Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Dorothy Gale, the ultimate bad-ass

Next week DEVIL'S KISS hits the shelves. At times it's felt like it would never happen, but now it's imminent. Once, not that long ago, I knew personally everyone that had a copy of the ms. Now I've complete strangers contacting me with their feelings about the book.
One of them, Liz de Jager (cool name or what?) runs a great blog called in which she's written about her love for the BIG names in fantasy and science fiction. She's banged the drum on DEVIL'S KISS and her interview with me will be up shortly. Do check her blog out, especially if you're a fan of fantasy literature. Also she'll be running a competition on Monday giving away copies of DEVIL'S KISS, which is nice. You know you want one.
On the subject of fantasy lit, you'll see that I've dedicated today's blog to witch killer extreme, Dorothy Gale. I've been wondering 'what it's all about' and where I stand with the heroines of literature. We've Alice, and Alice in Wonderland is great, but she's passing through, caught up in events out fo her control and applying child's logic to an illogical world (which could just as well be how a child views the 'normal' adult world, full of hypocrisy and people swearing black is white until they decide white is black) and I wonder is she truly a children's hero, or an adult's hero, who happens to be a child. I know I find the book more interesting reading it as an adult than I ever did as a kid.
Not so with Dorothy. Okay, I did begin with the Wizard of Oz the movie (still one of the greatest films ever made and the ultimate quest adventure, yes, and that includes LOTR) but very early on, when I was 8-ish, I got a copy of the book. Now my daughters have that very same copy. Dorothy is a great hero. She bags both wicked witches and does it with style. She has her allies, and they are icons of the psyche themselves. How brilliant the Tin Man is, and the issue with emotion. There would be no Terminator if it hadn't been for him. I could go on, and may come back to this at some point. But Billi SanGreal owes a huge debt to Dorothy, and it's more than I originally suspected.
On other news, the Crystal Palace Book festival was a huge success! The Bookseller Crow was packed, and I think the audience had a great range of storytellers and workshops to keep them busy all day. Met a guy called Alexander Gordon Smith and checked out his series, Furnace, whcih is about a prison in the underworld. It's one of those concepts you wish you'd thought up first.
Many thanks to Alex and Jonathan for getting it all going and succeeding they way it did. Book me for next year.
The Bookseller Crow is a fantastic independent bookshop. We need more of these where the guy or gal behind the counter does it because they LOVE books and they handsell. It sound so inefficient and old fashioned but that's how we want our books sold. There's nothing better than someone recommending something new and strange and then just falling in love with it. I remember when my mate Nilesh told me about Northern Lights. That book set me off on this career. Thanks Nilesh!


johnandsue said...

NO!!!! You can't get away with saying Wizard of Oz is a better quest movie than LOTR. It is not so. One is filled with echoes of viking and saxon europe, with the poetry and myths of our forgotten past, the other is American.

SarwatC said...

Dorothy would have so totally dealt with Saruman and Sauron it's unreal.
Let's face it, the fellowship were a bunch of wimps. They all swear to help Frodo to Mount Doom and what, the moment it gets difficult Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli ALL decide to help the other two hobbits, who, let's face it, ARE EXPENDABLE. What the hell are they doing here anyway?
The one thing WoOz has over LOTR is at least their songs are catchy, unlike the 'poetry' in LOTR.
All together now-
"Ding dong the witch is dead, the wicked witch is dead!"

Jon M said...

You could argue that Dorothy only killed the witches by accident but at least ToTo her pet, didn't try to feed her to spiders and bite her finger off.
With you on the music..."If I only had a brain..." :)

Gareth said...

OMG - this discussion should so not even be happening! Dorothy Gale and toto Vs THE Felowship - no way!

SarwatC said...

I've started re-reading WoOZ following this and it's only confirmed why Dorothy ROCKS. Firstly, there's no long dreary passages of discription of the hills, rivers, more hills and what-not. The good witch wraps up the landscape pretty promptly, deadly desert all around, teh Emerald city in the middle and dangerous forest in between.
Plus there's great action! Like when the Cowardly lion first attacks the party. The Tin-man's body obviously has some mithril content as it blunts the lion's claws. Actually, the more I think about it it becomes clear WoOZ INSPIRED LOTR. Tolkien probably read it as a kid. Munchkins= hobbits. Silver shoes= The Ring. I could go on. I might.