the broken sword

'Laughing aloud, Imric rode homeward. But of a sudden he heard his laughter echoed through the noise by a different sound; and he reined in with his breast gone cold. A last break in the clouds cast a moonbeam on the figure which galloped across Imric's path. A bare glimpse he had, seated on his plunging steed, of the huge eight-legged horse that outran the wind, its rider with the long grey beard and shadowing hat. The moonbeam gleamed on the head of a spear and on a single eye.
Hoo, halloo, there he went with his troop of dead warriors and howling hounds. His horn called them; the hoofbeats were like a rush of hail on a roof; and then the pack was gone and rain came raving over the world.
Imric's mouth grew tight. The Wild Hunt boded no good to those who saw it, and he did not think the one-eyed huntsman had merely chanced this near to him. But—he must get home now. Lightning seethed around him, and Thor might take a fancy to throw his hammer at anyone abroad.'

The Broken Sword
(Page 24)

As digital literature continues to eclipse the physical my indentured servitude to the latter only grows.
In the past i was precious about only reading freshly printed books with clean edges and unspoiled pages but over the last few years i've begun to seek out more and more used, dog-eared and yellowing, previously loved books.
Especially those in the 70s/80s genre of fantastical fiction.
My mum already has a pretty vast collection of this particular genre so i had a head start figuring out the style of writing and illustration i was fond of - poetical and gaudy for the most part.
Even though i wouldn't necessarily read the books my mum had lovingly gathered over the years i would routinely look through them to soak in the many and varied styles of art emblazoned on the covers - illustration was my first artistic love and probably still is - and, of course, to sniff the pages.
There is no other earthly smell like that of an aged book, it's supernatural and sentient and i adore it.
New books have their own charm and i add them to my "library" monthly, if not weekly but i like the idea of having a section dedicated to used books from varying genres and what with having recently signed up to a few fantasy literary blogs my awareness of different writers and revered series has started to grow.
I don't want to read them all, which is good because as my sister often tells me, not cruelly but bemusedly, i'm a bit of a cultural twitcher.
I'll go from hardcore fantasy to highbrow literary fiction.
I have no boundaries and i cannot stay true to one style/genre/author/musician, i just can't, it makes no sense to me.
There's so much out there in so many different forms and i want it all, or at least all that i'll enjoy/learn from.
Why would i stay in one place?
Perhaps it would mean that in my lifetime i'd experience almost all a genre had to offer but there wouldn't be any surprises, any happenstance and what's the fun in that?
The best part of the arts is falling in love with something you didn't expect to.
I knew i would love Gormenghast, i just did, it was made for me and that doesn't make me love it any less but when my grandfather handed me his copy of Cloudstreet i had no idea that now the very mention of it would make me well up, that i'd have this ever-expanding feeling in my chest that leaves me embarrassingly silent.
I'd never heard of Cloudstreet and initially i didn't even want to read it but i took a bet on my grandpa and it paid off.
That is why i'll never sit still and remain confusing to my big sister.
It's why i'll build my own collection of the Discworld novels with the original Josh Kirby illustrations and why i'll hug every Folio Society edition of a book i treasure (and i'm gifted because those beautiful bastards are expensive!).
Give me books in every form:
Broken at the spine
Perfectly printed
Modernly illustrated
Vintagely? illustrated
Losing pages
Perfectly bound
Give me them all and as soon as humanly possible.

Also, read The Broken Sword, it's a classic fantasy epic with trolls and elves, forbidden love and doomed conquests, changelings and heroes, mystical weaponry and satisfying endings.
If you're into that kinda thing.


The aforementioned befuddled sister brought me food whilst doing this.
Surprise food.
The best food.