Revisiting: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland


APOSTROPHES Few NAMES in Fantasyland are considered complete unless they are interrupted by an apostrophe somewhere in the middle (as in Gna’ash).  The only names usually exempt from apostrophes, apart from those of most WIZARDS, heroes, and COMPANIONS on the Tour, are those of some COUNTRIES.  No one knows the reasons for this.

So writes Diana Wynne Jones in The Tough Guide to FANTASYLAND which came to mind as I read Eva’s “Language of Fantasy” post this morning (and seems an apt follow-up to  yesterday’s post).  Now fantasy is one of my favorite genres, but it definitely has a landscape that is filled to bursting with a highly recognizable collection of prime-for-parody tropes. Originally published in 1998 (with a title-nod to the Rough Guide travel series), in this evilly-amusing work Jones skewers pretty much every one of those conventions with piercing wit.


Filed under Fantasy

3 responses to “Revisiting: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland

  1. How coincidental! I was just discussing names with apostrophes stuck smack dab in the middle of them just the other day. Makes you appreciate the folks who don’t do that all the more.


  2. Ah, yes! This is one of my favorite books to randomly pick up and thumb through. I’m especially fond of the section on ballads: “You will need a chorus, which seems like nonsense but turns out to be Highly Significant . . .”

    It’s great to have you back, Monica!

    Oh, and for further reading, see the Brunching Shuttlecocks article, How to be a Grown-Up Fantasy Geek.


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