READ & DOWNLOAD Ç Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created

READ & DOWNLOAD Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created

READ & DOWNLOAD Ç Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created Æ A glorious full illustrated collection that delves deep into the inception influences and literary and historical underpinnings of nearly 100 of our most beloved fictional realms A glorious full illustrated collection that delves deep into the inception influences and literary and historical underpinnings of nearly 100 of our most beloved fictional realms Literary Wonderlands is a thoroughly researched wonderfully written and beautifully produced book that spans two thousand years of. I can’t remember the last time I read a book that made me this angryI probably shouldn’t be uite so mad As a whole this is a fluff piece clearly not meant seriously; as amply demonstrated by the shallow blurb like summaries of each ‘literary wonderland’ Few of the ‘essays’ even uote from the material and when they do it’s only once; none of the ones I read in the spirit of honesty I should tell you that I only made it halfway through the book before wishing I had a paperback copy to set on fire so it is theoretically possible that the essays in the latter half of the book are better discuss what makes each wonderland worthy of inclusion among ‘the greatest’ or what effect each had on the readers and society of its time Few give any meaningful cultural or historical background and then only in crumb formA book like this is probably always a risk it’s probably impossible to make a list of the ‘greatest’ without upsetting someone Someone will always be confused or offended that their particular favorites didn’t make the cut And I will freely admit that I am not a personal fan of most of the works listed in the first three sections of the book ANCIENT MYTH LEGEND SCIENCE ROMANTICISM and GOLDEN AGE OF FANTASY But there are some very gaping exclusions that I find personally unforgivable; The Tale of Genji written by Murasaki Shikibu in 11th century Japan inarguably the world’s firstoldest attributed novel there are older pieces of literature but we don’t know who wrote those is one Instead Literary Wonderlands claims that honor for Don uixote written centuries later There is also no mention of the Kalevala the Finnish legendary epic which inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet and is recognized as being the foundation of Tolkien’s Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings; Tolkien’s love of and fascination with the Kalevala is well documented For that reason alone I would think the Kalevala ought to have been included and that’s without delving into what an incredible and extremely old epic piece it is Mary Shelley despite almost universal agreement that her Frankenstein constitutes the first science fiction novel is nowhere to be found either 'Who is the Shapespeare of imaginative fiction For many it's a debate between HG Wells and Jules Verne' ACTUAL UOTE FROM THIS PYRE OF AWFULNESS In fact that’s what first set alarm bells ringing for me; a uick glance at the table of contents shows very few female authors listed at all THE COMPUTER AGE includes Lois Lowry Margaret Atwood JK Rowling Cornelia Funke Susanna Clarke Suzanna Collins Ann Leckie and Nnedi Okorafador – eight names out of the 22 authors included in the section NEW WORLD ORDER which precedes it includes Ursula Le Guin Gerd Mjøen Brantenberg Angela Carter Octavia Butler and that's all Four names out of the 21 in that section There’s no mention of Madeleine L’Engle No Anne Rice No Connie Willis Doris Lessing is mentioned in passing but none of her works are featured despite her having won the Nobel Prize for Literature There’s no Marion Zimmer Bradley who while a disgusting piece of human trash nonetheless produced multiple groundbreaking works in the fields of speculative fiction NK Jemisin Jacueline Carey Martha Wells Catherynne Valente and Kate Elliott have all created breathtaking and mindblowing fantasy and science fiction worlds but none are included here Julie E Czerneda CJ Cherryh Lois McMaster Bujold James Tiptree Jr Jo Walton Mercedes Lackey Mary Stewart Anne Bishop Meredith Ann Pierce Jane Yolen Joanna Russ Patricia A McKillip Nicola Griffith DIANA WYNNE JONES Elizabeth Bear Suzette Haden Elgin I could sit here typing names for hours and yes of course not all of these authors could have been included if the editors wanted to keep this book as fluffy and short as they clearly did But that doesn’t excuse the fact that so many of them are missing If I’m being kind I’ll theorise that there were two ways the editors chose which authorsworks to include Either they wanted works that featured secondary worldssocieties that were intricate impressive and groundbreaking – so demonstrations of immense literary craft on the part of the author – or they wanted works which precipitated literary or cultural revolution By either standard most of the authors I just listed should have been included How can anyone make a list of ‘greatest fictional worlds’ and exclude Diana Wynne Jones How can you talk about the history of speculative fiction and ignore James Tiptree or Marion Zimmer Bradley The lack of female authored works is enraging but that’s all without touching on the airy fluff pieces of the essays themselves As mentioned above each one mostly summarises the plot of the work; as someone who studied the Odyssey for two years at A Level the banal three page blurb written on it for this book makes me want to scream For example there’s no mention of the incredible cleverness of the very language used in the Odyssey word play and cultural jokes only intelligible with some understanding of the time period and Ancient Greek itself There’s no mention of the fact that ‘Homer’ almost certainly didn’t exist or that modern scholarship is leaning and towards the idea of both the Odyssey and the Illiad as having been written by a woman There’s no real explanation as to why the Odyssey is so groundbreaking and impressive or why it has resonated so strongly with readers throughout human history And every piece is like that Even when as in the essay on The Water Babies some of the motifs used in the text are decoded for non Victorian Age readers no mention is made of why how or even if the literary wonderland in uestion affected readers so strongly as to make it into this book The standard by which these fictional worlds were selected for this collection is entirely missing; nor is there any explanation of why so many major pieces of fiction by women have been overlooked All in all this is a stupidly pretentious fluff piece whose authors prove their very unsuitability for crafting such a collection by their ignorance of those genres they purport to have studied so carefully This is not a list of ‘the greatest’ any genuine speculative fiction fan can support and the essays on each work do nothing to explain why even those greats included are so great On bended knee I beg you PLEASE do not buy this as a neat Yuletide gift for the spec fic fan in your family They might well beat you to death with it

