The Minikins of Yam.

By: Swann, Thomas Burnett

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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).

Title: The Minikins of Yam.

Author Name: Swann, Thomas Burnett


Edition: First edition (& 1st printing).

Publisher: Daw Books: NY.: 1976.

Binding: Paperback original.

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

Seller ID: 05910