About the Carousel Books

So, I’ve had some Questions about the Carousel books (by Sharon Lee) and, more particularly, about the Archers Beach chapbooks.  Follows an attempt to bring everybody up to speed.

NOTE:  There are links embedded for the titles discussed.

In 2010, Baen Books published Carousel Tides, a small-town contemporary fantasy set in the fictional town of Archers Beach, Maine.  Tides was supposed to have been a one-off, but — I blame my brain, which eventually produced two more books in the series, Carousel Sun, and Carousel Seas, published by Baen in 2014 and 2015.

My brain also obligingly produced some short stories in the Archers Beach universe, which I eventually collected into three chapbooks.

Surfside, published in 2013, contained short story “Emancipated Child,” dealing with the town of Surfside, just next door to Archers Beach, which had long been without a Guardian; and very short story “How Nathan Archer Came to be a Prince in the Land of the Flowers (by Kate Archer as told to Sharon Lee)” dealing with — well.  What it says.

The Gift of Magic was published in 2015, collecting two stories that had originally been published on Baen.com, “The Gift of Music,” and “The night don’t seem so lonely.”  The first story talks about the healing power of music, in 1920s Archers Beach.  The second story is set in 1969, and deals with finding your home and your heart-family.  It offended some delicate sensibilities when it was published, so, yanno:  Good on you, Past Me.

Spell Bound was published in 2016.  It collected two longish stories first published on Splinter Universe:  “Will-o’-the-Wisp,” and “The Wolf’s Bride.”  The first story again has to do with families of the heart, as well as the nature of truth.  “Bride” is set in Sempeki, the Land of the Flowers, and it’s the origin story of Cael the Wolf, who appears in the novels.

Coming up, on February 20 (no link yet, because it’s still a-building) is Doors Into Change, which includes three short stories:  “The Road to Pomona’s,” “The Vestals of Midnight,” and “Wolf in the Wind.”  “Pomona” was first published on Splinter Universe, and then collected in Horror for the Throne.  It’s a precursor to Archers Beach, dealing with the danger of being able to see into the wyrd.  “Midnight,” first appeared in Release the Virgins, and pits Kate Archer (the lead of the novels, and Guardian of Archers Beach) against the power that inhabits what is possibly the strangest corner of her land.  “Wolf” is a slice of life from Archers Beach, where we find that some folks just aren’t meant to settle down.  The introductory chapters were posted on Splinter Universe; the chapbook includes the complete novelette.

Now, the Carousel books did not sell all that well, but they don’t seem to be as much of a surprise to people as the chapbooks, which sold even less well.  I hope that the above clarifies matters for everyone.


4 thoughts on “About the Carousel Books”

  1. Thank you for explaining, and linking all of the chapbooks, making it easy for us to find them.
    Though I’d read the Baen frontpage stories there, I hadn’t realised they and several more new-to-me stories were published in these chapbook collections. I’ve now corrected my oversight and added them to my library. Thank you for my upcoming reading pleasure!

  2. Sharon:

    I love the Carousel stories, I re-listen to them at least annually (if not more). I’m always a sucker for another one!

    Thanks in advance!


  3. This comment doesn’t belong here, it belongs back on January 13. My tardiness excuse: roof replacement due to bad hail damage. The work included sounds of a hundred T-Rex’s doing an energetic can-can overhead. Southwest USA drought was responsible for 3 month delay in discovery of the damage as well as nice dry weather for roof work. Apology for the digress. The January 13 entry includes this (paraphrased here):

    “The Liaden series is a delight . . . I could not put them down, and now like any fan I am impatiently awaiting more.” —Melisa Michaels, author of Cold Iron and Sister to the Rain

    I agree. While I regularly peruse various sources looking for sci-fi NOT full of alien/human slaughter apocalypse & similar contrived horrors I’m not very successful tho I much enjoyed reading Andy Weir’s books plus multiple rereads of Lee&Miller books & stories. I’d appreciate recommendations.

  4. Yeah, I haven’t been reading too much SF lately, as you can see from my Books Read lists.

    I imagine you’ve read CJ Cherryh FOREIGNER series — 30+ books, no waiting! — and her Chanur books. I wonder if a search on “cozy SF” might help you. You won’t find the Liaden books in such a search, but you should filter out the GrimDark.

    Also, this is a good question to put to the folks on our Facebook groups, if you happen to belong to any of them.

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