Cover image for SVaHa
De Lint, Charles, 1951-
Personal Author:
First Orb edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Orb, 2000.

Physical Description:
300 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
A Tom Doherty Associates book.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



Out beyond the Enclaves, in the desolation between the cities, an Indian flyer has been downed. A chip encoded with vital secrets is missing. Only Gahzee can venture forth to find it--walking the line between the Dreamtime and the Realtime, bringing his people's ancient magic to bear on the poisoned world of tomorrow.

Bringing hope, perhaps, for a new dawn. . .

Author Notes

Charles de Lint, an extraordinarily prolific writer of fantasy works, was born in the Netherlands in 1951. Due to his father's work as a surveyor, the family lived in many different places, including Canada, Turkey, and Lebanon. De Lint was influenced by many writers in the areas of mythology, folklore, and science fiction.

De Lint originally wanted to play Celtic music. He only began to write seriously to provide an artist friend with stories to illustrate. The combination of the success of his work, The Fane of the Grey Rose (which he later developed into the novel The Harp of the Grey Rose), the loss of his job in a record store, and the support of his wife, Mary Ann, helped encourage de Lint to pursue writing fulltime. After selling three novels in one year, his career soared and he has become a most successful fantasy writer.

De Lint's works include novels, novellas, short stories, chapbooks, and verse. He also publishes under the pseudonyms Wendelessen, Henri Cuiscard, and Jan Penalurick. He has received many awards, including the 2000 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection for Moonlight and Vines, the Ontario Library Association's White Pine Award, as well as the Great Lakes Great Books Award for his young adult novel The Blue Girl. His novel Widdershins won first place, Editors' Picks: Top 10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2006. In 1988 he won Canadian SF/Fantasy Award, the Casper, now known as the Aurora for his novel Jack, the Giant Killer. Also, de Lint has been a judge for the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award and the Bram Stoker Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Another good book by one of the most original fantasy writers currently working. About a century in the future, after a variety of catastrophes, the U.S. is ruled by foreign corporations except for the enclaves of the native Americans, who are maintained by a unique technology. A record microchip used by this technology is stolen by the corporations and must be tracked down. De Lint tells a brisk tale of the search, with effective use of the multiple viewpoint. Recommended for any collection where the author has an audience. -- Roland Green



