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:
This book: 1992, Orbit
Terry Brooks was a little twee for my tastes.
This book: 1973, Panther
Marion Campbell – what a pity she wrote no more, or if she did, what a pity I never came across it.
This book: 1993, Grafton
David Eddings – The Eddings’ books were well written – but the blurb promised more than they delivered.
This book: 1972, Ballantine
ER Eddison’s Worm Ouroboros I found a difficult read, but they are worth a revisit.
This book: 2003, Bantam
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.
This book: 1974, Mayflower
Yeah, yeah, I know Lin was at the hack end of writing, but he did a terribly important job: ensure team Conan made it.
This book: 1964, Ace
Gardner F Fox (of comic book fame) Alien planets with light sprinkles of fantasy.
This book: 1975, Tandem
Jane Gaskell – An Atlantean continent brought to life.
This book: 1964, Methuen
Kenneth Grahame – Who can forget The Wind in the Willows? This copy was my prize for good results in class.
This book: 1973, Pan
William Hope Hodgson – When I first started out writing, my vision of post-apocalypse America had a touch of his influence.
This book: 1989, Arrow
William Horwood – This series ran and ran. Not overly twee but I felt it required something different.
Published: 1967 (date of this collection)
This book: 1973, Sphere
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.
This book: 1970, Tandem
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.
This book: 2005, Pocket
Guy Gavriel Kay – History reformed as fantasy. But well written for all that. Many of his works are well worth their rereads.
This book: 1969, Pyramid
Michael Kurland – and a book written for a time of psychedelic trips
This book: 1974, Panther
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).
This book: 1985, Bantam
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).
This book: 1973, Arrow
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.
This book: 1971, Ballantine
William Morris was one of the many writers revived in Pan / Ballantine Adult Fantasy.
This book: 1967, Tandem
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?
This book: 1974, Pan / Ballantine
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.
This book: 1973, Quartet
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.
This book: 1968, Ace
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.
This book: 1972, Pan / Ballantine
Evangeline Walton – she was my introduction to the Mabinogion. All else after is compared to that rendering.
This book: 1994, Legend
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?)
This book: 1987, Orbit
Gene Wolfe – another fine writer
This book: 1974, Corgi
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