The Familiar

~ A Short Story by Andre Norton


Synopsis ~

From Fossi the familiar's point of view, who has been passing as a child's toy handed down from mother to daughter for generations - and who considers the current human charge, Jeseca to be the familiar. Fossi, unfortunately, has lazily waiting for Jeseca to grow up a little before trying to educate her; now they may both pay, as they flee enemy soldiers invading their native city.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • Familiars (2002) Edited by Denise Little, Published by DAW, PB, 0-756-40081-3, No.1229, $6.99, 319pg ~ cover by Judy York ~ 15 original tales of animal -- and other -- companions who are far more than they seem....

Write-up from the back of the paperback ~

The word familiars immediately evokes images of witches and black cats, but fantasy writers have too much imagination to allow themselves to be confined to such a stereotype, and their minds instantly begin to conjure up stories in which not only cats but dogs, humans, and even insects can become key assistants in the raising and working of arcane powers. In some instances humans are not even the masters to whom these familiars belong.

Here are fifteen original tales by some of the top writers in the field, stories ranging from a humorous look at the role played by Clintons' cat, Socks, in the troubles that occurred during Bill's administration... to the challenge a minor wizard faces when he seeks a way to save his own cat familiar and stop the mysterious enemy who has been targeting familiars for death... to the desperate battle for survival and justice waged by a warlock and his dog when Cotton Mather targets them for judgment... to the incredible odyssey of a college student who undergoes life regression only to discover that he was not even human in his past life...

    9 • Introduction (Familiars) • essay by Denise Little
    11 • Searching for the Familar • novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    38 • And So, ad Infinitum • shortstory by Jody Lynn Nye
    54 • First Familiars • shortstory by Laura Resnick
    68 • Dog Spelled Backward • shortstory by P. N. Elrod
    83 • This Dog Watched • novelette by Von Jocks
    106 • On the Scent of the Witch • shortstory by Jean Rabe
    118 • The Familiar • shortstory by Andre Norton
    128 • Alliance • shortstory by Bill McCay
    143 • Catseye • shortstory by Laura Anne Gilman
    147 • Business as Usual • novelette by Diane A. S. Stuckart
    170 • Modoc Rising • novelette by Gary A. Braunbeck
    192 • Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It • shortstory by Susan Sizemore
    200 • Swordplay • shortstory by Josepha Sherman
    211 • Thieves in the Night • novelette by John Helfers
    230 • Legacy • novella by Michelle West 



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