ONE 1 Rattle and drum. It was beautiful music. Deer hoof rattles and cedar-shelled water drums. The clatter of bird quills against the skins of the hoop band drums. Speaking to the animiki , the grandfather thunders. The voices of the People raised in song. " Midewewigun, n'gaganoodumaugonaun ," they sang. The drums speak for us. In the clear night skies, the animiki rumbled. Giwitaweidang, the scout thunder that goes all around the sky. Andjibnes, the renewer of power. " Mino-dae aeshowishinaung ," the People sang. " Tchi minoinaudiziwinaungaen ." Fill our spirits with good; upright then may be our lives. The underpinning rhythm of the drums spoke to the feet of the dancers, to the shaking rattles in their hands, the stamping of their heels. A Parting Dance. Alone in the center, one man sat, his water drum speaking under the palms of his hands. " N'midewewigunim, manitouwiyauwih ," he sang. Upon my drum bestow the mystery. " K'neekaunissinaun, ani-maudjauh ," the People replied. Our brother, he is leaving. Not to walk the Path of Souls, but to walk in the Outer Lands. " K'neekaunissinaun, zunugut ae-nummook ." Our brother, difficult is the road. Alone he drummed by the post of a living green tree that had been cut and then erected in the center of the glade. A great fire burned beside it. " K'neekaunissinaun, kego binuh-kummeekaen ," the People sang. Our brother, do not stumble. They sang to him, of the path he would take, as though he had died, as though he would never return during this turn of the world's wheel. In some ways, it was true, for to walk the Outer Lands meant one could not return, whether one lived or one died. To the tribe, it would be as though he died. So they sang to him and let their drums speak to the thunders, asking the grandfathers to bestow their medicine on him to give him strength on his journey. He acknowledged the gift. " Kikinowautchi-beedaudae ," he sang. It shall be written. Then he set his water drum aside and rose to dance. He offered his hand to the oldest of the women present. Maudji-Geezhigquae--Moving Sky Woman. His uncle's mother. In conducting her to the dance, through the joining of the hands of young and old, he sought to gain endurance from her long life. It was also the hand of man espousing that of woman, the giver of life. Other women then rose and danced. Old men joined, followed finally by the very young. The water drums continued to speak. The animiki replied. The bird quills on the hoop band drums and the rattles in the hands of the dancers added a high counterpoint rhythm. Now they represented a madjimadzuin , a moving line, an earthly Milky Way connecting those who have gone before with those who follow. The old singers often told of the Milky Way stars that rode the skies at night, how they were a part of an enormous bucket-handle that held the earth in place. If ever it broke, the world would come to an end. So it was with the chain of madjimadzuin . When it broke, a clan ended. The People danced that madjimadzuin now to assure their departing brother that the tribe would continue, that it would hold a place for him. They would meet again in the west, across the river that separates Epanggishimuk, the Land of Souls, from the world of the living. They would meet again in that spirit realm joined only to this world by meekunnaug , the Path of Souls. He would be reborn from Epanggishimuk, into the tribe once more. The madjimadzuin would remain unbroken. * * * Later he stood in the Lodge of Medicine with a medé of his totem, Manitouwaub--Sees Like a Spirit. The medés ' computers hummed around them, but no other sound carried in the broad room. He glanced at the wall mural depicting Negik--the otter totem, first patron of the Medewewin. The bright primary colors of the mural relaxed the tension in his shoulders. He let his gaze travel left from Negik to where his own totem gazed back at him from a corner of the mural, Makinak--the turtle. He inclined his head slightly, then bore his knapsack from the Lodge, Manitouwaub walking at his side, neither of them speaking as they traveled to the borders of the Enclave. There they were met by their chief, Zhawano-Geezhig--Blue Sky. The borders of the Enclave rose misty before them, an opaque gaseous wall that stood as high as the eye could see, and higher. It had no true physical shape as might be measured by the eye, yet it was a more effective wall than any other barrier yet devised by men, in or out of the Enclaves. Manitouwaub took his spirit pipe from his bandolier and the three men shared its sacred smoke. " Saemauh waussaeyaukaugae ," Zhawano-Geezhig said to him. Tobacco will clear the cloud. He nodded, understanding. Even in the Outer World, the manitou would be with him. Manitouwaub gave him the pipe which he stowed away in his knapsack. " Tci-manaudjimikooyaun, n'd'aupinumoon ," he said to the medé . I am honored to receive your gift. Manitouwaub spoke no word, merely embraced him. All words between them had been spoken before. The time for instruction had passed. Now was a time for ritual only, to evoke the sacred medicine of the manitou for his task. He turned then. An engineer appeared at his elbow to show him the way through the barrier--a door-shaped grayness that appeared in the opaque mists, controlled by a miniaturized instrument that the engineer held in his hand. Just as he was passing through, he heard Zhawano-Geezhig say softly, " Auzhigo n'waubumauh gawissaet ." Already I see him fall. Then he was through the barrier, stepping from the clean night air of the Enclave of the People into the poisoned world of the Outer Lands. * * * Later still, he stood on the roof of a deserted tenement building, looking not at the endless sprawl of the Toronto-Quebec Corridor that ran for a hundred klicks like a river of broken buildings and streets from the southwest to the northeast, nor at the smog-yellow skies that hid the stars and bright light of the moon above him, but back along the path he had taken, back to where the pale mist of the Enclave's borders rose ghostlike at the edge of the corridor where the northward march of the ruined structures ended. I will remember, he thought. Though I never return, I will remember. He was Gahzee Animiki-Waewidum of the Turtle totem whose home had once been the Anishnabeg/Huron Enclave of Kawarthas--Place of Bright Waters and Happy Lands. No matter where he fared, or what the people of these Outer Lands did to him, that could never be taken away. In the days to come, memory might comfort. But not now. What was lost was still too fresh. Loneliness cut too deeply. The reality of the Outer Lands was too intense, all around him. Thunder sounded in the distance. Bodreudang, the approaching thunder. A storm was coming. Not the clean rain of the Enclave, but the acid rain of the Outer Lands. Still it was good to hear one of the grandfathers in this place, good to know that manitou still walked its hills and valleys where only the ruins of buildings and the buckling concrete of forgotten streets grew now. Suddenly he smiled, then threw back his head and laughed. He was still Gahzee Animiki-Waewidum--Swift Speaks with Thunder. No longer simply a medé of the People, but their animkwan now as well. A dog-scout for his tribe in the Outer Lands. He could go forth doleful, with his head hanging, like a wolf with its tail between its legs, or he could go as one of the People, cheerful in adversity, accepting the challenge for what it was. " Inaendaugwut ," he murmured. It is permitted, meaning that while events were caused by forces outside of a man, the exercise of personal talents and prerogatives were predicted by a man himself. This was not exile into which he fared. Rather the manitou had steered him into an opportunity to grow in spirit and in accordance with the world. Shouldering his pack, he made his way back down the treacherous steps of the building's inner stairwell and began his journey, heading northeast along the TOPQ Corridor. When the rains finally came, he ducked into the shelter of a nearby building, miles distant from where he had first heard the thunder. Legs crossed, he sat in its doorway and watched the acidic rains hiss and splatter on the stones outside the door. Copyright (c) 1989 by Charles de Lint Excerpted from Svaha by Charles De Lint All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.