Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Adventures in Unhistory

Adventures in Unhistory

Conjectures on the Factual Foundations of Several Ancient Legends

Avram Davidson

Tor Books



* Where did Sinbad Sail?
* Who Fired the Phoenix?
* The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
* The Great Rough Beast
* Postscript on Prester John
* The Secret of Hyperborea
* What Gave All Those Mammoths Cold Feet?

And many more--fictional? authoritative? fantastic? deadpan?--investigations into the real, the true…and the things that should be true


"Although the wombat is real and the dragon is not, nobody knows what a wombat looks like and everyone knows what a dragon looks like."

Not a novel, not a book of short stories, Adventures in Unhistory is a book of the fantastic--a compendium of magisterial examinations of Mermaids, Mandrakes, and Mammoths; Dragons, Werewolves, and Unicorns; the Phoenix and the Roc; about places such as Sicily, Siberia, and the Moon; about heroic, sinister, and legendary persons such as Sindbad, and Aleister Crowley, and Prester John; and--revealed at last--the Secret of Hyperborea.

The facts are here, the foundations behind rumors, legends, and the imaginations of generations of tale-spinners. But far from being dry recitals, these meditations, or lectures, or deadpan prose performances are as lively, as crazily inventive, as witty as the best fiction of the author, a writer praised by Gardner Dozois as "one of the great short story writers of our times."

Who, on the subject of Dragons, could write coldly, dispassionately, guided only by logic? Certainly not Avram Davidson. Certain facts, these facts, deserve more than recitation; they deserve flourish, verve, gusto, style--the late, great Avram Davidson's unique voice. That prose which, in the words of Peter S. Beagle's Preface to this volume, "cries out to be read aloud."

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


Praise for Adventures in Unhistory

“A king's ransom of short fiction from one of America's least-known masters of the form…These stories are as important and vital as those by Updike and Cheever.” —Des Moines Register on The Avram Davidson Treasury

“ot merely a treasury, it's a genuine treasure. Some of its pages will carry you away to strange seas and shores, others will show you the marvellous within the seemingly ordinary, and just about all of them will take your breath away. But that's what magicians do.” —The Washington Post Book World on The Avram Davidson Treasury

“Of all writers (except, perhaps, Kipling), the most likely to insert the marvellous into the everyday.” —Guy Davenport on Avram Davidso

“One of the finest short-story writers ever to use the English language.” —Robert Silverberg on Avram Davidson

“Avram Davidson may have been one of the great short story writers of our times, in or out of the fantasy/science fiction genre.” —Gardner Dozois on Avram Davidson

“Davidson was beyond question one of the unjustly neglected writers of the 20th century, an author of immense talent.” —Gene Wolfe on Avram Davidson

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Avram Davidson

Avram Davidson was born in Yonkers, New York, in 1923. After spending some time at New York University, he served in the Marines from 1942 till 1946--and again saw action during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. For two years in the early 1960s, Davidson edited The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He earned awards and accolades throughout his life for his SF writing, including the Hugo Award, the Edgar Award, the Ellery Queen Award, and three World Fantasy Awards. Davidson died in 1993.

Avram Davidson

Avram Davidson

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