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Swann, Thomas Burnett Listings

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1 Swann, Thomas BurnettDay Of The Minotaur. 05905
Ace Books: NY. 1966.
First edition (& 1st printing).
Paperback original.
Ace F-407. Fantasy novel: a slightly different version was published as a three-part serial in Science Fantasy #67, 68 and 69 (1964-1965) as ''The Blue Monkeys''.

''almost all his fiction - beginning with ''Winged Victory'' for Fantastic Universe in 1958 - fits into a single vision of the course of Western history, and can be seen as comprising a sustained meditation on the theme of Thinning, viewed through a reiterated central story in which the matriarchal, prelapsarian old order - represented by ''Beasts'', including minotaurs, fauns, sibyls, dryads, halflings and occasional highly significant appeareances by the god Pan - is destroyed by the world-devouring patriarchy of the Achaeans, or Romans, or Christians. There are several venues - ancient Egypt, Crete, Rome, medieval Britain - but all have a similar land-of-fable relationship to the mundane world, whose geography they rarely violate, and the general history of which is reinterpreted rather than ignored. Most of the novels describe rites of passage of children into ambivalent maturity; it is arguable that the author saw adulthood and thinning as very similar conditions. Set in the mountains of Crete, the Minotaur sequence - Cry Silver Bells (1977), The Forest of Forever (1971) and his first novel, DAY OF THE MINOTAUR (1964-1965 Science Fantasy as ''The Blue Monkeys''; 1966) - is less idyllic. The three volumes are a litany of loss, as first the Cretans, then the Achaeans, relentlessly shrink the mountain polder of the folk, who include most of the fabulous creatures inhabiting the twilight regions of Classical mythology - centaurs, dryads and others of that ilk. In the end, Eunostos the Minotaur sets sail, with two children and other survivors, towards the Isles of the Blest. It is easy to mock Swann for sentimentality, for displacement of attention from adult sexuality to innocent relationships between boys and friendly older men, and for his sense that the best contrast to the reductions of history was a clambake of beasts in Arcadia. But the intensity of his sense of belatedness is at times overwhelming.'' (John Clute/Encyclopedia of Fantasy).


Fine (unread) copy.

Price: 5.00 GBP
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2 Swann, Thomas BurnettQueens Walk In The Dusk. 02080
Heritage Press: GA. 1977.
First edition (& 1st printing).
Hardcover.
Fantasy novel, first in a trilogy, followed by GREEN PHOENIX (1972) and LADY OF THE BEES (1976). With endpapers and nine colour plates by artist Jeff Jones.

''with his second sequence, the Latium series - QUEENS WALK IN THE DUSK (1977), Green Phoenix (1972) and Lady of the Bees (1962 Science Fantasy as ''Where Is the Bird of Fire?''; exp 1976) - the picture continues to darken, the polders to shrink. The first volume recounts the tragic story of Dido, who is betrayed by Aeneas, a forward-looking patriarch in utero. The viewpoint character of the remaining volumes is a dryad named Mellonia, who ages slowly, through heart-wrenching liaisons with short-lived mortals, into the time of Romulus and Remus, falling in love with the latter, who is halfling-like (and doomed)'' (John Clute/Encyclopedia of Fantasy).


Fine copy as issued without dustjacket (as new).

Price: 20.00 GBP
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3 Swann, Thomas BurnettThe Minikins of Yam. 05910
Daw Books: NY. 1976.
First edition (& 1st printing).
Paperback original.
Daw no. 182.

''almost all his fiction - beginning with ''Winged Victory'' for Fantastic Universe in 1958 - fits into a single vision of the course of Western history, and can be seen as comprising a sustained meditation on the theme of Thinning, viewed through a reiterated central story in which the matriarchal, prelapsarian old order - represented by ''Beasts'', including minotaurs, fauns, sibyls, dryads, halflings and occasional highly significant appeareances by the god Pan - is destroyed by the world-devouring patriarchy of the Achaeans, or Romans, or Christians. There are several venues - ancient Egypt, Crete, Rome, medieval Britain - but all have a similar land-of-fable relationship to the mundane world, whose geography they rarely violate, and the general history of which is reinterpreted rather than ignored. Most of the novels describe rites of passage of children into ambivalent maturity; it is arguable that the author saw adulthood and thinning as very similar conditions. The happiest of the novels is - naturally enough - the one set first. THE MINIKINS OF YAM (1976) follows the Quest, a couple of millennia BC, of a young Pharaoh (in the company of a ''minikin'', a pert young girl-like figure typical of Swann's females) who must find out why his land has been thinning drastically. His father (in the author's fiction a father was almost invariably a negative figure) has, it turns out, banished magic, and with it the regenerative power of the Mother. He reverses the edict, and Egypt is saved. It is easy to mock Swann for sentimentality, for displacement of attention from adult sexuality to innocent relationships between boys and friendly older men, and for his sense that the best contrast to the reductions of history was a clambake of beasts in Arcadia. But the intensity of his sense of belatedness is at times overwhelming.'' (John Clute/Encyclopedia of Fantasy).


NF/Fine (unread) copy with a little browning along edges of inner covers and along top edge of covers.

Price: 5.00 GBP
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