Sunday, January 17, 2021

Happy Birthday, John Bellairs

John Bellairs
Another Jan. 17 rolls by and we take a moment to celebrate what would have been the 83rd birthday of John Bellairs.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Something About 2021

Happy New Year!

Finding "The Two Magicians" after 50 Years

Several decades (or so) ago, in a country whose name matters and is already known, there was an author named John Bellairs, and very much the one you are thinking of. He wrote about two characters named Prospero and Roger Bacon:

Prospero lived in the South Kingdom and...stayed at home a great deal, and his trips to other places in the North and South were made on odd occasions and (sometimes) by still odder modes of travel. [...] Roger Bacon, who spent most of his time in England, was more familiar with the border country between the North and the South than Prospero was.

This story crammed with wizards was The Face in the Frost. In 1973, author Lin Carter wrote in his Imaginary Worlds: the Art of Fantasy of his three choices for the best fantasy novels to appear since The Lord of the Rings. His selections were The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle, Red Moon and Black Mountain (1970) by Joy Chant, and The Face in the Frost (1969). Carter included the following passage about Bellairs following his analysis:

...in fact, [Bellairs] has produced for my yet-unpublished anthology of juvenile fantasy, entitled Magic Kingdoms, a new short-story which tells how his diabolic duo [Prospero and Roger Bacon] first became friends.