Friday, June 24, 2011

Mysterious (A Picture Story)

Here is what I'm going to call a picture story. It is a picture that could inspire many different stories. I created this picture for a word art challenge on the Holy Worlds Christian Fantasy Forum, for the word "Mysterious".

(c) 2011 Jonathan Garner

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sole Survivor

This drabble was written for a challenge on the Holy Worlds Christian Fantasy Forum. The challenge was to write a story using three words randomly picked from a dictionary, and the words I had to use were: manage, genre, and sole.

"Sole Survivor" photo manipulation by Jonathan Garner

How would he manage to reach the end of the tunnel? He ran harder, gasping for breath, hearing other footsteps in the darkness. The horror genre had always thrilled him, but not living in a real horror story.

When they had tried to rob the drug lord, a ruthless bodyguard appeared from the shadows, calmly dealing death. Now he was the sole survivor of the horror that had been unleashed in the underground passages.

A bullet flew past into a square of light. He burst out of the tunnel still running, promising himself to go straight once and for all.

(c) 2011 Jonathan Garner

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book Review: The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

When an English nobleman travels to the European kingdom of his ancestor, he just wants to escape his sister-in-law’s nagging about him being a good-for-nothing. However, shortly after his arrival, he finds himself in the complicated position of impersonating the king in order to stop an evil Duke from taking over the kingdom. Things are complicated even further by his duty of romancing the king’s intended bride and the fact that the king is imprisoned in a place where no rescue seems possible.

When The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope was first released, it popularized what came to be called the “Ruritanian romance”, a type of novel that got its name from Ruritania, the kingdom in which most of the events in The Prisoner of Zenda take place. It is worth nothing that at the time of the book’s release romance still meant adventure rather than the modern meaning of the word. It’s easy to see why it was popular then--the swashbuckling adventure of the narrative, the intrigue among the upper classes of society, and the touch of ultimately tragic romance. It still holds up well today for those who like historical adventure novels, even if the “history” is entirely fictional.

Content issues are all minor: A few mild swear words; an unnecessary doomed romance between the protagonist and the real king’s intended bride that involves kissing; and some sly references to an affair that produced the protagonist’s ancestor as well as even vaguer hints at the immoral behavior of some of the villains. I don’t really have any additional criticisms for this novel, other than that, while it is quite good, it left me with the feeling that it could have been better than it is.  For those who like historical adventure, or who just want to experience the novel that first popularized swashbuckling adventure set in a fictional kingdom, The Prisoner of Zenda should prove entertaining.

(c) 2011 Jonathan Garner

Thursday, June 2, 2011

More Six Word Fantasy Stories

Here are some more six word stories that play around with fantasy genre cliches:

The sorcerer’s severed head kept laughing.

The dragon devoured his bonded rider.

The Dark Lord saved the hero.

(c) 2011 Jonathan Garner