Originally published in Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy.)
Gannin Thidrich was nearing the age of thirty and had come to Triggoin to study the art of sorcery, a profession for which he thought he had some aptitude, after failing at several for which he had none. He was a native of the Free City of Stee, that splendid metropolis on the slopes of Castle Mount, and at the suggestion of his father, a wealthy merchant of that great city, he had gone first into meat-jobbing, and then, through the good offices of an uncle from Dundilmir, he had become a dealer in used leather. In neither of these occupations had he distinguished himself, nor in the desultory projects he had undertaken afterward. But from childhood on he had pursued sorcery in an amateur way, first as a boyish hobby, and then as a young man's consolation for shortcomings in most of the other aspects of his life -- helping out friends even unluckier than he with an uplifting spell or two, conjuring at parties, earning a little by reading palms in the marketplace -- and at last, eager to attain more arcane skills, he had taken himself to Triggoin, the capital city of sorcerers, hoping to apprentice himself to some master in that craft.
Robert Silverberg has been a professional writer since 1955, widely known for his science fiction and fantasy stories. He is a many-time winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, was named to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2004 was designated as a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. His books and stories have been translated into forty languages.
Among his best-known titles are Nightwings, Dying Inside, The Book of Skulls, and the three volumes of the Majipoor Cycle: Lord Valentine's Castle, Majipoor Chronicles, and Valentine Pontifex. His collected short stories, covering nearly sixty years of work, have been published in nine volumes by Subterranean Press. His most recent book is Tales of Majipoor (2013), a new collection of stories set on the giant world made famous in Lord Valentine's Castle.
He and his wife Karen and an assorted population of cats live in the San Francisco Bay Area in a sprawling house surrounded by exotic plants. He can be found online at the Quasi-Official Robert Silverberg Web Site.
About the Narrator:
Anthony Babington is a voice in the internet’s head who looks almost, but not quite, exactly how you expect him to. Having escaped from the sinister forces of Texas, he has retreated to an ingeniously disguised bunker in a secure, undisclosed location in Burnsville, Minnesota. his life goal is to someday annoy Norm Sherman into letting him voice a part on Escape Pod, but until then, he'd be happy to voice a project for you. Yes, you in the checked shirt. Contact him on Google Plus, or on Twitter at @AlephBaker.