The first stop on the FEARSOME JOURNEYS tour: Daniel Abraham's favourite fantasy

From dragons to quests, from battles to magic – epic fantasy has never been more popular and now it has an exciting new series showcasing its best from Locus Award-nominated anthologist, Jonathan Strahan!

All this week, we'll be hearing from some of the authors involved in this fabulous new anthology, which is out now in paperback and ebook, so sit back and relax as they take you through their favourite fantasy worlds...

First we have Daniel Abraham, who is here to tell us about his favourite fantasy...

The usual etymology for the word "religion" tracks back to the Latin religare, which means to bind together. Always rooting for the underdog, I like the less popular alternative relegere which means to re-read.

My favourite fantasy is David Eddings' Belgariad as I read it at sixteen. They were my first real bonding experience with popular fantasy novels, and I reread them until the spines broke. The third or fourth copy I bought is in the shelves behind me right now. But I haven't gone back to them in two and a half decades. I have the very strong impression that time won't have been kind to them. I keep them here partly out of nostalgia for the kid I was then and the books they were then, and partly with the romantic idea – kind of like buying a lottery ticket – that maybe they're still wonderful. Until you check the numbers – until you go back – there's no way to really know, and so there's no way to be disappointed, even if you kind of expect to be.

That sense of a golden age that is gone but maybe not forever – of a rightful king that could return to the throne – is powerful, and not just in genre fantasy. That's in politics; it's in religion; it's in everyone who's ever drunk-dialled an ex-lover late at night in hopes of finding that things were magically . . . no, not even the way they had been. They way we romanticize them after the fact. The way we remember them, or pretend they were.

That's why the greatest fantasies – and I'm thinking of The Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones, Gormenghast, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Elric – along with the adventure and sense of wonder, also have a melancholy at their core.

1 comment:

Paul Weimer said...

It's clear, reading the Dragon's Path novels, that they (as opposed to the Long Price Quartet) owe a lot to Eddings. Feature, not bug.