Friday, January 1, 2010

Hidden Treasures - Ariel The Book of Fantasy

A while back I had scored an Ebay auction fo the classic "Gnomes" book from back from my childhood, a treasure I have been tracking down for ages. It was not in the best condition but I really just wanted an okay copy that I could share with my kids, so I bid after and won a softbound copy of it along with another book I had not heard of nor was particularly interested in at the time. So I enjoyed Gnomes and put the other book aside, ignored and forgotten....until the other night.

Published in 1978, it turns out this book is Volume Three of a series of books that featured art, fiction, and interviews with some of the greats of sci fi and fantasy. The book I have has a Barry Windsor-Smith cover as well as interior art and an interview with him. Also included inside are interview with Frank Herbert (how bad is it that I never knew he was a local). There are short stories by Michael Moorcock and Peter Jackson as well as poetry by Robert E Howard. and Roger Zelazny. Also included are Harlan Ellison, Larry Niven, David James Bruce Jones to name a few. There are illustrations and works by others as well.

I have to admit that I think it has been my recent interest and investigation in OSR that may have brought this book back to my attention. So much of the art and themes of the work inside call me back to my early days of gaming when I found it much easier to just enjoy the fantasy of things instead of allowing myself to bog down in the details of things. I guess that is an easy trap to fall into with age - responsibility, paying attention to specifics, shunning spontaneity. Anyhow, this is a great book and I find myself wanting to track down it's sister volumes.

If you find a copy of this or one of the other of its kind, snatch them up. You won't be sorry.


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