Legends 2:
 New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy

Edited by Robert Silverberg


The Books

Legends II

Edited by Robert Silverberg

Pub: Voyager, ISBN: 0-00-715434-8, 1 September 2003,
Pages: 656, Type: Hardcover, Cover by Geoff Taylor.

Original anthology of 11 short novels by modern masters of fantasy, set in their most popular series. The authors are Brooks, Card, Feist, Gabaldon, Gaiman, Haydon, Hobb, Martin, McCaffrey, Williams, and Silverberg himself.

Robert Silverberg
Robert Silverberg
Robin Hobb
Robert Silverberg

George R. R. Martin
Robert Silverberg
Orson Scott Card
Robert Silverberg
Diana Gabaldon
Robert Silverberg
Robert Silverberg
Robert Silverberg
Tad Williams
Robert Silverberg
Anne McCaffrey
Robert Silverberg
Raymond Feist
Robert Silverberg
Elizabeth Haydon
Robert Silverberg
Neil Gaiman
Robert Silverberg
Terry Brooks

   Realm of the Elderlings
   Homecoming [Elderlings]
   A Song of Ice and Fire
   The Sworn Sword [Song of Ice and Fire]
   Tales of Alvin Maker
   The Yazoo Queen [Alvin Maker]
   Lord John and the Succubus
   Lord John and the Succubus [Outworlder]
   The Book of Changes [Majipoor]
   The Happiest Dead Boy in the World [Otherland]    
   Beyond Between [Pern]
   The Riftwar
   The Messenger [Riftwar]
   The Symphony of Ages
   Threshold [Symphony]
   American Gods
   The Monarch of the Glen [American Gods]
   Indomitable [Shannara]



Covers of Book

Voyager Hardcover     Del Rey Hardcover

Legends II:
Eleven New Works
by The Masters of Modern Fantasy

Edited by Robert Silverberg

656 pages (01 September, 2003)
Voyager; ISBN: 0007154348


Legends II:
New Short Novels
by The Masters of Modern Fantasy

Edited by Robert Silverberg

656 pages (01 December, 2003)
Del Rey; ISBN: 0345456440


Voyager Paperback     Random House Audio

Legends II:
Eleven New Works
by The Masters of Modern Fantasy

Edited by Robert Silverberg

784 pages (26 July, 2004)
Voyager; ISBN: 0007154364


Legends II:
New Short Novels
by the Masters of Modern Fantasy

Volume One: Unabridged Selection

Audio Cassette
Unabridged Edition (30 December, 2003)
Random House; ISBN: 0739310828

Legends II

Edited by Robert Silverberg

400 pages (02 February, 2004)
Voyager; ISBN: 0007154356


Legends II

Edited by Robert Silverberg

656 pages (01 December, 2003)
Ballantine Books; ISBN: 0345470753


Legends II
Edited by Robert Silverberg

Microsoft Reader 723K (December 2003)
Ballantine; ISBN: B0001A0LVC


Legends II
Edited by Robert Silverberg

Adobe Reader 1879K (December 2003)
Ballantine; ISBN: B0001A0LV2

Hardcover Synopsis

All in one book, eleven breathtaking new tales from the most celebrated writers of modern fantasy fiction. Each story is set in the unique universe that brought its author world-wide success and acclaim. A new tale from the Riftwar from Raymond E. Feist A new Wheel of Time story by Robert Jordan A new story in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin A new tale from the world of the Farseers by Robin Hobb A new Pern story from Anne McCaffrey A new Majipoor story by Robert Silverberg A new tale in the world of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams A new Sandman story from Neil Gaiman A new Shanara story by Terry Brooks A new tale in the world of Tales of Alvin Maker by Orson Scott Card A new Rhapsody story from Elizabeth Haydon.

