Britocentric fantasy

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Tue Apr 13 08:26:16 EDT 2004


Allison:

>I have a rather romantical vision of the British Isles as
>being flooded with magic.

This is of course true. I believe it's something to do with the Gulf Stream
and the overproduction of obeah in the Caribbean.

Jon:
> It seems to me that most American world-saving fantasy
> is set in a secondary world rather than our world,
> thus avoiding the problem, a leaving the field to
> writers of techno-thrillers and Hollywood scripts.

That's a good point: British fantasies do tend to be much more set in this
world, don't they? So when you save the world, you save it from Britain.
Seems to me that DWJ, over the years, has got much more into world-saving.
If we except the Chrestomanci books and the Howls/Dalemarks, she tends to
concentrate more on saving the family (e.g. Ogre, the Stopping for a Spell
stories), or town (e.g. Archer's Goon, Aunt Maria) until the 1990s, when her
horizons suddenly expand.

Btw, John Wyndham's *The Chrysalids* is another example of a (great) book
where the southern hemisphere - or at least New Zealand - is a haven in an
otherwise devastated world.

Charlie

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