I just read a lovely, excellent piece by Molly McArdle on the joys, and failures, of Narnia. “I write as someone who was left behind, as anyone who has read and loved a magical book is, marooned in the world we tried so hard to escape.”
(And on a side note, Buzzfeed continues to publish some excellent work.)
McArdle's essay articulated a lot of things I've felt and thought about over the years, which made me want to link to or mention a bunch of other things as well. So here are some notes.
- Jo Walton's story “Relentlessly Mundane,” one of the first stories we published in Strange Horizons.
- My review of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (the 2005 movie).
- As I've mentioned elsewhere, “that lamppost in the snowy wasteland is pretty much the iconic image of fantasy in my head.”
- Neil Gaiman's story “The Problem of Susan” (which I don't think is available online in an authorized form, but can be found in Gaiman's collection Fragile Things, among other places), Ursula Vernon's story “Elegant and Fine,” and others. I was sad to miss the Problem of Susan panel at this year's WisCon (see also Ben's discussion from a few years ago). I know many of y'all loved the feminist-Susan-grows-up-in-America piece; I was put off by the America thing, but there's good stuff in it. And of course there are many many other discussions of the Problem of Susan, from a variety of angles.
- See also Theodora Goss's “Pip and the Fairies.”
- As I've noted elsewhere, “when I first read The Dark Is Rising at age ten and a half[, I] was sure that when I woke up on my eleventh birthday (even though it wasn't midwinter's day) I would be let in on the secrets of the Old Ones.”
...I feel like there was more I was going to say here, but that'll do for now. Even if you don't follow the rest of the links, I recommend the McArdle piece.