Megan Lindholm (Wizard of the Pigeons) writes tightly constructed SF and fantasy with a distinctly contemporary feel. Robin Hobb (Assassin’s Quest) writes sprawling, multi-volume fantasies set in imaginary realms. These two writers, apparently so different, are, of course, the same person, each reflecting an aspect of a single multifaceted imagination.
Inheritance gathers the best of Hobb and Lindholm’s shorter fiction into one irreplaceable volume containing ten stories and novellas (seven by Lindholm, three by Hobb), together with a revealing introduction and extensive, highly readable story notes. The Lindholm section leads off with the Hugo and Nebula-nominated novella ‘A Touch of Lavender,’ a powerful account of love, music, poverty, and addiction set against an extended encounter between human and alien societies. Other memorable entries include ‘Cut,’ a reflection on the complex consequences of freedom, and the newly published ‘Drum Machine,’ an equally absorbing meditation on the chaotic nature of the creative impulse. Two of Robin Hobb’s contributions revisit the world of her popular Live Traders series. ‘Homecoming’ enlarges the earlier history of those novels through the journal entries of Lady Carillion Carrock, while ‘The Inheritance’ concerns a disenfranchised young woman who comes to understand the true nature of her grandmother’s legacy. And in ‘Cat’s Meat,’ a long and wonderful story written expressly for this collection, an embattled single mother reclaims her life with the help of a gifted—and utterly ruthless—cat.