First 200 Words (part 13)

For decades, one of Philip José Farmer’s most popular series has been The World of Tiers. Robert Wolff, also known as the Lord Jadawin, and Kickaha, whose name on Earth was Paul Janus Finnegan had adventures that could only have been written by someone who grew up on the pulp takes of Edgar Rice Burroughs. When David Bischoff said he wanted to write a story about Jadawin, set immediately after The Makers of Universes,  we loved the idea. As you will see if you read the whole story, it could be argued that David’s story could only have been written by someone who grew up reading Philip José Farmer.  The creative biological is right up Phil’s alley.

“No Trees of Earth”

by David Bischoff

The palace was haunted.

At nights Chryseis would sit up in bed and say, “Robert. Robert! I hear something. I sense something!”

Always, Robert Wolff would wake up, instantly alert to danger. When all his checks were made, when the taloses were consulted, when he had even peered under the bed and nothing proved amiss, he would comfort his beautiful companion.

“We are safe, my dear,” Wolff assured her. “Now let’s go back to sleep.”

He did not tell Chryseis that he too felt something wrong.

Something slightly off.

For in truth, he had not explored the vast palace fully. Nor had his memories—his Jadawin memories—fully returned.

Who knew what traps the previous Lord—Lord Arwoor—had set?

And what of the devices of mischief and sadism that he himself might have laid, clad in his previous personality?

Always after these upsets Chryseis—all soft in her diaphanous robes, smelling of lavender and sleep—would settle back with her pillows and satin and her pet cat, Achilles. Always would she go back to sleep, nestled in his arms.

Until one night, she awoke, and awakened him and told him to check the visual banks. A beckoned talos—a …

(Copyright © 2010 by the Philip J Farmer Family Trust)

The rest of “No Trees of Earth” can be found in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions. Keep watching this space for more 200 word excerpts.

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