Fantasy Review (& poem: Enchanted Forest)


Poetry Time again. This Tuesday gone, Hasiwriters got the nod that the library was running a competition on the theme of Enchanted Forest. At the time we were chatting about world building but we decided to turn things around and make the session ‘Enchanted Forest’. What should you be thinking about when trying to nail enchantments onto the page? Stuff you’ve read? Most stuff I’ve read kind of sticks around in my head. Some doesn’t. This afternoon (17/07/14) I peeked into my collection to see what was what and compare notes. Here’s some books from a while back:

The Druids of Shannara

The Druids of Shannara

Published: 1991
This book: 1992, Orbit
Price: £5.99
Terry Brooks was a little twee for my tastes.

Marion Campbell - The Dark Twin

Marion Campbell – The Dark Twin

Published: 1973
This book: 1973, Panther
Price: £0.50
Marion Campbell – what a pity she wrote no more, or if she did, what a pity I never came across it.

David Eddings - Domes of Fire

David Eddings – Domes of Fire

Published: 1992
This book: 1993, Grafton
Price: £5.99
David Eddings – The Eddings’ books were well written – but the blurb promised more than they delivered.

ER Eddison - The Mezentian Gate

ER Eddison – The Mezentian Gate

Published: 1945
This book: 1972, Ballantine
Price: £0.40
ER Eddison’s Worm Ouroboros I found a difficult read, but they are worth a revisit.

Steven Erikson - House of Chains

Steven Erikson – House of Chains

Published: 2002
This book: 2003, Bantam
Price: £7.99
Steven Erikson has made a tremendously good job of putting his day discipline (yes I know he’s an anthropologist) into his written work. If I was less committed to writing, I would read him more.

Flashing Swords, edited by Lin Carter

Flashing Swords, edited by Lin Carter

Published: 1973
This book: 1974, Mayflower
Price: £0.35
Yeah, yeah, I know Lin was at the hack end of writing, but he did a terribly important job: ensure team Conan made it.

Gardner F Fox - Warrior of Llarn

Gardner F Fox – Warrior of Llarn

Published: 1964
This book: 1964, Ace
Price: 40¢
Gardner F Fox (of comic book fame) Alien planets with light sprinkles of fantasy.

Jane Gaskell - The Serpent

Jane Gaskell – The Serpent

Published: 1963
This book: 1975, Tandem
Price: £0.60
Jane Gaskell – An Atlantean continent brought to life.

Kenneth Grahame - The Wind in the WIllows

Kenneth Grahame – The Wind in the Willows

Published: 1908
This book: 1964, Methuen
Price: 3s/6d
Kenneth Grahame – Who can forget The Wind in the Willows? This copy was my prize for good results in class.

William Hope Hodgson - The Night Land

William Hope Hodgson – The Night Land

Published: 1912
This book: 1973, Pan
Price: £0.40
William Hope Hodgson – When I first started out writing, my vision of post-apocalypse America had a touch of his influence.

William Horwood - Duncton Quest

William Horwood – Duncton Quest

Published: 1988
This book: 1989, Arrow
Price: £4.50
William Horwood – This series ran and ran. Not overly twee but I felt it required something different.

Robert E Howard - Conan

Robert E Howard – Conan

Published: 1967 (date of this collection)
This book: 1973, Sphere
Price: £0.30
Robert E Howard – Who can forget that mighty thewed warrior from the doomed warrior of Cross Plains, Texas (I will have to base a hero on REH!) This Conan came in Sphere books – a UK publisher.

John Jakes - Brak the Barbarian

John Jakes – Brak the Barbarian

Published: 1968
This book: 1970, Tandem
Price: £0.25
John Jakes – The Brak tales were Conan-alike narratives. I remember failing a Civil Service interview because I was too embarrassed to relate the plot of a recent book I’d read – one by John Jakes. Ouch.

Guy Gavriel Kay - The Last Light of the Sun

Guy Gavriel Kay – The Last Light of the Sun

Published: 2004
This book: 2005, Pocket
Price: £7.99
Guy Gavriel Kay – History reformed as fantasy. But well written for all that. Many of his works are well worth their rereads.

