Friday, August 16, 2013

Writing Fantastic London: A reading list

Among many fantastic things I was involved with at the Nineworlds Geekfest last weekend, I led a workshop on "Writing Fantastic London", a mixture of me talking about key fantastic works about London, and how they use London, and giving people the chance to write their own stories about London. I'm not sure how well it worked, and in future I would certainly give more time for discussing stories written in the workshop. 

In any case, I thought I'd give you the list of key texts I passed out (revised to include some "OMG How did I forget that!" works).

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (1898)
E. Nesbit, The Story of the Amulet (1906)
P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins (1934) and sequels
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids (1951)
C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew (1955)
Elizabeth Beresford, The Wombles (1968) and sequels
Michael Moorcock, The Final Programme (1969), A Cure for Cancer (1971), The English Assassin (1972), The Condition of Muzak (1977)
Malcolm Hulke, Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion (1976)
Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor (1985)
Iain Banks, Walking on Glass (1985)
Geoff Ryman, The Child Garden (1989)
Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere (1996)
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone (1997) and sequels
Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2000-)
Philip Reeve, Mortal Engines (2001) and sequels
Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver (2003), The Confusion (2004), The System of the World (2004)
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (2004)
Elizabeth Hand, Mortal Love (2004)
Mike Carey, The Devil You Know (2006) and sequels
China Miéville, Un Lun Dun (2007), Kraken (2010)
Kate Griffin, A Madness of Angels (2009) and sequels
Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London (2011), Moon Over Soho (2011), Whispers Under Ground (2012), Broken Homes (2013)
Paul Cornell, London Falling (2012)
Terry Pratchett, Dodger (2012)

The following is a reading list for a Summer School I teach for Middlesex University, with duplications with the list above taken out,  It was originally prepared by the person who taught the course before me, though I've tweaked it a bit.  This course is particularly slanted towards fantasy, whilst the list above includes sf as well.

Michael Moorcock, Warlord of the Air (1971)
Tim Powers, The Anubis Gates (1983)
Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell, From Hell (1989)
Neil Gaiman, et al., Sandman: The Doll's House (1991), "Men of Good Fortune"
China Miéville, King Rat (1998), Perdido Street Station (2000)
Terry Pratchett, The Truth (2000) (other novels featuring Ankh-Morpork are relevant)
Chris Wooding, The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (2001)
Jonathan Stroud, The Bartimaeus Trilogy (three books: 2003-2010)
Ian R. MacLeod, The Light Ages (2003)
Charlie Fletcher, Stoneheart (2006), Ironhand (2007), Silvertongue (2008)
Marie Brennan, Midnight Never Come (2008)

The following suggestions were made by members of the audience (in addition to those that struck me as obvious omissions, which are in the list above):

Douglas Adams, So Long and Thanks For All the Fish (1984)
Felix J. Palma, The Map of Time (2008)
Mike Shevdon, Sixty-One Nails (2009) and sequels
Benedict Jacka, Fated (2012) and sequels

Here are some works in which one might research London, as all the writers above have:

Ken Garland, Mr. Beck’s Underground Map (1994)
Peter Ackroyd, London: The Biography (2001)
Robert Winder, Bloody Foreigners: the story of immigration to Britain (2005)
Jerry White, London in the Twentieth Century (2001), London in the Nineteenth Century (2007), London in the Eighteenth Century (2011)
Barry Miles, London Calling: A Countercultural History of London Since 1945 (2010)
Cathy Ross & John Clark, London: The Illustrated History (2008)

And finally, this website is still very much under construction, but it will be a great resource soon.

So, that should keep you all busy!  Feel free to add some further thoughts.

1 comment:

Catherine Butler said...

Michael De Larrabeiti, The Borribles - and sequels. A kind of anti-Womble trilogy.