Paperback Synopsis

From the most celebrated writers of modern fantasy fiction, the most fabulous worlds ever created. Eleven breathtaking new short novels, each set in the unique universe that brought its author world-wide acclaim, are here gathered together in one outstanding volume. A new tale from the Riftwar from Raymond E. Feist A new Outlander story by Diana Gabaldon A new story in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin A new tale from the Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb A new Pern story from Anne McCaffrey A new Majipoor story by Robert Silverberg A new tale in the Otherworld by Tad Williams A new American Gods story from Neil Gaiman A new Shanara story by Terry Brooks A new tale in the world of Tales of Alvin Maker by Orson Scott Card A new Rhapsody story from Elizabeth Haydon 

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brimming with action and energy, wit and charm, pathos and joy, Silverberg's anthology of short novels from 11 masters of fantasy, six of whom contributed to the original Legends (1998), provides a dazzling display of the genre's variety and versatility. Otherland fans will welcome Tad Williams's The Happiest Dead Boy in the World as a chance to visit with an old friend they never thought to see again. George R.R. Martin's The Sworn Sword, which continues the story of Dunk and Egg that he began in the first Legends, will also please his readers. All the returning authors more than live up to their reputations, except for Anne McCaffrey, whose Beyond Between, an ill-conceived explanation of what happens when a dragon fails to return from between, strikes the book's lone sour note. Yet for all the returnees' star power, it's the new authors who truly shine here. Elizabeth Haydon's entry, Threshold, follows five doomed friends left to guard the remnants of a civilization about to be destroyed in a cataclysm after most of the populace has already fled to a safe haven: a stunning tale of courage and honor, duty and friendship, it may be the book's best entry. Robin Hobb's Homecoming, the story of the settlement of the Rain Wild River and one woman's journey to independence, is the other contender. Terry Brooks, Diana Gabaldon, Raymond E. Feist, Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman and Silverberg round out the all-star cast.

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Many contributors to Legends (1998), Silverberg's first collection of short(er) stories set in the worlds of their authors' successful fantasy series, return in the follow-up. Anne McCaffrey offers a freestanding tale of Pern; Raymond E. Feist, a tale from the middle of his Riftwar saga; George R. R. Martin, a direct successor to his Legends contribution about a squire on the way to knighthood and his peculiar boy sidekick; editor Silverberg, another Majipoor story; and Orson Scott Card, a yarn in which Alvin Maker meets some of the Alamo's destined defenders. Splash first timers include romantic historical fantasist Diana Gabaldon, of Outlander fame, with an episode in her Lord John Grey series; Neil Gaiman, with a story starring Shadow, hero of his award-winning American Gods (2001) and named after Sir Edwin Landseer's famous painting Monarch of the Glen; and Robin Hobb, whose creepy, Liveship Traders-related "Homecoming" (think H. P. Lovecraft rewriting The Swiss Family Robinson) opens this book and sets the bar of quality extremely high for what follows. Ray Olson

Copyright © American Library Association.

Book Description

Fantasy fans, rejoice! Seven years after writer and editor Robert Silverberg made publishing history with Legends, his acclaimed anthology of original short novels by some of the greatest writers in fantasy fiction, the long-awaited second volume is here. Legends II picks up where its illustrious predecessor left off. All of the bestselling writers represented in Legends II return to the special universe of the imagination that its author has made famous throughout the world. Whether set before or after events already recounted elsewhere, whether featuring beloved characters or compelling new creations, these masterful short novels are both mesmerizing stand-alones–perfect introductions to the work of their authors–and indispensable additions to the epics on which they are based. Beyond any doubt, Legends II is the fantasy event of the season.

Robin Hobb returns to the Realm of the Elderlings with “Homecoming”, a powerful tale in which exiles sent to colonize the Cursed Shores find themselves sinking into an intoxicating but deadly dream ... or is it a memory?

George R. R. Martin continues the adventures of Dunk, a young hedge knight, and his unusual squire, Egg, in “The Sworn Sword”, set a generation before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Orson Scott Card tells a tale of Alvin Maker and the mighty Mississippi, featuring a couple of ne’er-do-wells named Jim Bowie and Abe Lincoln, in “The Yazoo Queen”.

Diane Gabaldon turns to an important character from her Outlander saga — Lord John Grey — in “Lord John and the Succubus”, a supernatural thriller set in the early days of the Seven Years War.

Robert Silverberg spins an enthralling tale of Majipoor’s early history — and remote future — as seen through the eyes of a dilettantish poet who discovers an unexpected destiny in “The Book of Changes”.

