Every writer has to write a deal-with-the-Devil story sometime, just to get it out of his or her system. I think that it’s one of the stepping stones across which all fantasy writers must pass. I just wish that my take on the concept, published in the Summer 1984 issue of Prelude to Fantasy, had been a better one.
“Deal with the Devil” is told in the form of letters between what are apparently two gamers playing out a scenario by mail, one of whom is eventually revealed to be … well, you know who.
This is another one of my early stories that will likely never be reprinted. It isn’t that I wish to disown it, because it served its purpose, and at the time was the best that I could accomplish, but it falls so far short of the way I write now that it’s almost by a different person.