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Authors: Tanith Lee

Legenda Maris

 

 

 

Legenda Maris

 

Tanith Lee

 

 

 

England

Legenda Maris

By Tanith Lee

© 2015, ebook edition 2015

 

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and
events portrayed in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to real
people, or events, is purely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved, including the right to
reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.

 

The right of Tanith Lee to be identified as the
author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright,
Design and Patents Act, 1988.

 

Cover Art by Tanith Lee and John Kaiine

Cover Design by Danielle Lainton

Frontispiece illustration by Tanith Lee

 

New (future) Author Web Site, as the original has
been stolen: http://www.tanith-lee.com

 

An Immanion Press Edition

http://www.immanion–press.com

[email protected]–press.com

 

Praise for Tanith Lee

 

“Tanith
Lee possesses a delicate, sharp, sidelong sensibility. She never observes
head-on, but sees to the heart of things from strange angles. Her work is about
blood, and darkness, and the salt sea, and cats, and much more. Her velvet touch
will carry us into the future.”


Liz Williams, author of
Worldsoul
and
Winterstrike

 

“Tanith Lee doesn’t merely
write fantasy stories. She casts spells. With her incantatory prose and
alchemical plots, she transforms genre tropes into the stuff of High Art. The
oceanic-themed
Legenda Maris
collects some of her finest pieces, from
the chilling and sensual ‘Because Our Skins are Finer’ to the hauntingly
beautiful ‘Magritte’s Secret Agent’.”

—Craig Laurance
Gidney, author of
Sea, Swallow Me & Other Stories
and
Skin Deep
Magic

 

“Impossible tasks are often the most
rewarding to attempt. Summing up Tanith Lee as either a writer or a person is
one such. In both regards, Tanith is a marvel: unique, irrepressible, without
peer. Thinking of her brings a smile to my lips and a tear to my eye. Thank
you, Tanith, for the wonder of your words and the warmth of your friendship,
and for leaving us your work to revisit and revel in.”


Ian Whates,
author of
Pelquin’s Comet
and
The Noise Within,
publisher of
NewCon press books

 

“Tanith Lee possessed an acute insight into
passion and a visionary’s eye for beauty. Her creativity was boundless, her
imagery compelling. She was a stylist with a profound and original talent, who
could write of the exploits of demons, queens, warriors, madmen and beggars
with the same conviction and compassion. She was a creator and a conjurer, a
high priestess and a mouth-piece for the gods.”


Sarah
Singleton, Author of
Dark Storm
and
The Stranger

 

“‘
The Birthgrave
’, Tanith Lee’s
first novel changed British fantasy. Here was an author who charged fantasy
with dark fire, but also convincing realism. Her characters were not
stereotypes, but living, breathing people. The writing itself was beautiful,
flowing like poetry. I was not the only young writer greatly influenced and
inspired by Tanith Lee. Her love of language taught us how to shape our own
words into living textures. Her ability to see beyond the ordinary guided us to
peer beyond the veils of the mundane world and to report what we found there.
As both a writer and a mentor, Tanith Lee is irreplaceable.”

—Storm Constantine, author of
‘The
Moonshawl’
,

publisher of Immanion Press books.

 

“We
always live in the Age of Legends without knowing it. In such times living gods
and goddesses walk among us, and share this Flat Earth and mold its shadow
fabric. It is only when the gods depart do we realize in retrospect what
fragile miracle we’ve been privileged to observe, and what is now gone from the
world... The divine Tanith Lee has slipped away. And yet, both legends and
deities leave a permanent brand in the hearts of mortals. The brand is seared
with the wild flame of Story, and it holds a fragment of elusive divine Wonder.
Here is one remarkable collection. And now it breathes in her stead, as it will
always – in tandem with every last one of her stories and books and poems and
images, a great holy bellows of fire. Forgive me if I speak in such exalted
language, but none other will do when it comes to Tanith Lee.”


