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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling(1865-1936)
Rudyard Kipling was not yet 25 when he burst onto the literary scene in London, where his stories of Anglo-Indian life made him an instant celebrity. He won the Nobel Prize in 1907. Born in India in 1865 to an upper-class military family, he spent his early years in Britain and India and achieved his initial success as a reporter in India. Kipling is revered for his adult and children’s stories and poems. We’ll present his works of speculative fiction.

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s story is only a small part

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Good Hunting All That Keep the Jungle Law...

If you were to ask anyone to describe The Jungle Book, they would probably take their cue from the widely known Disney film and say that it was about a young boy who was raised by wolves in the jungle, mentored by a bear and a panther, and who eventually kills a dangerous tiger. In this they'd be right, but they'd only be describing the first three chapters.

The rest of the book is a series of unrelated short stories about other animals, and which are not necessarily set in the jungle either. I was surprised at this, as although I knew that Disney had extensively reshaped the story, I had no idea that Mowgli's story was such a comparatively small part of the book. To my knowledge, Rudyard Kipling's characters have also featured in an anime series and a live-action film, and in both case... Read More

The Second Jungle Book: Did you know there’s a sequel?

The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Now This Is the Law of the Jungle, As Old and As True As the Sky...

Most people are unaware that Rudyard Kipling wrote a sequel to his first highly successful anthology of stories, probably because most editions combine the two into one volume (much like the merging of Louisa Alcott's Little Women and Good Wives). But for what it's worth, the sequel (or second half) of The Jungle Book is better than its predecessor.

The first book contained seven stories and a collection of poems, only three of which concerned Kipling's most famous literary creation: Mowgli, the feral child raised by wolves and learned in the ways of the Jungle Law. The second book comprises eight stories, five of which centre on the adventures o... Read More

Puck of Pook’s Hill: Very valuable

Puck of Pook’s Hill by Rudyard Kipling

The Sword Gave the Treasure, and the Treasure Gave the Law…

Puck of Pook’s Hill is certainly not as famous as Rudyard Kipling's earlier works The Jungle Book, Captains Courageous, or even The Complete Stalky and Co.. First published in 1906, it was his final novel (only an anthology of short stories came after it) and it is certainly an odd specimen of a book.

Siblings Una and Dan are in the right place at the right time when they perform their abridged version of A Midsummer Night's Dream and find that they have unknowingly called up the very cheerful, very English spirit of Puck. Puck (also known as Robin Goodfellow) introduces Dan and Una to a variety of figures that he plucks out of tim... Read More

With the Night Mail: Kipling is a grandfather of steampunk

With the Night Mail: Two Yarns About the Aerial Board of Control by Rudyard Kipling

I didn’t know that Rudyard Kipling wrote steampunk, especially since that moniker didn’t exist during his lifetime. Kipling’s novellas “With the Night Mail” and “Easy as A.B.C.” have airships, vaguely defined etheric power sources and more energy weapons than you can hit with a stick. He may not have written steampunk, but he might be one of its literary grandfathers.

Written in 1905, “With the Night Mail,” narrated in the first person by a young journalist, chronicles the flight of Postal Packet 162, the dirigible charged with delivering the mail from London to Quebec. Crossing the ocean, Packet 162 encounters a super-storm that tests the strength of the airship and the capabilities of its crew.

The Aerial Board of Control, a “semi-elected, semi-nominated body of a few score persons of both sexes,” manages transportation, ... Read More

The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories: Humane science fiction

The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories edited by Tom Shippey

I read Tom Shippey's other excellent collection, The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories some time ago, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out this one. Like its stablemate, The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories consists of a chronological collection of stories from a variety of authors with an introduction by the editor. I was struck by the idea of "fabril" literature, which is discussed in the introduction: a form of literature in which the "smith" is central. Certainly, a great deal of early science fiction in particular involves a clever engineer solving some sort of problem, and I'm sure many careers in engineering and the sciences have been launched in this way. I'd say that there is some tendency, though, as the genre matures, for technology to become the problem and human factors the solutio... Read More

More books by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling's Fantasy Stories Rudyard Kipling’s Fantasy Stories — (2004) Publisher: This contains: By Word of Mouth; The Finances of the Gods; The Finest Story in the World; The Children of the Zodiac; The Bridge Builders; The Sing Song of Old Man Kangaroo; They; The House Surgeon; The Knife and the Naked Chalk; The Village that Voted the Earth Was Flat; The Gardner; and When Earth’s Last Picture is Painted.

Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and FantasyRudyard Kipling’s Tales of Horror and Fantasy — (2008) Publisher: From ghost stories to psychological suspense, the complete horror and dark fantasy stories of Rudyard Kipling. Rudyard Kipling, a major figure of English literature, used the full power and intensity of his imagination and his writing ability in his excursions into fantasy. Kipling is considered one of England’s greatest writers, but was born in Bombay. He was educated in England, but returned to India in 1882, where he began writing fantasy and supernatural stories set in his native continent: “The Phantom Rickshaw,” “The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes,” and his most famous horror story, “The Mark of the Beast” (1890). This masterwork collection, edited by Stephen Jones (Britain’s most accomplished and acclaimed anthologist) for the first time collects all of Kipling’s fantastic fiction, ranging from traditional ghostly tales to psychological horror.