This month’s theme will be the British. So let’s start off with a round of cracking books by British authors.
Ok so that’s a lie, Mr Gaiman is responsible for so much FanPerson love its mad.
I read the Graphic Novel version of ‘Neverwhere’ and fell in love with his writing style straight away.
So my choice is ‘StarDust’ the story of a young man called Dunstan who one day sneaks out of the village of Wall to investigate the Faerie market not place for mortal men, after a tryst with a beautiful girl called Una (a princess chained to serve the wicked Witch Semele).
Now you’d think that would be enough to start an epic tale of loveand adventure, but it truly starts after Dunstan returns. He marries and one day a basket with his half Fae son turns up. More adventures abound with him on a quest to bring a most special gift to the girl he loves, a star called Yvaine who fell from the sky and a whole host of people being murdered in the name of liniage.
This is Pulp fantasy. This is what it’s all about.
And there’s a film version as well! (SPOILER: slightly happier ending)
This is where it all started, before I was born, back in 1983. On the backs of Great A’Tuin’s elephants, on top of an unimaginably large, flatish, land mass, lies the Discworld. A world much like our own, but also so very, very different. For over thirty years, Terry Pratchett’s creation has amazed and delighted readers of all ages and The Colour of Magic is perhaps one of the most fantastical pieces of fantasy you could ever read.
With a style of humour reminiscent of the slightly older The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio plays and the humour of Douglas Adams, Pratchett managed to conjure a fantasy story revolving around the Discworld’s first tourist and a slightly dodgy wizard. The initial adventures of Twoflower, Rincewind and Twoflower’s travelling case – The Luggage – were in a fantasy setting, but with systems and characters that were often metaphorical critiques of the equivalents in our own, very British, reality.
You don’t have to read much of Discworld in order, but I certainly think that it’s worth starting where it all started on the back of a mathematically impossible turtle.