Michael Kurland - The Unicorn Girl

Michael Kurland – The Unicorn Girl

Published: 1969
This book: 1969, Pyramid
Price: 60¢
Michael Kurland – and a book written for a time  of psychedelic trips

H.P Lovecraft - At the Mountains of Madness

H.P Lovecraft – At the Mountains of Madness

Published: 1939
This book: 1974, Panther
Price: £0.40
H.P Lovecraft – He who doesn’t need to be introduced, long time writing buddy of Robert E Howard & Clark Ashton Smith  (sorry Clark, I’ll do you a book cover another time).

R.A. Macavoy - Damiano

R.A. Macavoy – Damiano

Published: 1983
This book: 1985, Bantam
Price: £1.95
R.A. Macavoy – surprisingly, beyond a general impression of the storyline, A cannae ken wha’ these books were aw’ abouit (Damiano, Damiano’s Lute, Twisting the Rope, Raphael, Tea with the Black Dragon, The Book of Kells – they sit there just out of reach – obviously I can pretend to say what’s in them, but Googling up an answer defeats the purpose of memory).

Michael Moorcock - Elric of Melnibone

Michael Moorcock – Elric of Melniboné

Published: 1972
This book: 1973, Arrow
Price: £0.35
Michael Moorcock did fantasy. Lots of it. Corum, Elric and his favourite (who I never really took to) Jerry Cornelius. Jerry was token fantasy and I maintained a token interest, preferring instead Alien Heat, Runestaff, the Swords (of Corum), Count Brass.

William Morris - The Well at the World's End

William Morris – The Well at the World’s End

Published: 1896
This book: 1971, Ballantine
Price: £0.40
William Morris was one of the many writers revived in Pan / Ballantine Adult Fantasy.

Andre Norton - WitchWorld

Andre Norton – WitchWorld

Published: 1963
This book: 1967, Tandem
Price: £0.25
Andre Norton (aka Alice Mary Norton). Ignored by the literatii, but I guess her Witch World tales of the High Hallack, Escarp, Escore and those places she has allowed other writers to explore will outlast many literatii favourites. Did I mention I was in love with this series?

Pan-Ballantine Discoveries in Fantasy, edited by Lin Carter.

Pan-Ballantine Discoveries in Fantasy, edited by Lin Carter.

Published: 1972
This book: 1974, Pan / Ballantine
Price: £0.40
In the early 1970’s, Pan-Ballantine did something awesome, they gave Lin Carter his nose and he saved many gems from the rubbish bin of pulp. Like this collection. His work requires more space than I have here.

Edmund Pearson - Chamiel

Edward Pearson – Chamiel

Published: 1973
This book: 1973, Quartet
Price: £0.35
Edward Pearson – Chamiel was a wonderful story. He wrote little and in the UK was in Quartet (high priced and low distribution). Definitely worth a reread.

Thomas Burnett Swann - Moondust

Thomas Burnett Swann – Moondust

Published: 1968
This book: 1968, Ace
Price: 50¢
Thomas Burnett Swann – what can one say? Moondust was one of many tales of mythic creatures. They were eased into a historical context which takes place just before the beginning of the Christian era. Neat.

Evangeline Walton - The Island of the Mighty

Evangeline Walton – The Island of the Mighty

Published: 1936
This book: 1972, Pan / Ballantine
Price: £0.40
Evangeline Walton – she was my introduction to the Mabinogion. All else after is compared to that rendering.

Tad Williams - To Green Angel Tower Part I

Tad Williams – To Green Angel Tower Part I

Published: 1993
This book: 1994, Legend
Price: £6.99
Tad Williams – Tad’s work was pitched about right for me, although in War of the Flowers I felt that the sense of otherness, faded (editor mucking up writerly intent?)

Gene Wolfe - Soldier in the Mist

Gene Wolfe – Soldier in the Mist

Published: 1986
This book: 1987, Orbit
Price: £2.95
Gene Wolfe – another fine writer

Roger Zelazny - Nine Princes in Amber

Roger Zelazny – Nine Princes in Amber

Published: 1970
This book: 1974, Corgi
Price: £0.35
Roger Zelazny – His Amber series, like much of his work, was deeper than it looked.  Zelazny was one helluva writer.


Oops! got carried away there. Books read are often books to reread, which gets in the way of doing anything else. Back to Enchanted Forest. I got most of my poem done that session, tidied it up yesterday and today, handed it in to the yarn people at the library. Something will no doubt happen to it. In the meantime it’s here: Evershade

Advertisements

About Terence Park

Collections: vinyl records, comic books, paperbacks; I've plenty of them all. I also do spreadsheets.
This entry was posted in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s