some good fantasy

The House on the Borderland, 1908, William Hope Hodgson
The Wind in the Willows, 1908, Kenneth Grahame
The Great Return, 1915, Arthur Machen
From Ritual to Romance, 1920, Jessie L Weston
Nosferatu, 1922, dir FW Murnau
Mr Weston’s Good Wine, 1927, TF Powys
War in Heaven, 1930, Charles Williams
The Green Child, 1935, Herbert Read
At the Mountains of Madness, 1936, HP Lovecraft
At Swim-Two-Birds, 1939, Flann O’Brien
Fantasia, 1940, dir Walt Disney
The Journal of Albion Moonlight, 1941, Kenneth Patchen
That Hideous Strength, 1945, CS Lewis
The Martian Chronicles, 1950, Ray Bradbury
Mazirian the Magician, 1950, Jack Vance
E Pluribus Unicorn, 1953, Theodore Sturgeon
The Incredible Shrinking Man, 1957, dir Jack Arnold
The Vodi, 1959, John Braine
The Alexandria Quartet, 1957-1960, Lawrence Durrell
A Fine & Private Place, 1960, Peter Beagle
The Stealer of Souls, 1963, Michael Moorcock
V, 1963, Thomas Pynchon
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, 1963, Joan Aiken
I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, 1964, Joanne Greenberg
The Magus, 1966, John Fowles
All Along the Watchtower, 1967, Bob Dylan
Mooncranker’s Gift, 1973, Barry Unsworth
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, 1974, dir Werner Herzog
Diamond Dogs, 1974, David Bowie
Ritual Animal Disguise, 1977, EC Cawte
Stalker, 1979, dir Andrei Tarkovsky
The Bloody Chamber, 1979, Angela Carter
The Fall of the House of Usher, 1981, dir Jan Svankmajer
Mythago Wood, 1984, Robert Holdstock
Halo Jones, 1984, Alan Moore & Ian Gibson
Rain Dogs, 1985, Tom Waits
Blue Velvet, 1986, dir David Lynch
The Mortmere Stories, 1994, Edward Upward & Christopher Isherwood
Jumping Joan, 1994, dir Petra Freeman
Institute Benjamenta, 1995, dir The Brothers Quay
The Voice of the Fire, 1996, Alan Moore
Lost Highway, 1997, dir David Lynch
Simon Magus, 1999, dir Ben Hopkins
The Dream Archipelago, 1999, Christopher Priest
Under the Skin, 2000, Michel Faber
Ratchet & Clank, 2002, Insomniac Games
The Carpet Makers, 2006, Andreas Eschbach
Peter & the Wolf, 2006, dir Suzie Templeton
The Night Buffalo, 2007, Guillermo Arriaga
Night Work, 2008, Thomas Glavinic

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67 responses to “some good fantasy

  1. Martin

    Wot, no Groan? “Gormenghast,” for one.

    Any list is an invitation. Mine would include “The Third Policeman,” “Eraserhead,” “The Door in the Wall,” “The Arabian Nightmare,” “Don’t Look Now,” Gaiman’s “Sandman,” “Tlon, Uqbar, Urbis Tertius,” and “Brazil.”

    Almost the same difference, I suspect.

  2. uzwi

    Hi Martin. It’s all in that “some”. This wasn’t supposed to be an all-time greats. & if anything (obviously) I’m looking for discord rather than agreement. I left Titus out because I wanted to avoid both the Tolkien-boomers and their Dark Other, the Peake “tradition”. They get all the press. I certainly agree with you on all of the ones you mention–they are some good fantasies. (If I’d finished The City & The City before I pressed the publish button, I’d have included that, too. China’s best so far. Wonderful change of direction.)

  3. I would include Flaubert’s “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” in the nebulous genre of “some good fantasy”.

    And, if one wants to play the tradition game, it influenced Clark Ashton Smith which in turn influenced Jack Vance which in turn influenced… M. John Harrison (maybe).

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  6. Brendan

    While normally I’d prefer to add to such a list, I am merely going to gape in utter awe at how ignorant I am.

  7. orfanum

    In the ‘tradition’ of Holdstock I would also stick some Garner in there and maybe a touch of Le Guin, with a smattering of Treece (if that gets under the Tolkienite radar…). Also, perhaps a little bit of Cees Nooteboom. I’d also suggest taking a look at some South Korean film – mundane a lot of it in apparent subject matter but quite often full of a perceptively time-shifting or psychologically astute magic realism (Oasis by Lee Chang-dong, The Bow, and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring by Kim Ki-duk )…but this is stretching ‘fantasy’ by a country mile.

