When, like her namesake, Ridiki is bitten by a snake and dies, Steff decides that he too should journey to the Underworld to ask the King of the Land of the Dead for his dog back.

Mari is the seventh child of a family in which troll blood still runs. When her husband goes missing in a Scottish loch, she must draw upon the power of her blood to rescue him. Sophie, a young girl, fashions a witch’s broomstick out of an ash sapling, and gets more than she bargained for. An escaped slave, Varro, must kill a gryphon, in order to survive. A boy named Yanni allies himself with an owl and a goddess in order to fight an ancient evil. A group of mind-bonded space travelers must face an unknown threat and solve the murder of a companion before time runs out.

All of these stories are about, in one way or another, the contrary and magical pull of two elements, Earth and Air. Each story showcases the manifold talents of a master storyteller and craftsman who has twice won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award, as well as the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

 

About Peter Dickinson

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Peter Dickinson: Peter Dickinson OBE has twice received the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger as well as the Guardian Award and Whitbread Prize. His latest book is Earth and Air: Tales of Elemental Spirits (Big Mouth House). He lives in England and is married to the novelist Robin McKinley.
 
Published October 30, 2012 by Small Beer Press. 207 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife. Fiction
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WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by Tom Shippey on Sep 14 2012

Mining folklore for ideas is routine in modern fantasy, but not many can add the surprising twists and novel logic that Peter Dickinson does. These are beautiful stories, deft, satisfying, unexpected.

Read Full Review of Earth and Air: Tales of Eleme... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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