For centuries the most powerful technology left on a derelict Earth has been hidden in a remote part of old New Mexico. Each year (states the Sorcerer Exeter’s brutal New Rules) the Luckiest sixteener of the tiny, pacifist IsoTown of St. Coriander must Quest for the hidden last Nevergate...or die trying.

In 2534, Glendyl Fenderwell is the new Luckiest. Exactly like her 249 Luckiest predecessors, Glendyl is forced to walk alone into the unknown reaches of the Tusas Mountains with only a snippy, smartass backpack for companionship.

She soon finds herself trapped between two ancient enemies in a bitter war that never quite ended. She quickly – and painfully – discovers that one side wants her dead. But Glendyl is hard to kill…and she has other things to worry about, like whatever is hidden in her geneset that’s turning her into someone else. Will this biological time bomb transform her into the Wildcard predicted centuries ago, or just the latest dead Quester?

The answers to these and many other questions are in Book One…and you won't even have to read the footnotes* [see bottom of the page] to discover them.


AWARDS (Chronicler's Edition)

Book of the Year 2002ForeWord Magazine's first place gold winner for science fiction.

Best Books of 2002 — Made January Magazine's list of their top 92 books across all genres. One of six picks in the science fiction/fantasy genre.

REVIEWS (Chronicler's Edition)

"Highly imaginative." Publishers Weekly

"The Luck of Madonna 13 lives up to every bit of its advance praise. I can't wait to read the Second Chronicle of the Last Nevergate...a series that is destined for greatness. Ellison is a writer on a par with Paul Di Filippo, Steve Aylett, or Bruce Sterling, full of witty satire and cultural commentary. His first novel is innovative and inimitable, and his writing style displays an amazingly well-honed edge for a new writer." – Gabe Chouinard, January Magazine

"Conflict abounds, characters are larger than life, and the technology projections are superb. This is sci fi at its best. This will be a classic work on the scale of the Foundation [Isaac Asimov] or Dorsai [Gordon R. Dickson] series. We gave it our highest five hearts rating." – Bob Spear, Heartland Reviews

"The Luck of Madonna 13 is quite wonderful. E.T. Ellison has brought us a fully realized future world with humor and more than a little understanding of human nature. His characters are superbly executed. His plot winds up and unwinds in completely believable ways. And, most important in a work that is intended to be the first installment in an ongoing saga, The Luck of Madonna 13 manages to satisfy and leave you wanting more. Ellison's cheerfully skewed wackiness puts the reader in mind of early Terry Pratchett. And, like Pratchett, there is some science here but mostly fantasy of an original enough nature that it begs for its own genre." – Lincoln Cho, January Magazine

"Ellison is a hugely inventive storyteller with a wry sense of humor, a satirical bent that verges on Swiftian, a gift for evocative wordcraft and a talent for making wacky and bizarre ideas completely believable. The Luck of Madonna 13 is a genre-spanning tale that can be enjoyed at multiple levels by audiences of vastly different ages and tastes." – Gloria Mandeville, The Mountain Signal

"This is a very ambitious first novel, which signals the arrival of a new force on the fantasy and science fiction scene. What a story! The Luck of Madonna 13 is a fun read and an extremely complex yet consistent tapestry; I anxiously await the next panel. So, Mr. Ellison, get to work on that sequel!" – Chuck Gregory, Blue Ear

"Here's something that flew in well off the radar that deserves a lot more attention than [the] latest Tolkien/Rowling mishmash. A rip-roaring good tale, a story for all ages. Better put, this is a story for all those people hip enough to 'get it'." – David Soyka, Locus Online

"An impressive, sprawling book that manages to mix the best of fantasy and science fiction. Ellison's speculation on future pop culture is some of the most thought-out and well presented I've seen; the world-building here is top-notch. The sociological satire is both funny and eminently believable, as are his inventions." – Lynn Nicole Louis, SFReader

* * * * * * * * * *

*An apology for footnotes (from the Chronicler's Note in the Chronicler's Edition)

Footnotes are damnable things. They interrupt the steady drip of typographic grayness. They threaten the flow of narrative with their tiny, dark urgencies. Their mere presence has more raw nagging power than a forty-pound toothache. They’re bad enough in nonfiction, but inexcusable in a work of imagination that’s unfettered by documentational conventions. Or so I thought before I began this Chronicle.

The Luck of Madonna 13 contains a number of footnotes: bastard stepchildren who couldn’t find a comfortable resting place in the Genesis, the narrative or the Chronicler’s Site [Ed. Note: The material from the former Chronicler's Site,, has been incorporated into The Chronicler's Compendium]. So they sit patiently on their tight little shelves at the bottom of certain pages and wait for your eyes to fall on them. They know you’ll probably pass them by, but still they hope. Perhaps they were unfairly encouraged by the philosopher George Santayana, who once wrote: “There are books in which the footnotes, or the comments scrawled by some reader’s hand in the margin, are more interesting than the text. The world is one of these books.” ~ ETE









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