  8. Martin

    Have to check China, once I’m out of this roadblock of stuff at work.

    “Some,” indeed. Possible songs: “I Am the Walrus” and “Life on Mars.” Both have been dulled by repetition, but heard in the right mood Lennon’s still a queasy lysergic stew of liquorice imagery and scrambled egg – while Bowie sounds like a post-modern “Jerusalem,” revealing “England” as nothing but a nest of spectacle and supposition. Sadly, I can’t think of any present day poptastic equivalent.

  9. uzwi

    Hi orfanum. Stretching fantasy by a country mile is where it is. The further the better. I’m annoyed I didn’t add Nooteboom now you come to mention him, especially since I reviewed Lost Paradise only recently. (It got out of me one of the best reviews I’ve done for TLS, which I think might still be available online.) Nice one. & I will get some of those films you mention.

    Brendan, I doubt that.

    Tim, my favourite Flaubert is Madame Bovary. Once you’ve read it, they can’t keep you down on the farm. & I just so totally identify with Emma. Otherwise: I have my doubts about traditions, especially such obviously linear ones as you mention. One of the biggest “influences” on the first two Viriconium novels was a book called Derelict Britain by John Barr, which had a huge vogue when it came out in paperback in 1969. How come no one ever mentions that ? If you read Viriconium with that kind of “dying earth” in mind, it may add to the interest. I could switch you on to about a hundred other “influences” too, but I’ve always thought it was more fun for the alert, widely-read reader if I didn’t.

    Hi Martin: Bowie, one of the fantasy greats.

  10. Many people identify with Emma Bovary, and I find that odd. I consider her the villain of the novel. One could arge that Don Quixote (to whom she is clearly related) is also a villanous character who intrudes in other peoples’ affairs and leaves them worse than before. (Jack Vance’s “Bad Ronald” is another iteration of the archetype, this time as a deranged nerd.)

    Ah, and I forgot to recommend R. A. Lafferty. “The Devil is Dead” is wonderful and has the best prologue for any novel, ever (not exaggerating).

  11. Martin

    My list would have Shirley Jackson, too – “The Haunting of Hill House,” and “The Tooth.” As for ‘best prologue’ award, mine would go to the opening paragraph of “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” : with the possible exception of the first two lines of Straub’s “Ghost Story,” it’s the eeriest and most irresistible opening to a novel I know.

    Then there’s Robert Aickman: “The Swords”? “Ringing the Changes”? I’d nominate “Ravissante”: a bewildering probe into the erotics of English reserve – and more.

  12. Nice list. One book that I would add for consideration would be Dino Buzzati’s retelling of the Orpheus/Eurydice myth in graphic novel form, Poema a fumetti. Read it yesterday and found it to be utterly brilliant.

  13. These lists are dangerous! Especially the ones in chronological order. I can tick off two from the 1950′s. Although it had never occurred to me to place the Vodi and V. together in a thought bubble before . . . reading the two end on end might be a disconcerting experience.

  14. lara

    Homerton Station, North London Line: the epicentre of fantasy.

    Only the absurd will do here for me because I am so in awe of how much you all know. So I plump for the real fantasy in a bid to join in. Pitiful.

  15. uzwi

    Hi TimR. (Classy nom de guerre, by the way.) It’s hard for me to think of Emma as anything but a fairly normal middle-class human being who, in the attempt to reinvent herself, inflicts a little collateral emotional damage. Who hasn’t done that ? An everyday story now, although I suppose it was a bit more shocking then. I like the idea of Emma being a kind of Quixote; but I prefer to think of her as one of those delightful Yummie Mummies sitting in their BMWs outside the school gates, dreaming of being a successful reading-group novelist while they wait to take their daughter to 4 o’clock ballet…

    Martin: yes to The Haunting of Hill House. Absolutely yes to Ghost Story.

    Larry, thanks. I don’t know Poema a fumetti, but I debated adding The Tartar Steppe (which I notice you are auctioning for review on your blog). Unbelievably technical book, that.

    Hi Victor. Always nice to meet another Vodi devotee. As for that shared initial: it’s a conspiracy of Nelly’s of course…

    Lara: yes, yes, yes!

    I realised with a hot flood of shame etc etc that there’s no Hilary Mantel on the list, & I’m weighing Fludd against the more subtle 8 months on Ghazzah Street. Given all the good stuff people are pointing out, I wonder if we should shoot for 100 ?

