His crew would go crazy and start breaking open barrels on their own; he couldn't afford that. This ball now-fancy dress, jewels, money-looked like fun and profit combined. "Tell you what harald said, slipping the knife back into his boot. "My friends wouldn't like it if I went and they had to stay here with nothing to drink. If you can get us all in, that's more votes. How about it?" "Great. My name's Gordamish Ringwearer, by the way; you can call me gordy.
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"I just wanted to invite you to the ladies' aid and Armor Society Charity ball. Being as it's midwinter, and cruel dull for a stranger in town otherwise, with all the taverns closed for three days-I thought you might biography enjoy." "The ladies' aid and Armor Society? What's that, a bunch of women in bronze bras and fringe playing with toy swords?" The man laughed. But they clean up nicer than usual, for the Charity ball for the Orphans' fund. There's this contest, for queen; everybody who goes can vote. Thing is, the other cats pack the place with their supporters, so although our Krystal is far and away the most beautiful, she never wins. This year, we're changing that. All I want from you is a vote for her. We'll pay the donation and everything." These upriver barbarians had strange customs. Collecting money to support girl orphans, when girl orphans properly managed could support him? Taverns closed three days?
"But such beauty presentation cannot be denied." The burly man grinned. "Since you appreciate her many qualities, perhaps you'd like to make her acquaintance a little closer?" What was this? Was the woman a high-priced whore, and this her pimp? Did they think he'd been born under a rhubarb leaf, and still had the dew on his backside? Harald brought the knife up in one smooth motion, and laid the tip in an appropriate place. To his surprise, the burly man neither flinched nor changed expression. "No need for that he said.
She glanced over at him, and he grinned, raising his mug appreciatively. She stuck out her adorable lower lip; one of her followers turned to glower at him. He watched as she undulated across the room. Every part of her-many visible through the long black fringe-suggested unspeakable summary delights. Harald turned back to his ale, as she flounced out the door, to find that the burly fellow with the bits of metal through his ears and nose was now beside him. "She's beautiful harald said. Under the table, his hand slid down to the hilt of his boot knife. "you can't blame a man for looking." "S'long as you're respectful the man said. "Oh, i am harald said.
That night in the Green Cat's bar, harald kept eyes and ears open. One particular corner table caught his interest. A cute perky blonde wearing fringed black leather and polished brass pouted at the louts around her, who were all clearly ready to do anything for another glance down her cleavage. If that was an example of local women warriors, he and his men had nothing to worry about. She was too pretty, too smooth-skinned and full-lipped, to know what to do with the fancy little dagger at her belt, let alone a real sword. Her followers, big and muscular enough, wore fashions he'd seen only in the grittier port brothels, but no visible weapons. When the blonde pushed back from the table, he saw that she actually had cute little muscles in her arms.
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She would never have to hear their condescending "Shut up, Krystal" again. When the chair asked for volunteers, Krystal surprised everyone by signing up for Invitations. Harald Redbeard had come to the city in the character of an honest merchant. Downriver, on the coast, everyone knew he was a fish Islands pirate. The coast patrol had almost trapped him in Hunport, but instead of making a break for the sea, he'd come upriver with his crew, until things quieted down. It was nigh on midwinter when he reached the kingdom known to its downstream neighbors as the Swordladies' domain.
He grinned at that-most of the mountain kingdoms had a reputation for fierce warrior women. But the only warrior women he'd seen essay had been bouncers at Gully Blue's tavern in Hunport. He'd tossed both of them into the harbor. An icy wind blew from the mountains, and lowering clouds promised snow as the crew offloaded their cargo; Harald sent old Boris One-eye off to find them an inn. One-eye reported that he'd found rooms at the Green Cat, and he'd seen some invention warrior women. "like soldiers, they are, in uniform." "Not a problem harald said. "If they're part of the city guard, that'll make it all the easier for." "How?" "City guards are city guards the world over harald said, rubbing fingers and thumb.
To his Iron-Clad Mistress by kent Patterson. You don't need no chain mail bra, dear. You don't need no brass pants, too. You don't need to dress in armor. When I'm snuggled close to you. Don't think that you can charm me, or prove our love more real, by buying all your underwear, from the boutique.
