Monday, 11 November 2013

The Torygraph on fantasy and such

The writer Anne Billson has a good piece in the Telegraph about the recent World Fantasy Convention. It's familiar stuff, by and large, as we already knew genre fiction is not a load of old tat. But I daresay it's a revelation to some that there is a long tradition of good writing sheltering under the fantasy brolly. And I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about one particular author next year.
This year's convention coincided with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Arthur Machen, the Welsh fantasy author of The Great God Pan, which Stephen King has called "one of the best horror stories ever written". Perhaps nowadays Machen is best known as the writer of The Bowmen, a short story in which ghostly archers from the Battle of Agincourt help defeat a company of Germans in the First World War. 
The author never intended it as anything other than fiction, but it somehow became accepted in many quarters as an account of actual events, and ended up contributing to the legend of the Angel of Mons, one of the many subjects of this year's panel discussions.

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