  16. Martin

    Hi, Lara – I see what you mean!

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/107/283673570_d6c0da5f7c.jpg?v=0

    You win, hands down.

  17. I’ve long hoped you’d post a list of worthy fantasy texts!

    In the States Peake gets no press whatsoever. The BBC miniseries of Gormenghast is better known than the books around here.

    I’d mention Little, Big by John Crowley and The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper, and ditto The Haunting of Hill House, which I return to on a regular basis.

    William Hope Hodgeson’s House on the Borderland should be read by anyone with an interest in Lovecraft.

    E. R. Eddison’s Worm Ouroboros fixated me as a student… I wanted epic fantasy, but not Tolkien’s epic fantasy. I wanted this spangly nonsense.

    In film I recently saw one titled The Werckmeister Harmonies that suggested an intriguing drone-music approach to fantastic cinema. Suspiria and Inferno from Dario Argento are, like Gormenghast, well-known in some circles yet odd and outside.

    Bowie’s album Outside got me through my senior year of college… the way it treats narrative as a disposable starter for mood and image continues to resonate with this listener.

    In comics, there’s a lot of idiosyncratic fantasy if you know which rocks to look under… C. F., Marc Bell, Elvis Studio and Matthew Thurber are all worth digging up. The book Art Out Of Time, edited by Dan Nadel, is full of overlooked and peculiar cartoonists whose fantasies are worth considering.

  18. Dave

    Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive might be worth including.

    Night of the Living Dead would be on my list for sure. Maybe Dawn too.

  19. uzwi

    Devil Town, 1990, Daniel Johnston. There’s a man who knows how to build a world.

  20. lara

    Martin, once again, you are brilliant. Brilliant. Thank you.

  21. The Buzzati book I mentioned will be available in English in October as Poem Strip. Here’s the Amazon description:

    Dino Buzzati is a luminary of the mid-twentieth-century Italian literary avant-garde and the author of The Tartar Steppe, a modern classic. He was also an accomplished visual artist. Poem Strip, from 1968, unites his various talents in a pioneering graphic novel that relocates the story of Orpheus and Eurydice to a ghostly version of modern Milan. The Orpheus figure is a guitarist and Eurydice is Eura, who is no sooner seen and desired than lost. Her lover follows her into an underworld of temptation and delusion, at once bar, strip joint, hall of mirrors, horror show, and tunnel of love. He tells stories to wake the dead–outlandish tales that open up strange metaphysical perspectives within the self–and returns with a precious secret that may be everything or nothing.

    Agreed about The Tartar Steppe‘s technical nature. Although it lost in the poll I ran, I probably will end up writing a review this summer, after I have given myself 3-4 months to digest it and then a re-read to follow.

    Very curious about the Glavinic, so I went ahead and ordered that one.

  22. The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares and the film inspired by, but not adapted from, it: Last Year at Marienbad.

  23. uzwi

    Hi Larry. As conceptual novels go, the Glavinic is quite raw & savage. As a result, I actually liked it more than, say, Tom McCarthy’s much cooler Remainder. Speaking of which, have you read The City & the City ? It strikes me as the first contemporary conceptual novel written out of the f/sf genre. (Not to say the first genuinely European novel written out of British f/sf.) Everything China was doing before now seems like testbedding for this move.

    & for all you Bovary fanboys out there, this–
    http://tinyurl.com/d5dzsx

  24. Krishna

    The OS Landrangers?

    Having said that, Google are having a good try at upping the anti on that one and attempting to spray their grid as close to the surface as they can with the Street View. How come I can never quite see into the kitchen window of my old flats in their views? What’s he building in there?

  25. PGelatt

    I’d venture Philip Ridley’s 1990 film THE REFLECTING SKIN. Like an oddly pastoral David Lynch by way of Joyce Carol Oates.

  26. No, I haven’t read China’s latest, as Del Rey had already distributed their galleys before I asked for one. I do plan on reading it in May, however, as I have heard that he does some interesting things with the management of conceptual Space.

    As for the Glavinic, that’s exactly the sort of novel I’d like to read. If as a fictional story it can get rawer and more savage than Modris Eksteins’ exploration of the cultural history of World War I, Rites of Spring, then it’ll be exactly the sort of story I want to read now.

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  30. lara

    I just remembered: Sparky’s Magic Piano.

