Update. Next Publication is: Under Strange Suns, available digitally August 2015, print version due December 2015, Twilight Times Books.

Yuletide Greetings, Christmas Cards from the Multiverse

There’s a festive air in Bag End. Bilbo has broken out a couple bottles of the Old Winyard and is mulling them in a pot hung over the fire. Gandalf is carefully igniting tiny candles placed on branches of the tiny fir tree in the parlor, applying the tip of his staff and muttering a spell to spark each one. Sam is wiring together a wreath, while Frodo attempts to keep Merry and Pippin from opening all the presents.

In a harborside tavern, Conan, with great mirth, employs the heavy bone of a joint of beef to club an insolent potboy who is imposing bawdy lyrics on the tunes of old Cimmerian carols. This he does without spilling a drop from his tankard or the saucy tavern wench from his knee.

The soldiers of the Black Company commandeer a tavern of their own. Croaker, Elmo, and Silent play a round of Tonk. Goblin and One-Eye decorate the tavern, their decorations animated, obscene, and chasing each other about the walls.

Elric broods before a roaring fire, ignoring a winged cat that continues to flutter by, bearing a sprig of mistletoe. Jhary-a-Conel carves a roast goose while entertaining the patrons in the inn’s common room with Yuletide stories and songs.

The Silver Eel is uncommonly bright and cheery. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser dispense gifts appropriated from the Overlord’s lavish holiday celebration. Meanwhile Ningauble of the Seven Eyes and Sheelba of the Eyeless Face conspire to divert into Lankhmar’s airspace the flying sleigh of a fat man in a red suit.

And what do you suppose is happening at the Vulgar Unicorn? Do we even want to know?

Merry Christmas.