The Origins of Modern Fantasy

The Blazing World of Margaret Cavendish 'At last the rain came, and upon a sudden all their houses appeared of a flaming Fire; and the more Water there was poured on them, the more did they flame and burn;' I was doing some research into the history of fantasy literature when I came across a …

Continue reading The Origins of Modern Fantasy

The Gods Themselves

by Isaac Asimov 'The plutonium/tungsten can make its cycle endlessly back and forth between Universe and para- Universe, yielding energy first in one and then in another . . . Both sides can gain energy from what is, in effect, an inter-Universe Electron Pump.' This piece of pseudo science is how the jumped-up radiochemist-cum-physicist Hallam …

Continue reading The Gods Themselves

The Man in the High Castle

Philip K Dick's Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel is a novel without a hero or villain. Instead, the various characters mill around somewhat aimlessly, doing meaningless jobs (or none at all), consulting the I Ching and reading yet another novel called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. Several are not what they seem or claim to be. …

Continue reading The Man in the High Castle

Not all universes are the same (part three)

The Amber Spyglass "While the beasts of prey, Come from caverns deep, View'd the maid asleep." These three lines by William Blake from his poem The Little Girl Lost preface the first chapter of  The Amber Spyglass, the final volume of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Aficiandos of Blake will know that his maid …

Continue reading Not all universes are the same (part three)

Not all universes are the same (part two)

The Subtle Knife A Review The Subtle Knife is the second book of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. At the end of Northern Lights, we left  Lyra on the bridge from her universe to another. Now the author leaves us in suspense to introduce a new protagonist. Will Parry is a twelve-year-old boy who …

Continue reading Not all universes are the same (part two)

Not all universes are the same

A Review of Northern Lights The first book in Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy for young adults The main protagonist in Northern Lights is Lyra, a twelve-year-old girl who lives in one of Oxford University's many colleges. Only Lyra's Oxford is a different Oxford. It lies in an alternate universe, an upside-down world with zeppelins, witches …

Continue reading Not all universes are the same