  31. mckie

    In no particular order:

    Alexandria: of course a fantasy novel (see harrison & mckie ad nauseam on the subject). I’ve just ordered the folio edition

    I do hope you’d like to add Little, Big by Crowley. Despite the threat of tweeness, I think he gets away with it.

    The principal omission is Lanark and, perhaps even more, Five Letters from an Eastern Empire, by Gray.

    China’s new book is a stunner, isn’t it? I’m hoping to review it in The Spectator. If not, it’s one of the first I’d hawk round anywhere demanding to do.

  32. mckie

    Oh, and L’annee derniere a Marienbad is certainly in my top five films. But don’t get me started on Robbe-Grillet. Les Gommes is fantasy, though.

  33. Lotta good stuff, much more I need to check out, thanks!

    My two cents: C. J. Cherryh’s Morgaine books, and (of course) Crowley’s ‘Little, Big.’ His Aegypt cycle, too.

    Oh, and Jean Pierre Ugarte’s paintings.

    I should probably stop now.

  34. uzwi

    Hi Andrew. Bloody hell. Lanark. How could I have left that off ? The Erasors, too.

    I’m still reeling from The City & the City, which left me thinking about invisible, alternate, superposed & implied countries in completely new ways.

    Larry has an interesting list here–

    http://tinyurl.com/coh8ze

  35. uzwi

    Martin, I just this minute posted on that, only from the Guardian! Great minds & all.

  36. mckie

    Larry’s list is so extraordinarily good for the most part that the inclusion of Richard Bach and Khalil Gibran must be some sort of postmodern joke.
    The Prophet and Jonathan Livingston Seagull are up there with The Da Vinci Code, Perfume and the complete works of Paolo Coelho in my all-time bad books list.

  37. Martin

    And all!

    As a friend’s just told me, this is well in line with the mythical headlines from Beachcomber: “Marie Celeste Docks at Liverpool,” “Emperor Franz Ferdinand Alive & Well: World War One a Mistake,” etc.

  38. Thanks for the link!

    mckie,

    Ever had a few songs that had personal importance to you, although you knew full well that most others would find them to be utter tripe? That’s why the Bach and Gibran are on there (and the Exupéry, for that matter), as they remind me of this woman I know and that’s pretty much the only reason they’d be there.

    Glad you found the others on that list to be excellent, as those too have personal importance for me, especially the Thomas Wolfe book.

  39. mckie

    fair enough, larry. I think the Exupery is actual quality, myself.

  40. Vaidro

    No Dunsany?

  41. Finished the Glavinic last night. Even better than I expected; could almost feel the madness bubbling up at times. Almost done with the Arriaga, except I decided to read it in Spanish. Nice visuals in that; don’t know how well it would translate into English, however.

  42. uzwi

    Hi Larry. Disturbing, isn’t it ? & he never lets up. Really glad you liked it.

    I read the Arriaga in translation, & it seemed as flat and echoic as most English translations. Sometimes that can give a novel an obliqueness–an enticing sense of something not so much absent as unreferred-to–it doesn’t really have, so I’d be interested in your take.

  43. Yes, it was interesting to see all the little ways in which Jonas began to crack. Glad I read it. As for the Arriaga, his prose in Spanish is very terse and to the point, unlike the Boom Generation writers. Reminds me of some of Bolaño’s short fiction, in which he eschews metaphors and goes straight for the jugular. The symbolism of the buffalo was very well done and I found it fitting that Arriaga used Bukowski for his epigraph, as there were certainly some parallels about the halfway point of the novel between the action and the epigraph. I’ll probably write a longer review of both works in a couple of weeks, once I’ve had time to reflect at length.

  44. uzwi

    Thanks, Larry: that terseness pretty much came over in the translation. Very refreshing. Weirdly, or perhaps not, the edition I read (Sceptre, UK, 2005, tr Alan Page) has an epigraph from Martin Luis Guzman–

    The flashes of his eyes suddenly revealed to me that we men do not belong to one single species, but to many, and that from one species to another, within mankind, there are impassable distances, worlds irriducible to a common term, capable of producing–if from one world, one were to look into the depths of one facing him–the vertigo of the other.

    Also fairly relevant. (& quite relevant to China’s new book too.)

    I look forward to your reviews of both those books.
    I haven’t got on to Bolano’s short stories yet, but they are next on my list after The Savage Detectives.

    Apropos of some of this–but via such a long line of semiotic drift it might as well not be–have you read Marc Bojanowski’s The Dog Fighter ?

  45. The Guzman quote is also in the Spanish edition, but since I haven’t read any of his works yet, I didn’t connect it as strongly to the narrative as I did the Bukowski.

    I don’t know which Bolaño collection to suggest first, since apparently New Directions is combining elements from his first two collections, while publishing the third and fourth (both posthumous releases) unchanged in content. The Savage Detectives is a work that depends quite a bit on the short fiction, I’ve found, as Belano and Ulises appear frequently in Amberes and The Assassin Whores, while Amulet serves as a bridge of sorts between The Savage Detectives and 2666. I need to re-read all of them before I can comment with anything approaching certainty on all the ways they are connected.

    I haven’t read the Bojanowski, but based on the description, I just placed an order for it and will read it in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for the tip!

  46. MikeA

    Also conspicuous by their absence: Jorge Luis Borges (eg “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertias”) and Russell Hoban (“The Medusa Frequency” etc.). Does John Gardner’s “Grendel” count? How about Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”?

    “Lanark” would be my top pick, though.

  47. uzwi

    Hi MikeA, as I said to Martin above, it’s all in that “some”. I didn’t intend to produce an exhaustive list, or tick a lot of other people’s boxes–especially when they could come here & tick them themselves…

    All or any Borges, of course. I thought of doing The Medusa Frequency, but in its incarnation as Hoban’s collaboration with Impact Theatre–the legendary Carrier Frequency (1984/5). John Gardner’s Grendel didn’t turn me on; but I’ve never been without a copy of Invisible Cities (until now, see comments on the “literary scandals” post, above). & I still don’t know how I forgot Lanark because it so perfectly fits my criteria.

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  49. Mr Evans

    It’s Sunday – my missus and our daughter are away out for the day – stretching fantasy by a country mile sounds good enough to me…

    TROUT MASK REPLICA – Captain Beefheart
    DEMON DAYS – Gorillaz
    THE BLACK RIDER and BLOOD MONEY – Tom Waits (although Burroughs and Buchner helped him, so they doubly count!)
    F♯A♯∞ – Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    FLAUNT IT – Sigue Sigue Sputnik
    THE MASTER AND MARGARITA – Mikhail Bulgakov
    DHALGREN – Samuel R Delany
    TEATRO GROTTESCO – Thomas Ligotti
    THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION – J G Ballard
    MOTHERFUCKERS – David Britton
    LA JETEE – Chris Marker
    LE MEPRIS – Jean Luc Godard
    PERSONA – Ingmar Bergman
    APOCALYPSE NOW – Francis Ford Coppola
    A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE – John Cassavettes (oi, it’s about desire, the lies we tell ourselves and the masks we wear – among other things – and is so painful you want it to be fantasy!)
    ENDGAME – Samuel Beckett
    ACTOR – Steven Berkoff
    THE BALCONY – Jean Genet
    STUDY AFTER VELAZQUEZ’S PORTRAIT OF POPE INNOCENT X – Francis Bacon

    …Think that’ll do for now. I’m hungry.

  50. uzwi

    Nice list, Mr Evans. Very nice list indeed. I particularly liked the inclusion of the Genet. I was going to use

    Repudiating the virtues of your world, criminals hopelessly agree to organize a forbidden universe. They agree to live in it.

    as one of the epigraphs to Light. I might yet use it for the new one.

  51. Messr Mortiss and Evans plugged a few holes I’d eyed. Onward, Christian fingers:

    CAREFUL – Guy Maddin
    DIVINE HORSEMEN – Maya Deren
    HADRIAN THE SEVENTH – “Baron Corvo”
    HISTORY OF THE FRANKS – Gregory of Tours
    KRAZY KAT – George Herriman
    MALDOROR – “Comte de Lautreamont”
    MYTHOLOGIES – W. B. Yeats
    PROGRESS OF STORIES – Laura Riding
    RYDER – Djuna Barnes
    SHERLOCK JR – Buster Keaton
    SISTERS BY A RIVER – Barbara Comyns
    SWORDSMAN II – Siu-Tung Ching, Stanley Tong
    TAM LIN – Anon.
    THE CONFIDENCE MAN – Herman Melville
    THE SECRET SERVICE – Wendy Walker
    THONGS – Alexander Trocchi

  52. Oh, and out of many possible choices by Hans Christian Andersen I’ll mention “THE FLYING TRUNK” as an early but still practical guide to fantasy as vocation.

  53. Val

    What a wonderful list, Mike. I just read “Mazirian the Magician” two weeks ago, after finding it in a short story anthology in a used bookstore.

    Very interesting that you included Ratchet & Clank. One of my favorite game series. Do you play? I have played all of the R&C games except the latest (can’t afford the HDTV+PS3 combo just yet). To the list I might add Zork, and perhaps, Prince of Persia. I’d leave out Zelda, Final Fantasy and other popular titles, for the same reason you left out Tolkien.

  54. uzwi

    Hi Val. No, I don’t play games. But I find that watching a ten year old friend of mine play Ratchett & Clank is a major fiction experience–the curious, meaningless reiterations, the constant narrative drive in the absence of an actual narrative, the “world” I don’t quite understand, the rules I definitely don’t understand, the gorgeous images of voids and falls, the clanks & tweets & outrageous never-dissipated energy of it, fill many of my parameters for good sf. Essentially, by playing, my friend writes me a fiction. He’d like me to play too, but I’m not daft. He’d humiliate me.

  55. uzwi

    Hi Ray Davis. Interesting list. I can go all the way with Krazy Kat, & consider that, as in the case of Lanark, I have let myself down by not including it. The Yeats choice is fascinating. In the end I ruled Yeats out because all I could think of to list was “All of Yeats”; or I was just going to do the “foul rag & bone shop of the heart” quote, because for me that’s pretty much what fantasy is, whatever anyone else says about it.

  56. In the neighborhood of fantasy there are too many worthwhile tourist destinations to fit into a fast comment, so I just reeled off some things I use as landmarks (distance guides, boundary markers).

    Yeats’s fiction made considerably more of a dent in me than, say, Tolkien or Lovecraft Clark Ashton Smith. As much as I wallowed in his contemporaneous poetry, his stories always seemed a few years further on in maturity (however it was I defined “maturity” as a teenager). Not to play butter-the-blogger, but COURSE OF THE HEART may be the only thing I’ve read that moved past a mark set by Yeats’s occult stories.

  57. (Missed an “or” in there, meaning no disrespect to good ol’ L.C.A. Smith….)

  58. Regarding electronic games, I once used them for the same pleasure I got from hack fantasy fiction… immersion and reality avoidance. To this day I don’t know what kind of case one could make for Tomb Raider, Grim Fandango and Planescape:Torment (my favorites, along with the old Infocom games) as fantasies in the dream, as opposed to daydream, sense. I wanted an alternative to reality, and these games allowed me to have imaginary experiences, meet imaginary people, and solve imaginary problems, all within cozy candy-colored parameters.

    One day I started a glossy but unpromising game (I think it was called The Longest Journey) in which one’s character gazes at a Thomas Kinkaide-looking mountain range and says “real life never looked so beautiful.” I looked at the inch-high lavender mountain range, looked out the window at the sunny parking lot, realized my parking lot had more visual interest than the allegedly beautiful game, and deleted the game from my machine. I’ve never gone back.

    Which is not to deny that electronic games have a part to play in the story of fantasy, but here be high-fructose corn syrup dragons. Anyway, Mr. Harrison, your writings have been key texts for me in my attempts to merge a love of fantasy with a need for reality.

    Apologies for going into American talk-show confessional mode.

  59. uzwi

    Hi Ray Davis: I don’t know Yeats’ fiction very well, but I’ve downloaded some to remedy that. Yeats made up one leg of the tripod that supports The Course of the Heart (or at least the occult part of it). The other two legs were Arthur Machen & Charles Williams. True to form, Crowley interfered.

    Hi Aaron. Folding the two together whilst keeping them apart, that’s the challenge. I’m glad it worked for you.

  60. Mr Evans

    That’s a stormer, Mr Harrison – a new and forbidden universe …where the air, of course, is nauseating – What’s not to love about that???

    Just thinking about it puts a nice wee spin on LIGHT.

    Glad you dug the list, sir – and all the others – I am mildly ashamed at my ignorance, especially towards KRAZY KAT… seems I’ve been missing out on a whole other world & must remedy this. Immedi-fucking-ately!

    Finally:

    “To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or prose…”

    From Celine – now there was a chappy who was disillusioned with the actual.

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  62. jeff ford

    I wouldn’t have thought to include Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, but that was a real “novel” of an album and a complete dark vision that left teeth marks in my teenage early 70′s Long Island suburban life. I did miss Ronson, but I think I’m going to have to go back and listen to that again. I wouldn’t have thought to put it on the fantasy list, but I’m glad you did. Interesting list overall, especially the films.

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