Tad Williams explores the strange afterlife of Orlando Gardiner, from his Otherland saga, in “The Happiest Dead Boy in the World”.

Anne McCaffrey shines a light into the most mysterious and wondrous of all places on Pern in the heartwarming “Beyond Between”.

Raymond Feist turns from the great battles of the Riftwar to the story of one soldier, a young man about to embark on the ride of his life, in “The Messenger”.

Elizabeth Haydon tells of the destruction of Serendair and the fate of its last defenders in “Threshold”, set at the end of the Third Age of her Symphony of Ages series.

Neil Gaiman gives us a glimpse into what befalls the man called Shadow after the events of his Hugo Award–winning novel American Gods in “The Monarch of the Glen”.

Terry Brooks adds an exciting epilogue to The Wishsong of Shannara in “Indomitable”, the tale of Jair Ohmsford’s desperate quest to complete the destruction of the evil Ildatch ... armed only with the magic of illusion.

About the Author

Robert Silverberg is the winner of five Hugo and five Nebula awards for his novels and short fiction. His work began appearing during the 1950s; he has received high acclaim for, among many others, such novels as Lord Valentine's Castle (the first in the Majipoor series), Tower of Glass, Dying Inside, and Nightwings.

Robert Silverberg has won five Nebula Awards, four Hugo Awards, and the prestigious Prix Apollo. He is the author of more than one hundred science fiction and fantasy novels -- including the best-selling Lord Valentine trilogy and the classics Dying Inside and A Time of Changes -- and more than sixty nonfiction works. Among the sixty-plus anthologies he has edited are Legends and Far Horizons, which contain original short stories set in the most popular universe of Robert Jordan, Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, Orson Scott Card, and virtually every other bestselling fantasy and SF writer today. Mr. Silverberg's Majipoor Cycle, set on perhaps the grandest and greatest world ever imagined, is considered one of the jewels in the crown of speculative fiction.


A great collection for the most part, September 4, 2003
Reviewer: Archdigital from London

How wonderful again to see the Legends collection, with a few new names this time. Though I really missed Stephen King's DARK TOWER offering, the addition of Elizabeth Haydon to the roster more than made up for it. Her entry, THRESHOLD, was dark and unapologetically depressing, and yet uplifting at the same time. Likewise Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, George R R Martin, Tad Williams and, to my surprise, Orson Scott Card, turned in novellas that made me want to go back and reread all their series.

On the other hand, I could have happily lived without the offerings of Terry Brooks, Raymond Feist, and Robert Silverberg, which all were fairly dull [or in Brooks' case, poorly written.] Anne McCaffrey should have been passed over after her awful turn in the first anthology, and Diana Gabaldon has no place in this field, let alone with this group. At least we were spared another piece of tripe by Terry Goodkind, whose turn in the last book was dreadful.

On balance, it's a good book with moments of greatness and sheer drivel, but the greatness makes it almost worth the price.

Anthology of Interest, October 31, 2003
Reviewer: DK Stevens from Barming, Kent United Kingdom

I am already a big fan of Tad Williams, George RR Martin and Neil Gaiman so was delighted to find an anthology containing new stories by them. All three were fantastic - the stand out had to be Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman though. A fantastic follow on from American Gods - he relocates the action to Scotland with the same premise - the old gods and monsters still live amongst us. A real thinker - and really develops the character of Shadow. Anyone who loved American Gods has to read this story.

The George R R Martin story again mocks the conventions of fantasy writing - a friend of mine is convinced that the moment when Dunk cuts the red widow's braid of is a direct swipe at Robert Jordan! - and constantly challenges and changes our perspective. What I like about the Song of Ice and Fire world - unlike with other much less talented fantasy writers (ahem David eddings ahem) is that it is not a fight between good and evil - morality is unclear as the backdrop of the Backfyre Rebellion proves. Who would have been the better king Daeron or Daemon Blackfyre? The warrior or the thinker? Also the plucky don't win in the face of adversity, the grioup of villagers Dunk trains up remain pitiful and never get to fight. And I really hope in a future Dunk and Egg tale we get to meet Lord Bloodraven.

