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)
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
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
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
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
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
Johan is a young boy living in one of the farming villages of the small country of Fandora. One day he steals a glider designed by his friend, the reclusive inventor Amsel. He is killed mysteriously, but his father Jondalrun believes the culprit to be Simbala, the wealthy country across the water, ruled by the … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: Dragonworld by Byron Preiss and J. Michael Reaves, with illustrations by Joseph Zucker.