Trio of Sorcery

Mercedes Lackey

Tor Books

TRIO OF SORCERY (Chapter One)

This is the first Diana Tregarde story in decades. And in a sense this is the first Diana Tregarde story, period.

It takes place in the early 1970s and it will be hard for anyone younger than thirty to realize what a very different world that was. Computers were the size of buildings. We were still putting men on the moon, but there is more computing power in a common iPhone than there was at all of Cape Kennedy. Watergate was about to happen. Nixon hadn’t yet resigned. U.S. soldiers were still fighting and dying in Vietnam. There was no such thing as being “openly gay.” There also was no such thing as HIV.

Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Brian Jones were all recently dead of various self-indulgences, but John Lennon was still alive.

The only time you saw windmills was on a farm or in Holland.

Gas was twenty-five cents a gallon, threatening to go up to thirty.

No one had ever heard of, much less seen, a Japanese manga.

Britney Spears wasn’t even born. Neither was Leonardo DiCaprio.

Stand-up comedians only performed in nightclubs with bad reputations, or in Las Vegas. No one would consider going out for a night of comedy.

There was no MTV. Anytime there was a rock-themed television program, it was an event. There was barely cable TV. Most people made do with three channels and what was not yet called PBS. When you had cable TV, you had a whole twelve channels!

“Portable” music was via a transistor radio.

No one had ever heard of rap. And if anyone had heard a rap song, they would have considered it a quaint offshoot of beat poetry, which was so, so 1950s.

You bought most of your reading material at the drugstore from revolving racks, or digest-size monthly fiction magazines in a small magazine rack, unless you were really lucky and were in a town big enough to actually have a bookstore.

Research meant going to the library and looking things up in books.

So as you read this, if you find yourself thinking, “Well, why didn’t they just—” the answer is probably, “Because they didn’t have it then.”

Enjoy.

TRIO OF SORCERY Copyright © 2010 by Mercedes Lackey