It has been a scorching hot summer in Devon – with everything turning hayish shades of yellow. Then two weeks ago the weather changed, and withering plants revitalised into a dark green jungle. While the wet weather was a blessing for plants, animals, and over-heated humans. Outside events did not fair so well in the summer deluge.
Last year Chilcompton Fringe Festival ’17 was so deliciously hot, the authors had to leave their tables and hide inside the marquee for shade. This year it was like being in a different country. Torrential rain and plunging temperatures caused everyone to flock inside the marquees for a very different reason.
Fortunately, the rain did not stop people from having a great time. The festival reverberated with the sounds of guitars, drums, and singing all set against the atmospheric background of the beating raindrops. The fantasy authors were performing in Little Hay and it was a magical interlude in a dark day with audiences being taking on fantastic voyages to new worlds, bubble universes, and times long forgotten. This is the power of fantasy fiction. It can believe in the story, you can journey into fantastical new worlds and meet dragons, fight the Mivrian Outriders or fall in love with sword wielding heroes.
The Fantasy Department of the Exeter Authors Association performed in a dazzling variety of welly boots. Richard Dee spoke about the mechanics and science which underpins his steam punk world. Mark Norman explored the phenomenon of sightings of the mysterious Black Dog.
Jennifer Ash aka Jenny Kane took her audience back to a crime committed in Medieval times and Tracey Norman spoke of a land of dragons and elves. Susie Williamson took everyone to Africa as she retold her tale of magical people struggling a tyrannical king set on destroying the environment in pursuit of his crystals.
While I decided to take everyone on a traveller’s guide to Torcia, looking at the common phrases, spellcraft you might encounter and need to watch out in case you end up croaking like a frog for the rest of your stay in Torcia. A definite case of traveller beware!
by P.J. Reed author of The Torcian Chronicles