Tad Williams also does well to develop his fantastic Otherwold saga further - the best science fiction saga of recent years - it was to simple to give Orlando a happy ending and he writes an interesting story of some interesting developments Orlando discovers in the Otherworld.

I also very much enjoyed the Raymond Feist story and will definately read the Riftwar novels novel - it was well written and well paced story with a character you really cared about.

Also interesting was Diana Gabaldon's Lord John story - though I have real doubts about classifying it as fantasy, and I will definately explore a writer I had never heard of before Elizabeth Haydon - though unsure about wiriting with a "rhapsody of music" Disappointing was Silverberg's entry - an interesting tale in itself - but I just do not take to the world of Majipoor. And he hints at a fantastic history of battles and intrigue but concentrates on the dull moments in its history. I would love him to actually write about the planet's conquest and if its settlers came from Earth on space ships - where has the technology gone?!

Orson Scott Card - like the idea of the maker - but don't take to the setting - alternative American history - characters speeakijg like they are in a Mark Twain novel? No thanks!

Yet to read Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb or shudder Anne McCaffrey but hopefully will enjoy those as well.

Future anthologies might consider giving David Gemmil a call - the collection could do wtih a short story about Druss the Legend - maybe at Anne McCaffrey's expense!

Terrific for the most part, December 30, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from Trenton, NJ

I have been waiting for this book for quite a while. The first Legends was great, and since George Martin takes forever to produce the volumes in his series, this is about the only way to get a Martin fix in between books. The story of Dunk and Egg is in many ways even more enjoyable than his longer works, so that's a double bonus.

So while I bought this book mostly to read Martin, I have to say that I agree with the Publisher's Weekly review that the overwhelmingly best story in the book belongs to Elizabeth Haydon, whose fantasy series, the Symphony of Ages, is probably the youngest kid on this block. Her story absolutely blew me away; I never expected to meet, fall in love with and mourn the passing of five characters in the confines of a single novella, but I did. Her description is absolutely the best I've read, and from this story alone I will be buying any and all books she puts out from her on. If you had told me yesterday there was a better writer in the fantasy field than George Martin, I would have laughed. Now I agree.

Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, Tad Williams and Orson Scott Card also produced tales that made me feel I had gotten my money's worth. So I guess it's stingy to whine about the authors in this anthology who made me skip through their stories or bored me to tears. But I'm going to whine anyway.

First, Anne McCaffrey and Diana Gabaldon had no business being in this book. McCaffrey is writing almost everything including her grocery lists by proxy these days, and it shows. She may very well have at one point been a master of this genre, but her time has passed, and she is embarrassing herself. Diana Gabaldon is a romance author, and writes like one. She may be a master of THAT genre, but in epic fantasy/sci-fi she is unknown, and it's an insult to pretend that this is a series that belongs among the others in the book.

Next, Robert Silverberg, Terry Brooks, and Raymond Feist's stories all gasped for wind.

I wish Ursula LeGuin and Robert Jordan, both of whom originally promised to contribute to be in the volume, had made good on those promises. It would have been as stellar a book as the first one if they did. All in all, however, with Martin and Haydon in the same volume, it was more than worth the cover price.

Legends is one of the best fantasy collections, January 30, 2004
Reviewer: Joe Sherry from Bloomington, MN United States

In 1998 Robert Silverberg edited a collection of fantasy stories titled "Legends". That collection included stories by some of the best and most popular fantasy authors of the time (Robert Jordan, Raymond Feist, Stephen King, George Martin, etc). It was one of the best collections I had read, and allowed me to revisit some familiar worlds and discover some brand new ones. Legends II is the second collection by Robert Silverberg and it is just as good as the first collection. There are some authors that did not return for this collection (Robert Jordan, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett), some that returned (Raymond Feist, George Martin, Robert Silverberg, Anne McCaffrey), and some that are making their first appearance in Legends (Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Haydon). These stories are all mostly of high quality, and if you are looking for an excellent sampling of talented and popular fantasy authors, this is the volume for you.

