Fantasy Monarchies

Sally Odgers sodgers at
Tue Feb 4 10:57:29 EST 2003

Someone more erudite than I said -

> I'm often struck by the mismatch, especially in children's lit (which is
all I really know anything about) between the ambitions of fantasy (Saving
the World) and the ambitions of Realism (Saving, say, One's Parents'
Marriage or the Local Donkey Sanctuary from Closure), and feel there's a
middle ground that's >not been sufficiently exploited. Why should fantasy
take high politics, rather than more domestic >matters, as its territory

I humbly comment -

Not all fantasy does this - mostly it's quest or high fantasy. Domestic
fantasy is another ball game. I had a middle-ground sf rejected in the 1980s
with the lofty comment that it "lacked the expected clash between good and

The basic story,  which I still think was pretty good, was of a forgotten
Spacestation whose population had dwindled so that there were just 7 young
teens, a few younger children and a team of robotic nurses. The teens
answered to Teacher, a kindly robot. Authority was the overall ruler... they
thought it all-powerful, but it was actually just a very clunky computer

Their parents were all off doing make-work mining, just because the station
had been set up and forgotten, and no one had told them to stop. The kids
have managed to damage the day's lesson tape, so they use an ancient one
from the basement (well... sort of). This gives instructions for using a
time machine, which has been developed for the dull purpose of bringing
people from other worlds to educate the kids (guest speakers...) It's a time
machine only in so far as it can be adjusted to take care of the galactic
equiv of GMT. Only of course the EVATrans is glitchy after a couple of
centuries stuck in a wall.

Into this scenario comes a 20th C. man, who is horrified at the situation
the kids are in. He tries to help them (using 20th C ideals) which
predictably does more damage than he expected. Then comes news the
children's parents are all dead in a mining accident...

This story lacked "the expected clash" because William Scott, the visitor,
wasn't trying to save a world. He just wanted to give the hothouse teens a
wider choice.

Actually, the book *was* accepted by one company, but then the editor left,
and the thing was finally rejected *eleven* years later.



By Sally Odgers By Request - visit my new project at and have your say.

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list