The Tough Guide to Fantasyland

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9780575601062: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland
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FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Written in travel-guide format complete with maps, this is both a hilarious send-up of the cliches of the fantasy genre and an indispensable guide for writers.

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Review:

Suffering from a bit of deja vu after reading your umpteenth fantasy trilogy? Seen too many magic swords, musical elves and warring wizards? Then you're ready for the funniest and most complete "tourist's" guide to Fantasyland's standard character types, plot elements, and settings ever devised.

Diana Wynne Jones describes (starting, of course, with a map) every sword-and-sorcery cliché in wickedly accurate detail, arranged alphabetically. Elves sing in beautiful, unearthly voices about how much better things used to be. Swords with Runes may kill dragons or demons, or have powers like storm-raising, but they are not much use when you're attacked by bandits. You can only have an Axe if you're a Northern Barbarian, a Dwarf, or a Blacksmith. Jones also tackles hard-hitting questions: how does Fantasyland's ecology work when there are few or no bacteria and insects and vast tracts of magically irradiated wastelands? Why doesn't the economy collapse when pirates and bandits are so active and there is no perceptible industry?

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (U.K. Edition) was a 1997 Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee. It's a good companion to Jones's Dark Lord of Derkholm, a fantasy about what happens when your land is turned into a theme park for questing tourist parties. Fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books will enjoy both. --Nona Vero

About the Author:

Diana Wynne Jones is Britain's foremost writer of children's fantasy, including the World Fantasy Award-nominated Archer's Goon, which was made into a six-part BBC TV series, and the Guardian Award-winning Charmed Life.

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Diana Wynne Jones
Published by Gollancz (1996)
ISBN 10: 057560106X ISBN 13: 9780575601062
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Diana Wynne Jones
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