Week Six’s celebrity six sentences came from Imajica by Clive Barker. Imajica has been on my bookshelf for a long time; I picked it up in an airport bookstore in 1994 while en route from Auckland, New Zealand to Port Vila, Vanuatu. Some of my favourite books have been bought on impulse in airport bookstores, but now that I have a WiFi-enabled Kindle laden with dozens of unread novels, I have no excuse to frequent them. It’s not often that I look back on lower-tech times with nostalgia, but Amazon’s 1-Click is just not the same.
But back to Imajica. Clive Barker is arguably most well-known for the movie Hellraiser, which was based on his novella The Hellbound Heart. Showing off the breadth of his talent, Barker wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. I wouldn’t describe Imajica as a horror novel; although it contains plenty of horrific imagery and concepts and makes use of some horror tropes, it is primarily a dark fantasy of dizzying scope and imagination which has at its core themes of love and all its manifestations.
Week seven of Six Sentence Sunday has the theme of “Wings”. My six sentences come from the story Dark Wing, originally published in the now deceased Oddlands Magazine.
With that pronouncement, the infant began to wail. “Well, we know she has good healthy lungs,” she said, smiling up at the new parents. “Ten fingers, ten toes…” Gently she turned the baby on to its stomach. She stared, speechless with horror.
“…and two perfect little black wings,” concluded Nim.
This week’s celebrity six sentences come from the first in a series of alternate history fantasy novels. I don’t normally go in for alternate histories – but this one has dragons.
“An Imperial?” he said, with an uncertain smile: he wondered for a moment if Sir Edward was practicing a joke on him. The Chinese had been breeding dragons for thousands of years before the Romans had ever domesticated the wild breeds of Europe; they were violently jealous of their work, and rarely permitted even grown specimens of minor breeds to leave the country. It was absurd to think that the French had been trundling an Imperial egg across the Atlantic in a thirty-six gun frigate.
“Is that a good breed?” Temeraire asked. “Will I be able to breathe fire?”
“Dear creature, the very best of all possible breeds; only the Celestials are more rare or valuable, and were you one of those, I suppose the Chinese would go to war over our having put you into harness, so we must be glad you are not,” Sir Edward said.