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Introduction

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it. ~ Lloyd Alexander

Here at Tell-Tale Press, we hope to entertain you with quality stories from talented writers around the world. Stories marked with an "X" are considered extreme. This means they may include graphic violence, erotica, or both. Thank you for joining us, and happy reading!

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin

First published in New Dimensions 3, October 1973.
Posted here as assumed to be public domain.

With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The rigging of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and grey, grave master workmen, quiet, merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows' crossing flights, over the music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the great water-meadow called the Green' Fi…

The Smallest Dragonboy by Anne McCaffrey

Published 1973.
Posted here as assumed to be public domain.

Although Keevan lengthened his walking stride as far as his legs would stretch, he couldn’t quite keep up with the other candidates. He knew he would be teased again.

Just as he knew many other things that his foster mother told him he ought not to know, Keevan knew that Beterli, the most senior of the boys, set that spanking pace just to embarrass him, the smallest dragonboy. Keevan would arrive, tail fork-end of the group, breathless, chest heaving, and maybe get a stem look from the instructing wing-second.

Dragonriders, even if they were still only hopeful candidates for the glowing eggs which were hardening on the hot sands of the Hatching Ground cavern, were expected to be punctual and prepared. Sloth was not tolerated by the Weyrleader of Benden Weyr. A good record was especially important now. It was very near hatching time, when the baby dragons would crack their mottled shells, and stagger forth to choose their lifet…