Friday, August 06, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 13

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

by Alan Dean Foster

I first discovered author Alan Dean Foster in the late 1970s when I was still a kid. After all, he had been the author of Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the very first Star Wars sequel, and that was a book I'd had to have back then.

Spellsinger: Book 1I continued to read Foster over the next several years. Much of what I read by him was science fiction or novelizations of movies. But then he came out with a fantasy novel called Spellsinger.

Spellsinger was different than any other fantasy fiction I'd read up to that time, about 1983 when I was 13. The story was about a man named Jon-Tom Meriweather from our Earth who magically gets transferred to a fantasy world inhabited by talking, bipedal animals. Once in this new world, Meriweather soon discovers he is a Spellsinger, a natural-born mage of sorts who can sing and perform music to create magical spells.

It was a fun book, and a funny one, as well. Jon-Tom played the guitar, and he was a bit of a classic and metal rock fan, so much of his magic was brought about with him performing songs by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, etc. That was and continues to be one of my favorite eras of popular music, too, so the tale has always had a special place in my heart.

Spellsinger was followed up by seven more books based upon Jon-Tom's exploits in magic. And each of those books was entertaining, but the original is still my favorite to this day.

If you like lighter fantasy with a humorous twist, this series should be right for you.

And it won't hurt if you like to crank up an electric guitar every once in a while.

Next up: The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas


Charles Gramlich said...

Did you ever read his novelization of The Thing? Truly inspired.

Ty Johnston said...

Oh, yeah. ADF is one of my favorite movie novelization writers. Off the top of my head, I've read his versions of The Thing, Alien, Aliens, Clash of the Titans (the original), and who knows how many others.