REVIEW ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Ö Laura Miller

E meaning that can be extracted from the details of the work With hundreds of pieces of original artwork illustration and cartography as well as a detailed overview of the plot and a Dramatis Personae for each work Literary Wonderlands is a fascinating read for lovers of literature fantasy and science fictio. For my full review fell in love with this in the bookshop  I have a great weakness for books about books and leafing through the pages of beautiful illustrations and biographies of fantasy worlds that I had loved over the years I felt that this was a book that I really needed to have for my own  Fortunately it was just before Christmas and Santa Claus in the guise of my parents was very obliging  Tracking back from early mythology all the way through to the modern age Literary Wonderlands is in the words of its creator Laura Miller is a compendium of the 'lands that exist only in the imagination' offering a panoramic view of the development of story telling  Bibliophiles will delightMiller emphasises in her introduction that the book is designed to focus on one of the 'least celebrated' aspects of reading; 'its ability to make us feel transported to a different time and place'  Along with a vast team of contributors Miller has grouped the literary wonderlands by era going from Ancient Myth and Legend to Science and Romanticism through to the Golden Age of Fantasy and then on to New World Order before finishing up with the Computer Age   Providing synopses and background information for each of the almost hundred wonderlands featured we gain valuable context about the influences behind many of the most celebrated works of creative fictionOf course when one actually reads through the wonderlands one realises that being transported to these places would not be as desirable as all that  From the Hell in Dante's Divine Comedy to the terrifying world of The Water Babies this scarred me as a child to the Gilead of The Handmaid's Tale all too often the author's wonderland has many of the aspects of a nightmare  Personally I have always thought that even Alice's Wonderland is a horrifying story with pretty illustrations  Yet there are others such as the book world of Thursday Next and Moominvalley which have much warmer memories and the wealth of illustrations in this book only serve to remind us of why they captured our imagination in the first placeCollected together it becomes possible to see trends in story telling which go beyond the individual author inspiration  It was striking however that the Ancient Myth and Legend section stretched from 1750 BCE to 1666 AD while subseuent sections tended to be a century or so at most with the Computer Age chapters lasting only the last thirty years  Additionally while Miller has examples aplenty for each of her categories there were a number of notable absentees such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein  This was particularly strange given that in the segment on Never Let Me Go the former novel is hailed as the first piece of true science fiction  Moreover Literary Wonderlands is centred on mostly Western literature meaning that a number of works are cited without reference to the non Western pieces which inspired themMore peculiarly as we move through the sections there were an increasing number of books which did not seem to be taking place in a wonderland at all but in worlds strikingly similar to our own  Does The Handmaid's Tale 'count' as fantasy literature  Does speculative fiction transport us to an entirely new time and place  Where does the border come between the twoIt was odd too how Miller seemed to pick the first novel in a series as the point of focus for a segment without considering its place within its individual canon  So the Moomins are represented by The Moomins and the Great Flood even though Literary Wonderlands acknowledges that this book is non canonical and that most agree that the story's true continuity did not begin until Comet in Moominland  Similarly Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is featured rather than Peter Pan itself  Because of this I felt that some of the wonderlands that I loved the best did not uite get their fair coverageTonally the book is rather disjointed  This is unsurprising given that there are over forty contributors but it does mean that certain entries are readable than others  It is not immediately clear who has written about which book further complicating the issue  That being said there are some truly fantastic passages such as the closing lines on The Chronicles of Narnia 'It isn't the elaboration of the backdrop that casts the spell that makes the place seem real in spite of its many absurdities but the inexhaustible delight of the dancers who inhabit it as well as the man who made it' So very very true  There is a real tenderness too in the descriptions of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Terry Pratchett's Discworld  The one thing I did find a little sad however was how few uotations were made from the original material; the pictures and illustrations are stunningly beautiful but it was the words that transported us in the first placeWhat intrigued me most however was the realisation that creative ideas recur over time  Egalia's Daughters A Satire of the Sexes was published in 1977 and seems to feature many of the same themes as Naomi Alderman's recent bestseller The Power  I would imagine that this comes from the ongoing frustration of women with our patriarchal society but I was fascinated by how Alderman's novel could be hailed as ground breaking when another book had achieved success with the same message so comparatively recently  Indeed many of the wonderlands do seem to be inter related with numerous examples of cross pollination  I wondered was this because the stories we hear in childhood leave a mark which decides on the ultimate path of our own future imaginings  Or are there just a finite number of fresh ideas in the worldWhile not uite ualifying as encyclopedic Literary Wonderlands is a feast for the book lover and a wonderful chance to revisit old friends  I found a number of books to be added to the TBR pile and enjoyed tracing the lines of intertextuality  Despite the impressive credentials of its contributors this is less an academic piece as it is a joyous recognition of fiction's power to make us visualise the product of someone else's imagination  While Wonderlands is not without its flaws I am still smitten with its unabashed enthusiasm for its subject matter and of course the beauty of the book itself

Laura Miller Ö 9 READ & DOWNLOAD

Literary Wonderlands A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever CreatedCreative endeavor From Spenser's The Fairie ueene to Wells's The Time Machine to Murakami's 184 it explores the timeless and captivating features of fiction's imagined worlds including the relevance of the writer's own life to the creation of the story influential contemporary events and philosophies and th. I'm not sure what I expected this to be but as I was reading it I kept thinking This isn't what I expected it to be I know that makes no sense It's still a beautiful book and I enjoyed every page