Vera Nazarian, author of
Cobweb Bride
,

publisher of Norilana Books

Contents

 

Introduction by Storm Constantine

Girls in Green Dresses

Magritte’s
Secret
Agent

Paper Boat

Lace-Maker, Blade-Taker, Grave-Breaker, Priest

Under Fog (The Wreckers)

The Sea Was In Her Eyes

Because Our Skins Are Finer

Leviathan

Where Does The Town Go At Night

Xoanon

Land’s End, The Edge of The Sea

Publishing History of the Stories

About the Author

 

Introduction to ‘Legenda Maris’

 

 

‘Legenda
Maris’
is the first of a series of themed short story collections that Tanith Lee
planned to publish through Immanion Press. Tanith died on 24th May 2015 at the
age of 67. We see the publication of this book as our tribute to a remarkable
author with whom we were privileged to work for several years and whose writing
I personally have adored and found inspiring since I began reading it back in
the 70s. While some of these stories have been in print before, Tanith always
ensured that any new collection of her work included unpublished pieces. The
new tales in this book were written only a few months ago, and are among the
last ones she wrote. By collecting her stories within a theme, Tanith produced
a new work entirely – almost like a series of chapters in a novel where the
characters of each chapter never meet. In this work particularly, the only
recurring protagonist is the sea. And the sound of it, the smell of it,
permeates every story.

 

As
most people who are familiar with Tanith’s work will know, to say she was a
prolific writer is an understatement. She lived and breathed writing, and even
when incapacitated by illness endeavoured to keep working. She was reading the
proofs of this book and marking corrections on them only a week or so before
she died. Producing words almost continually never meant a lessening of
standards. Tanith’s stories were – and are – always fresh and innovative. She
had an ability to conjure atmosphere in a way that only the best writers can.
To read her work is to immerse yourself in her dreams and visions. She
accomplished what many aspire to: virtual realities, magical worlds, in which
you simply forget you are reading. You are there.

 

Tanith
described her writing as ‘channelling’. Stories poured out of her, characters
spoke through her. While for some authors, writing can be like a war with their
ability to describe accurately what they see so vividly in their minds, for
Tanith writing was never a struggle. This was a wonderful gift, almost an extra
sense. It speaks to me of a serene confidence; she never doubted for a moment
that she was a story-teller to her very core – it was her
purpose

and
the buffets and blows of the publishing industry, which quite frankly was not
always good to her, never undermined that confidence nor damaged her
creativity.

 

The
new stories in this book, ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Land’s Edge, The Edge Of The Sea’, 
were written when Tanith was aware she didn’t have much time left in this life,
and this makes them particularly poignant. They explore passing and change, but
also eternity and cycles, the
sureness
of life, as well as its ebb and
flow. They are written with dignity and strength. With Tanith’s passing, the
world has lost a great writer, but many of us have also lost a beloved friend.
The words of some of these friends can be found at the beginning of this book.

 

The
less recent stories in
‘Legenda Maris’
include a couple of my favourite
Tanith tales ‘Magritte’s Secret Agent’ and ‘Because Our Skins Are Finer’; like
strange dreams washed up on the shore of sleep, they stay with you long after
you’ve finished reading. Several of the other pieces are uncollected, and I’d
not even read them myself before Tanith sent me the manuscript for the book.
These had been published previously in magazines or anthologies, so I suspect
they will be new to many other readers of this collection too. The cover was
created from an original collage by Tanith, which I scanned into the computer
in two parts, (it was a long picture!), and which Immanion artist Danielle
Lainton then ‘stitched’ together deftly so you cannot see the joins. Tanith’s
husband, John Kaiine, then worked on the picture some more to create the
beautiful finished image that now adorns this book.

 

John
wishes Tanith’s work to continue, and part of this will be to go forward with
the collections she planned to publish through Immanion Press. For now, though,
please enjoy this jewel-spilling treasure chest of tales. And listen to the
sea.

Storm Constantine

16th June 2015

 

“Though we come and go, and pass into
the shadows, here we leave behind us stories told – on paper, on the wings of
butterflies, on the wind, on the hearts of others – there we are remembered,
there we work magic and great change – passing on the fire like a torch –
forever and forever. Till the sky falls, and all things are flawless and need no
words at all.”

 

Tanith Lee

 

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