Could You Write Decent Fantasy?

I have been having an odd, bitty kind of a day thus far, swithering in my efforts to concentrate on what I’m meant to be doing (historical research on a couple of bombings in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s) and what I want to be doing, which is writing a sermon that will appear at a pivotal point in the current novel.

(This is not as dull as it sounds. Dan Robertson gave me a few pointers on the sermon he would try to preach if his topic was ‘The End of the Church’. This is an eminently suitable topic, as warships attack the church in question while this sermon is being delivered. This is an action sermon, with explosions.)

Because I am, clearly, a bad man for distractions, I wandered over to Alan Campbell’s blog. Alan Campbell is a fantasy author whose work I am reading at the moment. I finished his first novel, Scar Night, last week and liked it well enough to go out and buy the sequel, Iron Angel. Campbell is no Mieville (who is? Mieville is so far ahead of anyone else writing novels in Britain today that it’s not even funny) but he makes a decent fist of writing fantasy. There are problems, of course; his dialogue isn’t all that it might be and I want to know how a glass syringe survived a fall of several miles down a rocky abyss, but overall I wasn’t disappointed. Anyway, one of the links in his archived posts was to The Fantasy Novelist’s Exam, which I read and laughed at. Although fantasy isn’t necessarily my genre of choice, I’ve read enough of it to recognise the tropes…

One ought not to assume any connection, therefore, to today’s zen, which is of a breakdown train…

The Civil Engineers, out in force

The Civil Engineers, out in force, with Class 37 'British Steel Hunterston'

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About Gavin

I am a 32-year-old PhD student in Aberdeen, Scotland. I work in QC at an e-learning company. I'm originally Northern Irish, though I've lived here in Aberdeen for several years. I am, essentially, somebody who is very normal, yet to whom very strange things keep happening...
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One Response to Could You Write Decent Fantasy?

  1. starlingford says:

    Oh, and hey, I’ve just found this invaluable resource: http://www.rinkworks.com/bookaminute/sff.shtml

    All those SF/Fantasy books you keep hearing geeks talk about but have no desire to read yourself? They’re here! Ultra-condensed! The complete works of Stephen King…in 1 sentence! The Andromeda Strain…complete with emotional reaction by the reader!

    This is a magnificent resource.

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