What I like best about the Legends collections is that they give me the chance to revisit some of my favorite authors and see their worlds from a different perspective than that which is presented in their novels. Raymond Feist returns to Midkemia with a story set during the Riftwar. "The Messenger" is a story of the messengers who bring the military orders from one commander to another, risking their lives in the process. Some minor characters from the novels make an appearance, and some major ones are mentioned, and though this has a simple storyline, this is a well told story. George Martin continues the story of Dunk and Egg that he began in the first Legends. "The Sworn Sword" is one of my favorite stories in the collection and it is set approximately a hundred years before "A Game of Thrones". I haven't read one of Orson Scott Card's "Alvin Maker" novels in years, but I have thoroughly enjoyed both of the Alvin Maker stories that have been in the Legends collections. "The Yazoo Queen" continues the story of Alvin, and this time mixes in characters like Abraham Lincoln and Jim Bowie (yes, it is appropriate to the story, and yes, it does work). Reading "The Yazoo Queen" makes me want to go back and start reading the series anew.

I was surprised by the appearance of Neil Gaiman in this collection, but I can't say that I am disappointed. He takes the character of Shadow, from "American Gods" and tells a story that occurs two years after that novel. "The Monarch of the Glen" is set in Scotland, and while this isn't my favorite of the collection, it was a nice interlude until we get the sequel to "American Gods." Robin Hobb's story is set in the world of the Liveship Traders (more so than the regions of the Farseer). As I have not read the Liveship trilogy, I don't really know how that story connects to the main series, but Hobb's talent is undeniable. "Homecoming" is written as if it was the travel journal of a passenger on a boat who initially thinks that they are on a ship to help set up a colony of the Cursed Shores, but as the story continues, she discovers more about why she is there and then what this new land is like. The story that I was most looking forward to in this collection was "Indomitable", by Terry Brooks. Set two years after "The Wishsong of Shannara", this story follows Jair Ohmsford after he is visited by Kimber Boh telling him that Cogline believes that Brin somehow missed a page when she destroyed the Ildatch. While it was very nice to return to these characters, this story ended up being a little bit of a let down and anti-climactic (despite the action packed ending). I've always been a big fan of Shannara, but somehow this story felt rushed.

There are also several authors whom I had heard of, but had not yet read any of their work. I'll start with the editor of this collection, Robert Silverberg. He returns to the world of Majipoor with "The Book of Changes". This story is set in the early history of the gigantic world of Majipoor. I don't know how this relates to the series as a whole, and while it did not make me want to rush out and start reading the Majipoor novels, if I ever start to run low on new fantasy novels to read, I may give Majipoor a chance. This is also the first time I have read anything by Elizabeth Haydon and her "Symphony of Ages" series. This story is one of the best of the collection and focuses on the destruction of Serendair and the men who were the last defenders of the city. I'm sure this ties in somehow into the larger series, and this story is good enough that "Rhapsody" will be placed on my future reading list. Tad Williams also makes an appearance in this collection, telling a story of "Otherland". "The Happiest Dead Boy in the World" is a story of Orlando Gardiner who had died of a debilitating illness but is able to live on in the Otherland computer simulated worlds. Since I have not read the Otherland novels, I don't know if knowing that Orlando died spoils anything or not. I thought the ideas presented in this story were fascinating, and I am definitely going to read "Otherland" now.

This leaves me with two stories left unmentioned. I saved them for last simply because I thought they were rather bad, though for different reasons. The first is by Diana Gabaldon. Her story of "Lord John and the Succubus" did absolutely nothing for me, except bore me. I was not able to get interested in any of the characters of this story, nor did I care what happened. I've not read any of Gabaldon's novels, but then I have not read Tad Williams or Elizabeth Haydon before, either. This story just did not work for me. The last story to mention is by Anne McCaffrey and is set on the world of Pern. The Pern novels have long been some of my favorites, which is why I hate to say that this wasn't a good story. "Beyond Between" tells of what happens when a dragon (and rider) go Between, but never return. "Between" is that place where the dragon goes while it is teleporting from location to location. It is icy cold, and it is death when the dragon fails to return. While, I suppose I have always been interested in what happens Between, I've never wanted a story about it. I'm not even sure the story should have been told as some things are best left to the reader's imagination. The other problem with this story is who it is about: Moreta. Readers of the Pern series will know that Moreta was a legendary Queen Rider who died when she exhausted herself and the dragon so much trying to deliver medicine to halt a plague that she failed to return from Between. Her death was a huge sacrifice and a powerful moment in that novel (as well as Pern's history, as a song was made of it). This story nullifies that power and that sacrifice and removes the importance of the event because it changes how we view what happened. As she is already dead, a story of Moreta's further adventures was simply disappointing both as a Pern story, as well as just being a story that was not terribly interesting despite my love of Pern.

