The Return of the Huldrasaga

This weekend I have laid Aiella aside, on the grounds that, pending any further reports from beta-readers, it is as finished as it is going to get, and also I’ve had enough of it for now.

Instead I have taken up my other work-in-progress, untouched for nearly two years, to see what might be done with it.  The Saga of Gorm the Less and the Huldrafolk (hereinafter referred to as the Huldrasaga) is actually the older work, having been started about five or six years ago now. It is a fairly conventional comic fantasy, trying hard not to be a pale imitation of Pratchett, set in a fantasy Northlands very (very) loosely based on Norse sagas and mythology.

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Today’s interview is with minimalist author Rien de Blanque, writer of such acclaimed pieces as Five Hundred Completely Blank Pages and Make Up Your Own Story, I Can’t Be Bothered. Here’s what she had to say:

<blank space scrolls into infinity>

Thought provoking stuff, there. An amazing writer, although Rien’s avant-garde work is better in the original French, obviously.


The Soliloquy (as ad-libbed by Bertie Wooster):

Well, I am dashed if I know whether I can go on like this or not.
I mean, is it better, do you think, to put up with being plagued by Aunts, and what not,
Or to put up a bit of a fight, and stop the whole bally lot?
A chap could do with a nice long lie-in,
At least if by that you mean put a stop to all the nonsense and bother you seem to get nowadays.
It’d be jolly nice, I think!
Well, so long as you don’t get nightmares, I suppose.
I daresay it’s the thought of dreaming about Aunt Agatha forever
That makes chaps like me carry on the way we do.
I mean, who would stand for this tosh –
You know, being oppressed by elderly females,
Having butlers look down their nose at you,
Getting the brush-off from Madeline Basset
(Even if she does think the stars are God’s daisy-chain),
Getting thirty days without the option
Just for relieving a policeman of his helmet on Boat Race night,
And getting a pi-jaw from the magistrate,
Not to mention the underhanded behaviour of Bingo Little at the Drones last week –
If you could get out of it as easily as that?
I mean, I don’t actually have to work for a living,
But it beats me why chaps do,
Bearing fardels and what have you
(What is a fardel? Jeeves would know)
If it wasn’t for the dashed inconvenient fact that if you get off the bus, so to speak,
You don’t know what stop you’ll be at.
It’s not as if anyone ever gets on again.
Tricky things, consciences, and liable to turn you bright yellow
When faced with the choice of carrying on or jumping off into goodness knows what.
I mean, I’m as resolute as the next man, and not given to thinking much,
But even I wobble a bit when up against that kind of thing,
And tend to dither and bug my eyes out (they tell me) and achieve very little, really.
– Stop a minute, Ophelia’s coming! What-ho!!

Farewell My Oofy

It is not, perhaps, widely known that both P G Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler attended Dulwich College. They were not contemporaries, and never wrote together, but imagine if they had …

Farewell my Oofy          by P G Chandler

It was one of those days you get in London towards the end of February, when the fog rolls in from the Thames and the crack houses are hidden by even more noxious vapours than usual. It was cold; so cold that even the cheap streetwalkers were wearing woollen tights. I sat in my office huddled up in my greatcoat, wishing I had enough dough to pay the gas bill. Business was slow; after I’d fingered Sir Gregory Parsloe for the pig theft at Blandings I’d been hoping for more jobs from the aristocracy, but so far nothing had come through. Lord Emsworth had handed me a generous cheque, but it was pretty much all spent, and if a good job didn’t come through soon so was I.

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