There is historical fiction and there is fantasy fiction and I love them each separately. Rarely do the two meet in the sub-genre known as historical fantasy, but when they do it has the potential to create a synergy of awesomeness that surpasses even Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Of course, I am partial to historical fantasy because it is what I write. But when a book comes along that does it well, I am especially excited.
Now word hits the grapevine that one of those will be broadcast in 2015 as a production of BBC One (airing on BBC America for US audiences). After several false starts as a movie, Suzanne Clarke’s lovely debut novel, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, has been made into a series comprised of seven one-hour episodes.
Released in 2004, the novel received the kind of reviews and awards writers dream about, including:
Time #1 Book of the Year
Book Sense Book of the Year
People Top Ten Books of the Year
Winner of the Hugo Award
New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Salon.com Top Ten of 2004
Winner of the World Fantasy Award
Nancy Pearl’s Top 12 Books of 2004
Washington Post BookWorld‘s Best of 2004
Christian Science Monitor Best Fiction 2004
San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of 2004
Winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel
Chicago Tribune Best of 2004
Seattle Times 25 Best Books of 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Top 12 Books of 2004
Village Voice “Top Shelf”
Raleigh News & Observer Best of 2004
Rocky Mountain News critics’ favorites of 2004
BBC has released a trailer that looks fantastic and I get a case of the vapors every time I watch it. Enjoy!
It seems only natural that early hominids, hunkered in their caves, should come up with the agency of gods and demons to explain such colossal natural phenomena as thunder, lightning, plague, earthquakes and volcanoes. Or such current or formerly unfathomable mysteries as epilepsy, spontaneous human combustion, or the oceanic red tides that can sweep beaches […]
If you are a lover of historical fiction, I think you’ll enjoy this post from the blog, A Writer of History. It includes an interactive historical fiction survey that has a good participation rate in only its third year: Yes, I know some of you will think I’m crazy! However, the topic of reading is always on my mind […]
In recognition of the fact that yesterday was Earth Day, and today continues Earth Week, I thought I’d take a brief look at the celebration’s history. Not surprisingly, it started off with a connection to the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere. The spring equinox is traditionally considered to be a time of re-birth, renewal, and […]
The Czech author Milan Kundera touchingly describes in one of his books a photograph of Joseph Stalin on a balcony waving to a crowd while all around him stand his most trusted deputies. The photo, used heavily by those responsible for disseminating propaganda, was taken during the early days of the Soviet Union when I […]
Not Jurisprudence’s Finest Nine Centuries Here’s a bit of strange fluff from the history bin: From as early as the year 824 through the mid-1700’s animals and even insects in Europe could be accused of crimes and tried in criminal and ecclesiastical courts. They might appear in the dock, accused of murder, theft, fraud, criminal […]
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In the folklore of Southeastern Europe and Anatolia (Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Turkey), goblins are known as the kallikantzaros. They live underground and only come to the surface during nights of the Twelve Days of Christmas—December 25th through January 5th. Those days, which used to be known in Serbia as “the unbaptized days,” are a time […]
When writing historical fiction, something as simple as light can be a challenge. Your character needs it to see, your readers need it to receive visual setting, and a lit candle or torch may not be handy. Moonlight and starlight can do a lot, but sooner or later your character will likely need to create […]
I recently came across these old notes I made almost 6 years ago while driving my youngest from one activity to another. She was five at the time and could talk a non-stop stream of consciousness from the back seat. I swear I took this down verbatim using one hand and without taking my eyes from […]