So what say we drop the hardware, the swords and shields and toys, And make love less like sherman tanks, And more like girls and boys. Sweet Charity by Elizabeth moon Krystal Winterborn eyed her lumpish fellow members of the ladies Aid armor Society, and sighed. There they were: the brave, the bold, the strong the plain. She was tired of being the butt of their jokes, just because she paid extra on her health-care plan for a complexion spell to keep her peach-blossom cheeks and pearly teeth. They laughed at her herbal shampoos, the protective grease she wore on summer maneuvers. They rolled their eyes at her fringed leather outfits, her spike-heeled dress boots. Well, this year's Charity ball would show them. No more laughing, when she was queen of the ball, and raised many times more for the orphaned daughters of soldiers killed in the line of duty.
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I hope you'll be pleased. Now before i free you to romp barefoot through the rest of this volume, i'd like to take a moment of your time for something serious: This book is dedicated to the memory of my mother, beatrice Friesner, who passed away in the autumn. She went through the depression, world War ii, taught in a one-room schoolhouse in upstate new York before serving in the new York city public schools-junior and senior high-for over thirty years, and raised. (Her own mother insisted that her daughter as well as her sons get a college professional education even when most people scoffed, saying that higher education was wasted on a girl. Ha!) She faced plenty of trials and adversity in her life, but she never backed down and she always put up a good, honorable fight. I consider her and her mother before her to be true warrior Women. I also consider this to be one tradition that is well worth carrying.
None of this is my fault either. With stuff like that happening in the so-called real World, you would think that the contributors to this volume. Chicks might be hard-pressed to outdo it on the strange-and-wonderful scale, but they did. You'll alphabet find tales here by some repeat Offenders as well as by some first-Timers. You'll also find characters who have appeared in previous. Chicks books cheek-by-jowl with new creations. Think of it as opening a box of chocolates, only without anyone doing a bad Forrest Gump imitation. Make it a nice, big box of chocolates, while you're at it, godiva for preference, and go heavy on the cherry cordials.
a brief description of the contents of his letter: Chicks in chain mail. Yes, that's right, your eyes have not betrayed you:. Tolliver is a talented and creative maker of chain mail armor and so, inspired no doubt by the literary splendors of this august series, he crafted chain mail for five (count 'em, five) stuffed chickens. Of the toy stuffed chicken variety. Chain mail on a roast stuffed chicken is just sick. I have photographic proof of this chicken bechain-mailing in my possession. He named them after the dionne quintuplets and, in my opinion, they are darned cute. He also crafted two wonderful sets of chain mail for a pair of teddybears, leif bearicson and bearic the red and encourages us all to support our right to arm bears.
Your humble and obedient editor took full responsibility-and rightly so-for the series concept as well as for the title of the first book, but since then, although the concept has remained writings true and fixed as the pole star, the blame for the titles of individual. So let it be known, now and for all time, that the person who came up with the title for this one. Robin wayne bailey of Kansas City, missouri, a fine writer and a great American. (he also has a story in this anthology, but please note that there is no connection between coming up with a title for our fourth. Chicks book and getting a story accepted. So don't go getting any erroneous ideas. Now that we've settled that, i'd like to share with you one of the joys of Editorhood.
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Freisner, martin Harry Greenberg, kent Patterson, Elizabeth moon, harry turtledove, charles Sheffield, Steven piziks, nancy Kress, margaret Ball, william Sanders, robin wayne bailey, karen everson, leslie what, nina kiriki hoffman, Eric Flint, doranna durgin, pierce Askegren,. Introduction by Esther Friesner, tradition is a wonderful thing. It gives us a sense of history, of belonging to something greater than ourselves, but it most of all gives us someone and/or something other than ourselves to blame for the embarrassing stuff we feel compelled. Yes sir, every time you find yourself serving the at Christmas, or presentation saying, "Prithee, my comely wench, but mightst thou servest me an hotte dogge with ye workes?" at a local Ren faire, or fighting the neighborhood raccoons for property rights to a swiftly rotting. Even kids aren't that gullible. now here at the, chicks in Chainmail series of hard-hitting and culturally enriched anthologies, we've got a little tradition of our own. We call it Blaming Someone for the title of the current book.