This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced one fantasy author.
by Alan Dean Foster
I first discovered author Alan Dean Foster in the late 1970s when I was still a kid. After all, he had been the author of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, the very first Star Wars sequel, and that was a book I’d had to have back then.
I continued to read Foster over the next several years. Much of what I read by him was science fiction or novelizations of movies. But then he came out with a fantasy novel called Spellsinger.
Spellsinger was different than any other fantasy fiction I’d read up to that time, about 1983 when I was 13. The story was about a man named Jon-Tom Meriweather from our Earth who magically gets transferred to a fantasy world inhabited by talking, bipedal animals. Once in this new world, Meriweather soon discovers he is aSpellsinger, a natural-born mage of sorts who can sing and perform music to create magical spells.
It was a fun book, and a funny one, as well. Jon-Tom played the guitar, and he was a bit of a classic and metal rock fan, so much of his magic was brought about with him performing songs by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, etc. That was and continues to be one of my favorite eras of popular music, too, so the tale has always had a special place in my heart.
Spellsinger was followed up by seven more books based upon Jon-Tom’s exploits in magic. And each of those books was entertaining, but the original is still my favorite to this day.
If you like lighter fantasy with a humorous twist, this series should be right for you.
And it won’t hurt if you like to crank up an electric guitar every once in a while.
Next up: The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas