Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The British Fantasy Society

Katherine has just rejoined the British Fantasy Society, which the Muse thinks is about time. (How can she possibly have a unicorn for a muse and not call herself a fantasy author?) This is the cover of a special hardcover book of short stories available only to members, which is the first of the goodies they have sent her... looks like tasty unicorn food, so I'm looking forward to reading it.

Katherine began by writing short stories herself. Many years ago when I was still a foal, she made several good friends this way, most of whom are now professional fantasy or horror authors writing for the adult genre – though that doesn’t stop you going over to the genre shelves and having a snoop around for their books. Look out for horror authors Tim Lebbon and Steve Lockley, fantasy authors Sarah Ash, Gary Kilworth and Juliet McKenna, and SF author Neil Asher. Many fantasy books appeal to a wide age range, and those on the adult shelf are not all full of sex, drugs and rock and roll (though some are, of course!)

Some famous examples of books that cross the age barrier:
"Lord of the Rings" by JRR Tolkien – originally published as a trilogy for adults, later filmed and republished in seven shorter volumes for ages 8+.
"His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman – originally published for teenagers, but adopted and read by adult fantasy fans.
"Harry Potter" books by JK Rowling – originally published for 8+ but later simultaneously published as adult books with different covers.

These books find their wide readership in different ways. "Lord of the Rings" is essentially an adult fantasy that can be enjoyed for its magic and adventure by younger fans, Philip Pullman’s books are crossover fiction that appeal to both adults and teenagers, and Harry Potter is children’s fiction that appeals to adults seeking something fun to read.

Have you come across any other books popular with all ages? Let the Muse know, because chances are they’ll appeal to unicorns too…

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