Fantasy & Gothic Blog

A Journey with Jules Verne | Author Biographies

Posted by Gillian Whitaker

A novelist, poet and playwright, Jules Verne was a pioneer in the realm of science fiction, with tales that revolved around the appeal of the unknown and the thrill, danger and wonder of the new. Along with H.G. Wells, Verne is considered to be one of the genre’s founding fathers, and his revolutionary adventure novels had a major impact on not only literature but also the industries they describe – for example, numerous scientists and explorers, including aviation specialists and astronomers, have cited the works of Jules Verne as an inspiration for their choice of work.

After Agatha Christie, Verne is the second most translated author, even ahead of Shakespeare, making him the most translated science fiction author to date. Frequently reprinted or adapted for film, his books number over 70 – 54 of which comprised the Voyages Extraordinaires. Featuring daring journeys to unexplored places throughout the universe, these Voyages essentially describe the thematic appeal of his work: characters and readers alike marvel at the discovery of new or previously unseen wonders, making his stories themselves an exploration in imagination. 

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Topics: Jules Verne, sf fiction, Biography

Chilling Ghost Biographies | Wilkie Collins

Posted by Gillian Whitaker

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William Wilkie Collins (1824–89), who was born in London, is the author of the widely acclaimed ‘sensation’ text ‘The Woman in White’ (1859–60). Recently, his detective novel ‘The Moonstone’ (1868) made it to Number 19 in Robert McCrum’s Guardian list of the 100 best novels written in English, where McCrum describes the book as a ‘marriage of the sensational and the realistic’. A close friend of Dickens, Collins is lauded as one of the great forerunners of detective fiction – T.S. Eliot considered Collins and 'The Moonstone' to have invented the genre. His contribution to the genres of sensational and supernatural fiction was considerable, and, famous for his unorthodox, even scandalous, lifestyle during the Victorian era, his own life was not short of inspiration for his work.

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Topics: Gothic Fantasy, Biography

John Howe | From Middle Earth to Dragon Art

Posted by Matt Knight

Dragons don't exist. 

That's a shame, of course. Instead we have to rely on the brilliant work of artists to render these fantastic worlds for us. One hugely important figure in the fantasy art world is the artist John Howe. With a much-loved body of work and perhaps best known for his concept art work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series, Howe's career is marked with an array of interesting experiences that have resulted in some truly astonishing fantasy art pieces.

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Topics: fantasy art, Biography

Chilling Horror Biography | William Hope Hodgson

Posted by Gillian Whitaker

With a history in seamanship, photography and bodybuilding on top of his successful writing career, William Hope Hodgson (1877–1918) makes for an interesting subject for today’s blog. Perhaps best known for his novels ‘The House on the Borderland’ (1908) and ‘The Night Land’ (1912), Hodgson’s fiction has been a great influence on a number of horror writers, especially celebrated for his authentic narratives on the horrors of the sea and his creation of the enduring supernatural investigator Thomas Carnacki.

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Topics: Gothic Fantasy, Biography

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