You’ll know Susan Cooper as the author of the Dark is Rising sequence: one of the finest series of fantasy writing for you people of the last fifty years; and you may have read some of her other books, such as the wartime story Dawn of Fear or the time-travelling adventure King of Shadows. But we’ll make a modest wager that Mandrake may have passed you by. Which is a great shame. It’s a powerful and imaginative piece of writing, written in the tradition of thoughtful post-war British science fiction yet in many ways ahead of its time. One of the book’s themes is the earth resenting and at last resisting the domination of mankind: yet it predates James Lovelock’s Gaia Theory. The style is plain, but the subject-matter is at times very peculiar and always thought-provoking. It’s been out of print for years, and was one we’ve long wanted to bring to a new audience. It’s no a curiosity, though anyone familiar with Susan Cooper’s later world find it fascinating. It’s a very good book in anyone’s terms – if it had come in as a submission from an unpublished writer, we’d have snapped it up. Sadly, we have yet to find our way through the copyright maze to actually secure the rights – but for this one, we’ll keep on trying. Meanwhile, if you’re browsing a second-hand bookshop and see this jammed in alongside the usual mounds of Georgette Hayer and copies of Richard Adams’ Shardik, grab it!
All posts in category One that got away
Posted by indiebooksltd on December 5, 2014