The Very Best of Tad Williams

Tad Williams

A storytelling vampire, two overmatched angels, a dragon in cahoots with a knight and a witch, a loyal robot butler, and the Greatest Wizard of All (disputed!): Here is the essential collection for fans of  Tad Williams’ bestselling series novels (Otherland; Memory, Sorrow and Thorn) and fantasy classics such as Tailchaser’s Song.


The Very Best of Tad Williams

by Tad Williams

ISBN: 9781616961374

Published: May 2014

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and eBooks

Within these pages, you will find such delightful and curious things as a strange storytelling vampire, two woefully-overmatched angels, a dragon in cahoots with a knight and a witch, an ineptly duplicitous fish, the loyal robot butler of Werner Von Secondstage Booster, and the Greatest Wizard of All (disputed!).

Tad Williams has mastered every genre he has set his pen to, from epic fantasy series, including Memory, Sorrow and Thorn—which George R. R. Martin cited as an inspiration for Game of Thrones—to the classic novel Tailchaser’s Song,. Here are the stories that showcase the exhilarating breadth of Williams’ imagination, hearkening back to such classic fantasists as J. R. R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, Peter S. Beagle, and beyond.

Praise for The Very Best of Tad Williams

[STARRED REVIEW] “This marvelous short fiction retrospective testifies to the breadth of Williams’s creativity. All but one of these 17 otherworldly tales have appeared in magazines or anthologies, but fans will welcome the chance to have them all in one place. Several of the earlier pieces are particularly charming, including “The Old Scale Game,” with its thoroughly modern monsters, and “Every Fuzzy Beast of the Earth, Every Pink Fowl of the Air”, a chortling version of the book of Genesis. Williams effectively portrays poignant human regrets and longings in “Three Duets for Virgin and Nosehorn,” a miniature masterpiece, and explores the paradoxes of religious belief in “The Stranger’s Hands” and “And Ministers of Grace.” “A Stark and Wormy Knight,” a linguistic tour de force, shows without one misplaced word just how clever dragons can be. Williams’s sensitivity to atmosphere and trademark attention to telling detail shine through most of the selections in this varied collection of little gems.”
Publishers Weekly

“Obviously fans of Tad Williams will enjoy this, but then anyone with a sense of humour, a love of the unknown and anyone that enjoys a good tale should benefit from these stories.”
Fantasy Book Review

“An essential addition to the bookshelf for fans of Tad Williams and also a great opportunity for new readers to sample the breadth of his storytelling prowess.”
SF Signal

“Throughout this collection Williams ably demonstrates that he is a jack of all trades — and their master as well.”

“Williams does a masterful job at writing epic storylines. So I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out. And it was great.”

“Obviously, Williams’ many fans will eat this up. However, those who have been thinking about reading some of his work but have been hesitating will find this book a great indoctrination….”
January Magazine

“Of the far too many authors cramming the fantasy field with seemingly endless series, only a few are genuinely worthy of our time. Very Best of Tad Williams proves that he is among this select company, and may also cause some to drastically re-evaluate the talents of this prolific and popular author, and discover his other equally satisfying works.”

“well written and fun”
Drunken Dragon

“For readers unfamiliar with Tad Williams’ writing, this may be the perfect springboard, as opposed to launching into epic fantasies, or even series of any sort. One of the more surprising books I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year, and I say that in spite of the fact that I was already a huge fan of Williams’ work.”
The Cover Contessa

About the Author

Tad Williams is a bestselling fantasy author whose work includes Tailchaser’s Song, The War of the Flowers, and the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Shadowmarch, and Otherland series, the latter of which has been developed into a Massively Multiplayer Online game (MMO). He is also the author of a comic miniseries called The Next, published by DC Comics. Before finding success as an author, Williams held numerous odd jobs, including insurance salesman, radio host, laying titles, and several years in a rock band called Idiot. He lives in Soquel, California, with author and editor Deborah Beale, two children, and a menagerie of high-energy beasts.

Praise for Tad Williams

On A Stark and Wormy Knight

“Some writers are naturally at home with longer stories, others excel when restricted to shorter forms, but few can manage both with equal aplomb. Tad Williams is one such author.”
SF Site

“Best known for his epic fantasies, Williams offers 11 short stories that demonstrate his versatility with relative brevity…. Readers only familiar with Williams’s lengthy sagas will find a pleasant surprise in his ability to handle short work in different genres, while new readers can give him a try without committing to an epic series.”
Publishers Weekly

“Excellent short fiction.”

 Praise for Rite

“What makes this collection impressive is the variety, ingenuity, enthusiasm, and storytelling craft the author exhibits.”
SF Site

“This collection of short writings presents another side of a writer known primarily for his novels (Tailchaser’s Song; The War of the Flowers). Characterized by a wickedly keen sense of humor and, at times, a feel for the poignant.”
Library Journal

On The Dirty Streets of Heaven

[STARRED REVIEW] The author’s many fans as well as urban fantasy enthusiasts will enjoy Williams’s take on heaven’s less desirable places as well as his wry humor and keen insights.”
Library Journal

Visit the Tad Williams website.


The Old Scale Game
The Storm Door
The Stranger’s Hands
Child of an AncientCity
The Boy Detective of Oz: An Otherland Story
Three Duets for Virgin and Nosehorn
Diary of a Dragon
Not with a Whimper, Either
Some Thoughts Re: Dark Destroyer
Z is for...
Monsieur Vergalant’s Canard
The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of
Fish Between Friends
Every Fuzzy Beast of the Earth, Every Pink Fowl of the Air
A Stark and Wormy Knight
Black Sunshine
And Ministers of Grace