苏州吴江区美甲培训

苏州美甲美睫培训学校

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Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky combines SF and fantasy in a near-future American setting. Photo: Supplied First Light, by Erica Wagner, celebrates the life of master British fantasy writer Alan Garner. Photo: Supplied
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Alyzon Whitestarr, by Isobelle Carmody, returns in a re-edited version. Photo: Supplied

The Summon Stone, by Ian Irvine, who says its characters exemplify the Aussie spirit. Photo: Supplied

The Sorcerer’s Daughter, by Terry Brooks, is a standalone book within the Defenders of Shannara series. Photo: Supplied

Isobelle Carmody, who will be a guest at the Canberra Writers’ Festival in late August, completed her mammoth Obernewtyn series last year. Now comes a re-edited version of her 2005 award-winning young adult novel, Alyzon Whitestarr (Ford St, $24.95). Teenager Alyzon finds, after emerging from a coma, that her senses have become greatly increased, particularly her sense of smell. This gift, or is it a curse, allows her to smell evil, especially evil affecting her sister and ultimately her family. Alyzon Whitestarr will certainly attract new readers in a book that reaffirms the importance of family and friendship.

Long fantasy series have good and bad traits. Readers can immerse themselves in detail, and follow characters over a long period, but many authors continue a series for commercial reasons when the original creative spark has gone. That is certainly the case with American author, Terry Brooks, perhaps because he has seen a resurgence of interest with the recent Shannara Chronicles TV series. The Sorcerer’s Daughter (Orbit, $32.99), is a standalone YA-focused novel within the Defenders of Shannara series. The standard battle between good and evil focuses on the daughter of a powerful evil sorcerer as she strives to keep the peace between the Federation and the Druids.

Ian Irvine has had a long Australian SF and fantasy career. His composite Three Worlds Cycle has now sold more than 1 million copies. Within that framework, he now starts The Gates of Good and Evil trilogy with The Summon Stone (Orbit. $32.99). Irvine has indicated, in an online interview, that The Summon Stone is set 10 years after The View from the Mirror quartet, with characters who “exemplify the Aussie spirit, e.g. defiance of authority, self-deprecation (and) dislike of Tall Poppies”. Irvine’s marine science background is put to good use in the background framework of magical pollution, with Sulien, a nine-year-old girl, the key to saving their world.

Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky (Titan, $19.99), combines SF and fantasy in a near-future American setting. Patricia and Laurence attend the same school where Patricia develops her magical skills, while Laurence is a geek who has invented a machine that can take him forward in time, but only two seconds. Reuniting as adults they need to combine their skills to avert a global catastrophe. Anders blends science and magic in an intriguing plot line that bends genres.

Alan Garner is a master of the fantasy pantheon, with books such as The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, The Owl Service, Red Shift and The Stone Book Quartet. Philip Pullman has called him “the most important British writer of fantasy since Tolkien”, although there are substantial differences in content and writing. First Light (Unbound, $45), edited by Erica Wagner, commemorates Garner’s 80th birthday. Margaret Atwood, Susan Cooper, Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman and Ali Smith are among the many writers contributing short essays on Garner. Fascinating details emerge, such as in Andrew Hodges’ account of Garner’s time in 1951 running in Cheshire lanes with the famous code-breaker Alan Turing. Garner is the runner on the front cover of First Light, a title he chose.

In a Canberra context, many will remember Garner’s extremely moving keynote speech at the 1983 Word Festival at University House. The then master, Professor Ralph Elliott, had a long friendship with Garner. I was pleased to arrange, after Elliott’s death, for two large manuscript boxes of their correspondence, gifted by his widow Margaret, to be deposited in the Garner Archive in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, where First Light was launched earlier this year.

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