A Series Ian Likes: The Book Of Years by Peter Morwood (part 1)

It’s pretty easy to pigeonhole a genre because of the similarity of a lot of the stories that you find in it. It’s even easier to sneer at if it’s from a section of the bookshop that you don’t frequent very often. For instance, the plot of The Horse Lord, Peter Morwood’s debut novel, runs thusly: … Continue reading A Series Ian Likes: The Book Of Years by Peter Morwood (part 1)

A Book Ian Likes: The Silver Sun by Nancy Springer

The mid-1970s was a great time to be a fantasy fan. Maybe not an especially discerning fantasy fan, but there seems to have been an awful lot going on in the field, a field that was growing and becoming more commercially viable. Following the meteoric success of The Lord Of The Rings, loads of publishers liked … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: The Silver Sun by Nancy Springer

A Book Ian Likes: Nifft The Lean by Michael Shea

Michael Shea came to prominence in the 1970s with his novel The Quest For Simbilis, a sequel of sorts to Jack Vance’s Dying Earth novel, The Eyes Of The Overworld. But despite much of his work – his brilliant short stories aside – displaying their roots very heavily on their sleeve he has a fantastic originality to his … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: Nifft The Lean by Michael Shea

A Series Ian Likes: The Dragonriders Of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

They’re the most beloved megafauna in all of fantasy. Feared for their deadly flame, famed for their miserliness, they have somehow come to be a symbol for the magical and wondrous places inside our heads. Anne McCaffrey managed to combine the more fearsome aspects with the noblest when she created the series that she is most famous … Continue reading A Series Ian Likes: The Dragonriders Of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

A Trilogy Ian Likes: Memory, Sorrow And Thorn by Tad Williams

Memory, Sorrow And Thorn, comprising The Dragonbone Chair, Stone Of Farewell, To Green Angel Tower (1988 – 1993) by Tad Williams. In case you haven’t noticed, fantasy is a pretty hefty part of our literary lives now. But it has really only been the last ten years or so that fantasy authors have begun to shed their … Continue reading A Trilogy Ian Likes: Memory, Sorrow And Thorn by Tad Williams

A Book Ian Likes: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Imagine a world in which television corporations control the news and the way in which people partake of information. A world where children kill one another in their schools and nothing is done to prevent it; where police chases are televised; in which people feel closer to characters in bland soap operas broadcast onto television … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

A Book Ian Likes: The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey

A police detective is laid-up in hospital after capturing a villain and to wile away the time he devotes himself to solving one of the most famous mysteries in history: what happened to the princes in the tower? At first, Alan Grant (the detective and possibly Ms Tey's most famous character) finds himself following the … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey

A Film Adaptation Of A Book That Ian Likes: The Princess Bride

This is an almost perfectly structured film: it starts quietly, introducing characters and situations one by one and then building the stakes and tension until you can’t stop watching. It begins and ends with the framing device of a sick boy being read to by his grandfather and the story gradually takes over with only … Continue reading A Film Adaptation Of A Book That Ian Likes: The Princess Bride

A Book Ian Likes: Possession by A. S. Byatt

I’ve always loved an enigmatic layered title. My own writing has often been given titles that convey multiple meanings or make obscure puns, mostly for my own amusement. A. S. Byatt’s novel, Possession, is full of these layers, puns, levels and references to things past and current. And that’s just in the title. It’s the story … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: Possession by A. S. Byatt