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Fantastic Fables

On sale

7th December 2023

Price: £4.99

Selected:  Digital (deliver electronic) / ISBN-13: 9781399603386

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This final collection of Joan Aiken’s stories, taken from nearly sixty years of her writing career, is rooted in the classic fables and fairy tales familiar to us all, but which she has brought up to date by adding her own voice, and a touch of that mysterious added ingredient that makes you return to them again and again, at any age.

They range from fantastic fairy tales to science fiction, from a future where the sun no longer shines thanks to human folly, to one where all the best words are kept locked away in a forbidden forest . . . they take us to lands that could be from our own past, where we can call upon magical friends like the mysterious Miss Samphire, or long lost magic spells to save a castle from Viking attack. These are absolutely timeless tales, for as she said:

‘They come from nowhere, and they are aimed at nobody’s ear; or rather they are aimed at the ear of anybody who happens to pass by just at that moment’


Joan Aiken's triumph with this genre is that she does it so much better than others
The British master of supernatural fiction
With its fine-tuned combination of folklore and fun ... a good source of imaginative tales to read alone or aloud
Philip Pullman
Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come
J R Townsend, GUARDIAN
Her imagination was so endlessly fertile that she could afford to pour her ideas recklessly into her stories at a rate that would bankrupt other writers in a matter of weeks
Readers of all ages have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best writing by one of the most superb and timeless fantasy writers
Aiken's prose is extraordinary, impossible to do justice to in this small space. Her skill with the language of folk tales - specifically the oral storytelling native to the British Isles - is unparalleled
Joan Aiken produced dozens of cozily eerie short stories, often playing with elements of folk tale and fairy tale
Each of the tales brims with old-fashioned adventure and charm. An excellent way to show Harry Potter fans that magic can come in small doses too
Joan Aiken's stories are the rare real thing ... so many writers think they can throw out a fairy story, but genuine first hand fairy stories are unusual enough to warrant genuine, heartfelt appreciation
Joan Aiken was an outstanding storyteller for children and adults alike ... Aiken wrote in all genres - poetry and plays - as well as having a particular gift for stunning short stories ... she was just as much at home with fairy stories and folktales as she was with such horror stories as A Bundle Of Nerves