"They saw beetles tall as dogs, with heavy saw-toothed pincers attacking objects resembling horses; pens of insects even larger, long, narrow, segmented, with dozens of heavy legs and nightmare heads. All of these creatures [...] it was plain that the First Folk had been practicing selective breeding for many years, perhaps centuries."
Who's Jack Vance, you ask? Well, that's a nuncupatory question if I have ever heard one.
Most of you probably know him already for his Dying Earth stories, but he was a very prolific author whose work spanned decades and multiple genres, and some of his tales might now be more obscure.
Cugel's Saga, the Demon Princes, Planet of Adventure? Sure, those are known and recommended, but what about The Miracle Workers or The Last Castle? They may not be the most well-known (or the best) Vance, but they are still Vance (as you will quickly see once you start reading these stories.) Therefore, from the master who seamlessly shifted and mixed fantasy and science fiction, I present you The Dragon Masters and Other Stories, a collection of three stories (two of them Hugo winners) about scientific voodoo, mystical science and vinegar, a genetic-engineering arms race, knights driving cars, astronauts, foppish and decadent aristocrats, slave rebellions, and an alien threat with very human weapons. And dragons, of course.