Saturday, February 24, 1996

Testimony: The Boy, the Book, and the Magician

by Jonathan Abucejo (Feb. 24, 1996)
(Originally published at the

Sounds like the name of a new novel coming out by John Bellairs, doesn't it? The title has all the classic Bellairs elements: a grouping of three items; one being an object (usually magical in origin) and another a supernatural being of some sort (recall The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt or The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring). However, the title refers to myself. I was (and many ways, still am) that "boy"; the "book" happened to be The House With the Clock in Its Walls; and the "magician" was a master storyteller, spawning adventures akin to a wizard casting a fantastic, arcane spell... yes, the magician was John Bellairs.

Friday, February 9, 1996

Testimony: The Magic of John Bellairs

by Brad Strickland (Feb. 9, 1996)
(Originally published at the
Several centuries (or so) ago, in a country whose name doesn't matter, there was a tall, skinny, straggly-bearded old wizard named Prospero, and not the one you're thinking of, either."

John Bellairs' wonderful opening to his unique, funny, scary fantasy novel The Face in the Frost captivated me immediately the first time I read it, back in the early seventies. As the plot unfolds, Roger Bacon joins Prospero (Bacon is on the lam from a magical mistake in England that left all the beaches littered with broken glass). Just in time, too, for an old nemesis of Prospero's, a magician who studied under Michael Scott with him, has mastered a deadly magic that threatens to engulf all the world. . . .