Historical Fantasy

liril at gmx.net liril at gmx.net
Wed Sep 15 16:57:24 EDT 2004

Thank you all for giving so many examples! Once again, the list has 
impressed me - not that I'm surprised... ;-)

Interesting thing is, I have not read quite a number of the books you 
suggested (yet), so maybe my blank was due to that. (And now I have a 
new list of books to read!)...

Katta mentioned Nesbit (time travelling, but by magic) and Philip 
Bradshaw; of them and of Tim Powers I thought in the meantime, too.
Roger mentioned Lammas Night and Two Crowns for America by Kurtz. I had 
considered the Deryni books by Kurtz, but their world was too different 
for the narrow frame I was searching in. Reconsidering, I think the 
medieval world she describes, especially the power of the church feels 
"historic" and the questions of magic, religion, spells and miracles she 
dicusses actually are the kind of "what if" questions I would expect to 
make historical fantasy interesting.

And concerning the "hype" Roger wrote:
> But in the UK it's entirely standard for something to be reported as
> "done for the first time" when what they mean is "done for the first
> time by an author with a big publicity budget" 

You're right - it was a German programm, but it's also true here. And 
especially so if Fantasy/SciFi is concerned (HP - the first school book 
with magic in it, ever! But maybe HP is the reason that fantasy 
elements/books are even noticed by mainstream or in this case literary 
programms). The Austen metaphor seemed odd, because it sounded as if 
Austen wrote historical novels. That would be like saying: Hey - A 
Christmas Carol is historical fantasy, it's set in the past! But as 
Tarja said the style of Jonathan Strange was Austen-like, it might 
explain the idea behind it.

glad to be on this list :)

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