The Dark World Revisited

 

Note: I have designed a new cover for OODW, which I post here to mark the podcast readings. As for the sound: where songs are part of the books, as in the first four Gom books, I have used them to start and end the readings. Where there are none, I have composed sound of some kind, usually music, offering the whole of it as a bonus at the start, and parts of it to open and close the chapters. OODW music is a telling of the story in sound, and so I use the beginning and ends of the piece to serve that purpose.

Reading On All Hallows’ Eve and Out of the Dark World stirs a certain nostalgia. While Gom and most others of my books are high fantasy, these are of the low kind. High fantasy has a virtual setting, while low fantasy has one foot in the real world, and the other in some other place. This presents a challenge: in order to make the fantasy world convincing, the real world has to be totally correct in every detail. Asked to write the Halloween book, and being English, I made the family English newly settled in America, thus covering any anomalies. (There were none!) Out of the Dark World, set three years later, involved a greater local knowledge not only of the place but of the era. It now proves a cameo of the emergence of the pc into the house. Many readers and listeners will not be aware of how it was then, its coming out of the equivalent of ham radio. Miscrosoft had not yet raided Apple; the only mice outside Macintosh were the furry ones living under the floor. I wrote the first book on a black screen via ms-dos – a far memory. So when Gavin appears on Meg’s father’s screen it was much more shocking than it could be today and hinted at some sinister agent at work. In addition to forays into future fantasy pcs, I folded in experiences of the Silva Mind control system, blending them both to make a book about the two parts of Meg’s psyche, creative and practical. I’m enjoying the visit to those past times and hope that you are getting a whiff of them too. Happy listening!

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