Knights of Madness edited by Peter Haining

Suzie Eisfelder

I scribbled a few words about this book in 2016. I’ve just finished rereading it and figured I used so few words last time I could easily scribble a few more words today and there would be little double up.

Peter Haining is easily my favourite anthology editor. I’ve been considering writing a series on the A-Z of Anthology Editors and he is the first in my thoughts. The only problem is that Narrelle Harris is also a talented anthology editor, but Haining must come first. I have considered compiling one for female editors and one for male editors, but then some people might be upset to be in the wrong list, or would prefer to be trans or non-binary, or something. So, I have no further thoughts on how this would happen. I just wanted to mention how it’s in my mind.

This is a great book, it’s part of a series with The Wizards of Odd and The Flying Sorcerers. You can run your eye down Haining’s listing on The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. It’s long and crosses genre boundaries. This book has stories by some prolific authors and some not-so-prolific authors. Here is a list of the authors:

  • Terry Pratchett
  • Jerome K. Jerome
  • G. K. Chesterton
  • Mervyn Peake
  • Robert Bloch
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Peter S. Beagle
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Spike Milligan
  • Mark Twain
  • Ben Travers
  • Evan Hunter
  • John Kendrick Bangs
  • Gene Wolfe
  • Orson Welles
  • Peter Sellers
  • Tom Sharpe
  • L. Frank Baum
  • A. A. Milne
  • James Thurber
  • Stan McMurtry
  • Woody Allen
  • Donald E. Westlake
  • David L. Stone

I’m sure you’re expecting me to look at the Terry Pratchett story and you’d be totally wrong. I want to mention Donald E. Westlake briefly. I have a book on my shelves by him. It’s called Dancing Aztecs and is rather fun. I really should bring it out and focus an article on it, I feel it’s flown rather under the radar.

And now for the final story The Dulwich Assassins by David L. Stone. It’s a fabulous little story where the student is attempting to kill the teacher. Bearing in mind I last wrote about this in 2016 I feel it had a huge bearing on an assignment I wrote at uni. I can’t remember the prompt we were given but what came out was set in a classroom. In rereading Stone’s story I see it probably heavily inspired my own story. There is also some inspiration from some of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. Anyway, I’m quite happy to have found the inspiration. I really wasn’t happy with attempting to publish this without knowing what I’d read that inspired me. Sometimes it’s good to reread books.

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