No Snow White — Calmgrove

Archie Goodwin (writer) & Walter Simonson (artist) Alien: the Illustrated Story Titan Books 2012 (1979) Originally issued forty years ago and timed for the release of the film, Alien: the Illustrated Story has a different narrative vibe from the movie while essentially giving us the same tale. Where the screen version used muted colours and […]

via No Snow White — Calmgrove

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A brief guide to Blastburn — Calmgrove

I’ve just started my reread of Joan Aiken’s standalone title Midnight is a Place (1974) and thought I’d say a few introductory words about the fictional town of Blastburn which features so strongly in this novel, set as it is in both an alternate history (or uchronia) as well as an alternate world (or paracosm). […]

via A brief guide to Blastburn — Calmgrove

Delayed gratification — Calmgrove

Eva Ibbotson: The Secret of Platform 13 Macmillan Children’s Books 2009 (1994) A quest to find a missing prince. A portal that opens for a few days every nine years. A rescue mission by a hand-picked team. Obstacles to be overcome — or else disaster follows. Eva Ibbotson writes a witty narrative that combines a […]

via Delayed gratification — Calmgrove

Good things come in threes — Calmgrove

Diana Wynne Jones: Power of Three Harper Trophy 2003 (1976) Another wonderful offering from the inimitable Diana Wynne Jones, Power of Three is an early-ish fantasy but one which displays all her trademark tics: a tricksy plot with an ending which has you rereading the last few pages wondering what has just happened (and how), […]

via Good things come in threes — Calmgrove

May Days — Cath Barton

I love the spring, with its fresh greens, and bluebells and the may (hawthorn) trees coming into flower. I’m getting out into the hills as often as possible now, training for a sponsored trek on Hadrian’s Wall! And walking is always a great way to refresh the brain and inspire writing. I’ve had lots of writerly […]

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Love leaves its mark — Calmgrove

J K Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury 1997 What can one say about the first of the Harry Potter books that hasn’t already been said, whether in praise or in some kind of disparaging commentary? I’m not certain whether my two penn’orth here will either enlighten anyone or even excuse or endorse […]

via Love leaves its mark — Calmgrove

An archipelago of stories — Calmgrove

Ursula Le Guin: Tales from Earthsea Orion Children’s Books 2002 (2001) A story may be pieced together from such scraps and fragments, and though it will be an airy quilt, half made of hearsay and half of guesswork, yet it may be true enough. — From ‘The Finder’ In the middle of Earthsea, nestled within […]

via An archipelago of stories — Calmgrove