With the exceptions of the two stories which I did not like, this was a fantastic collection and if anyone is looking for a new fantasy author to read and doesn't want to experiment with an entire novel, this collection is the place to look. I can only hope that Robert Silverberg will edit another Legends collection.

Hot and Cold, January 13, 2004
Reviewer: Amy Late from New York

This book was recommended to me by a librarian friend. It is about 50-50 good and not-so-good. The stories that are worth reading are Elizabeth Haydon's, Robin Hobb's, Diana Gabaldon's, Neil Gaiman's, George R. R. Martin's, and Robert Silverberg's. The rest really didn't hold my interest, but I guess if you are a reader of those series you might enjoy them.

Worth it!, February 15, 2004
Reviewer: Dave Liles from Mansfield, Oh

This book has definitely rekindled my interest in Fantasy. While I have not finished it yet, I found the works by Robin Hobb (my first time here), Raymond Feist, and, of course, the great Silverberg to be especially good. I look forward to reading he rest. I recommend it.

Legends II, February 2, 2004
Reviewer: A reader from Ben Lomond, CA USA

Here's a caveat: I only read about half of the stories in this anthology, because only about half of the authors do work that interests me. I don't know exactly why the "masters of modern fantasy" couldn't include CJ Cherryh, or Tanith Lee, or Mary Gentle, or Ellen Kushner, or Chaz Brenchley. But apparently they don't.

Quibbles with the selection process aside:

I liked Robin Hobb's Rain Wild story. Though it doesn't reveal anything readers of the novels won't know, it is a strong character-driven work with plenty of tension.

I was a bit disappointed in George Martin's Ice & Fire story. It is well-written, but it doesn't attain the level of grimth his work often does. (Though there is a very cool fight scene.) The twist ending happens a bit too fast and wraps things up a bit too neatly for me.

Diana Gabaldon's Lord John story also disappointed me a bit, for three reasons: no actual speculative element; a somewhat confused plot that feels not quite put together yet; and NO romance, despite tantalizing hints. Unfair! Still, it's an interesting time period and a character with a lot of potential. I didn't know about the novel and I mean to go read it now.

Don't read Anne McCaffrey's Moreta story. That's all I can say. It totally spoils the tragedy of the novel Moreta, it has several internal inconsistencies, and it lacks tension. I'd reread the novel instead.
Neil Gaiman's Shadow story is very good -- in fact I think I liked it better than I did American Gods. It's atmospheric and skillfully written. I wanted to know more about the significance of the ritual, and more about what the freeing of the gods would mean, but it's still a good one.

Why any budding fantasy fan should buy this, February 26, 2004
Reviewer: Sqiff from Devon, United Kingdom

Since reading a couple of the really big names in fantasy (Tolkien, Robert Jordan) I have been hooked on the genre. I'm sure that like me, many people don't know quite where to go next in such (what seemed to me) a saturated genre. This book does exactly that, it gives links to some of the best autors of fantasy writing. The 11 Authors have written short stories (about 50 pages each) that give a glipse into the worlds they created. Most of the stories don't require any previous knowlege of the authors work, it really is just a chance to sell themselves.

I'm not saying every book in here is a classic - Orson Scott Card's story i found particually hard going.

My favorite stories were no doubt Robin Hobb's 'Homecoming' - A story written in the style of a Diary depicting the hardships of a group of exiles. George RR Martain's 'The Sworn Sword' was a fantastic story about 2 bickering kingdoms. I loved this sotry especially because in the course of about 70 pages I grew so fond and attatched to the characters, Dunk and Egg.

So now I have a whole list of books I can't wait to read by authors i know i'm going to love.

If your new to fantasy, or if you have read story by some of these autors, BUY THIS BOOK!

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