Archive for May 6th, 2012

A case of un-rarity

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

About 15 years ago I bought three collections of high quality short fantasy stories. They contained a lot of older works and several authors I had never heard of before. Two stories by Adrian Cole, written in the late seventies and early eighties piqued my interest. The stories were related to each other and told a tale of a person named the Voidal who had been terribly punished by a group of gods for some unknown crime and who was forced to live a cursed life he could not control. Finding more stories seemed impossible. These were the early days of the internet and webstores were still in their early stages. I could only think: “Maybe one day”. I’m a patient man and I’ve seen rare items pop up suddenly when least expected.

A couple of years ago I was looking for some interesting books to look for on the web. I remembered the stories by Adrian Cole and I was happy to discover a collection of the Voidal stories named The Hand Of Oblivion, published in 2001, although it was not complete. At least I could read more, although it wasn’t as cheap as a normal book. Considering the possible rare audience who would be interested in such a format – a tale told through a series of related short stories – I simply accepted it for it’s rarity. I quite enjoyed it, like I did with the two stories I already knew. Information on Adrian Cole was limited so I had no idea if anything more was in the stage for this rare tale to be completed. Again patience and hope were all I had.

Recently I once again did a search for Adrian Cole in a few webstores and I was stunned to find out two new Voidal story collections had been released in 2011, naming them to be books 2 and 3 of the Voidal Trilogy, being titled The Long Reach Of Night and The Sword Of Shadows. A quick peak showed they contained the few leftover Voidal stories from 30 years ago while Cole had added the remaining tales about Voidal where they were required within the overall plot for these two completing collections. As they are newly published the tales about the Voidal are now available again and their status as rarity, for the time being, is gone. Joy is mine now that I can finally find out what happens next and what is really going on.

For those who wonder what kind of fantasy the Voidal stories are I can say it is dark fantasy with similarities to the works of Jack Vance (mainly the more gloomy Dying Earth tales), Michael Moorcock (Elric but also other novels) and Tanith Lee (Tales From The Flat Earth and the Lionwolf series). Although there are resemblances it is a unique universe and fans of those three authors will certainly like it.