Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Order [book in series=yearoffirstbook.book# (eg 2014.01), stand-alone or one-author collection=3333.pubyear, multi-author anthology=5555.pubyear, SFM/MM=5000, interview=1111]: 1900.01


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She: A century-old mirror

She by H. Rider Haggard

H. Rider Haggard published She in 1887. 130 years later, She is a memorable, if strange, read. It is a romantic action-adventure seen in a fun-house mirror; almost offensive at times to modern sensibilities, but still intriguing.

The two main characters are Leo Vincey and our narrator, his adoptive father L. Horace Holly. Holly describes himself as ugly — ape-like, with bandy legs, over-long arms and thick black hair that grows low on his forehead. He is a committed misanthrope and misogynist.


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Five Children and It: Charming children’s fantasy in the public domain

Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit

Five Children and It combines eleven stories that Edith Nesbit wrote about five siblings who discovered a wish-granting fairy called The Psammead in the sandlot of the house they recently moved into. The stories were originally serialized in shorter form in Strand Magazine in 1900. The first story (the first chapter of the novel) tells how the children moved from London to Kent, explored their new house and yard, and found the Psammead. He grumpily agrees to grant the children a daily wish that will end at sundown.


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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The movie leaves out so much

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

In his introduction to the first American fairytale that went on to become one of the most famous and beloved movies of all time, author L. Frank Baum says a rather extraordinary thing. Discussing the purpose of the old fairytales by Grimm and Andersen, Baum tells us that such tales existed both to entertain children and provide a moral by means of “horrible and blood-curdling” incident. True enough, but Baum goes on to say that his book falls outside this typical definition of a fairytale,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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