Born to Exile

Born to Exile is a fantasy novel by author Phyllis Eisenstein, the first of her two Alaric novels. It was originally published in 1978 by longtime U. S. specialty press Arkham House in a first edition trade hardcover of 4,148 copies; it has since been published in several mass-market paperback editions and again in hardcover in the UK. Portions of the novel were first serialized as individual shorter works through The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. (The second novel in the series, In The Red Lord's Reach, was first published in 1989 as a mass-market paperback from Signet Books and as a 1992 UK hardcover from Grafton, having been first serialized in 1988 as three monthly installments in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.)

Born to Exile
Born to exile
Dust-jacket illustration by Stephen E. Fabian for Born to Exile
AuthorPhyllis Eisenstein
IllustratorStephen E. Fabian
Cover artistStephen E. Fabian
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction novel, Fantasy novel
PublisherArkham House
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback)
Pages202 pp
LC ClassPZ7.E3468 Bo

Plot summary

Born to Exile concerns the adventures of a wandering minstrel called Alaric, who possesses the otherwise unknown ability to teleport. The novel details his journey to uncover the secrets of his own past and the true nature of his mysterious ability.

For eight weary months, Alaric the minstrel trudged the lonely road of exile. Born with preternatural powers, the infant Alaric had been found by foster parents abandoned on a hillside, newborn and naked, with a bloody, severed hand clutching his ankles. Older and with those powers on full display, he suddenly found himself rejected by his foster family, branded a witch-child. Alaric now wanders the world as a solitary wayfarer, with a knapsack, a few clothes, and a lute his only possessions.

On this journey, he encounters the craggy towers and shining spires of a distant castle, like some gleaming vision in one of his songs. Within, Alaric is accepted as court minstrel but becomes embroiled in palace intrigue that involves Medron, the court magician, and the King's daughter, Princess Solinde. Subsequently, he journey's to the sinister Inn of the Black Swan and then to a superstition-ensorcelled village. There, Alaric is restored to his supernatural antecedents, known as the Lords of All Power.

Publishing history

  • New York: Dell Books, first US mass-market paperback edition, 1980.
  • New York:Del Rey Books, (mass-market reprint) 1981.
  • New York: New American Library, (mass-market reprint) 1989.
  • London: Grafton, UK hardcover First Edition, 1992.


  • Jaffery, Sheldon (1989). The Arkham House Companion. Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, Inc. pp. 120–121. ISBN 1-55742-005-X.
  • Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. pp. 52–53.
  • Joshi, S.T. (1999). Sixty Years of Arkham House: A History and Bibliography. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. p. 144. ISBN 0-87054-176-5.
  • Nielsen, Leon (2004). Arkham House Books: A Collector's Guide. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 118. ISBN 0-7864-1785-4.

External links

1978 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1978.

Arkham House

Arkham House is an American publishing house specializing in weird fiction. It was founded in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 1939 by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei to preserve in hardcover the best fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. The company's name is derived from Lovecraft's fictional New England city, Arkham. Arkham House editions are noted for the quality of their printing and binding. The colophon for Arkham House was designed by Frank Utpatel.

Balrog Award

The Balrog Awards were a set of awards given annually from 1979 to 1985 for the best works and achievements of speculative fiction in the previous year. The awards were named after the balrog, a fictional creature from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. The awards were originally announced by editor Jonathan Bacon in Issue #15 of Fantasy Crossroads and presented at the Fool-Con II convention on April Fool's Day, 1979 at Johnson County Community College, Kansas. The awards were never taken seriously and are often referred to, tongue-in-cheek, as the "coveted Balrog Awards".


A fix-up (or fixup) is a novel created from several short fiction stories that may or may not have been initially related or previously published. The stories may be edited for consistency, and sometimes new connecting material, such as a frame story or other interstitial narration, is written for the new work. The term was coined by the science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, who published several fix-ups of his own, including The Voyage of the Space Beagle, but the practice (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction. The use of the term in science fiction criticism was popularised by the first (1979) edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by Peter Nicholls, which credited Van Vogt with the creation of the term.

The name comes from the modifications that the author needs to make in the original texts to make them fit together as though they were a novel. Foreshadowing of events from the later stories may be jammed into an early chapter of the fix-up, and character development may be interleaved throughout the book. Contradictions and inconsistencies between episodes are usually worked out.

Some fix-ups in their final form are more of a short story cycle or composite novel rather than a traditional novel with a single main plotline. Examples are Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Isaac Asimov's I, Robot, both of which read as a series of short stories which may share plot threads and characters but which still act as self-contained stories. By contrast, van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher is structured like a continuous novel although it incorporates material from three previous Van Vogt short stories.

Fix-ups became an accepted practice in American publishing during the 1950s, when science fiction and fantasy—once published primarily in magazines—began appearing increasingly in book form. Large book publishers like Doubleday and Simon & Schuster entered the market, greatly increasing demand for fiction. Authors created new manuscripts from old stories to sell to publishers. Algis Budrys in 1965 described fixups as a consequence of the lack of good supply during the "bad years for quality" of the mid-1950s, although citing The Martian Chronicles and Clifford D. Simak's City as among exceptions.

Jumper (novel)

Jumper is a 1992 science fiction novel by Steven Gould. The novel was published in mass market paperback in October 1993 and re-released in February 2008 to coincide with the release of the film adaptation. It tells the story of David, a teenager who escapes an abusive household using his ability to teleport. As he tries to make his way in the world, he searches for his mother (who left when he was a child), develops a relationship with a woman from whom he keeps his ability secret, and is eventually brought into conflict with several antagonists.

List of fantasy authors

This is a list of fantasy authors, authors known for writing works of fantasy, fantasy literature, or related genres of magic realism, horror fiction, science fantasy. Many of the authors are known for work outside the fantasy genres.


M=SF is a series of science fiction and fantasy novels published by the Dutch publisher Meulenhoff. The series started in 1967. It continued at the very least until 2013, when the number of books published per year was already reduced. Most titles in the series are translations from English language works, others are original Dutch language novels.

Phyllis Eisenstein

Phyllis Eisenstein (born February 2, 1946) is an American author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels whose work has been nominated for both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. She is an old friend of author George R. R. Martin and convinced him to include dragons in his international best-selling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Martin then dedicated the third novel in the series, A Storm of Swords, to Eisenstein.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.