Today’s Guest Blogger is Ian Irvine, one of our foremost fantasy writers and the author of the best-selling ‘Three Worlds’ sequence.
We didn’t have TV until after I finished the HSC, in 1968, and my primary form of entertainment from the age of 4 was reading. I devoured books, thousands and thousands of them, indiscriminately, and the books I most enjoyed were tales of adventure and derring-do in exotic places.
Among them, many of my favourites were the Biggles stories from the Second World War. And of all of the Biggles books, the one that stands above all others is Biggles in the Baltic, first published in 1940.
I have a very fond memory from the age of eleven or twelve, of sitting in the window seat of our house in a little country village, reading all day while the rain poured down outside. Biggles in the Baltic seemed to have everything – a locale unlike anything I’d ever encountered, a secret flying boat base in a cavern on a little island in the Baltic Sea. Plus wild weather, the sinkings of various enemy vessels, dogfights, air crashes, secret missions, attacks and counterattacks. Biggles caught by his arch-enemy, Erich von Stalhein (the first arch-enemy I’d encountered in fiction), and sentenced to death. Rescues, explosions, more crashes, and planes that won’t go when they’re most needed – what a great read that was. I must have read it a dozen times before I grew out of Biggles a few years later.
But I still love those kind of tales. Reading them and writing them. And I’m sure they did wonders for morale during the war, too.
Ian’s latest book is ‘Vengeance’, Book 1 of ‘The Tainted Realm’, published by Orbit Australia in November 2011, and Orbit US and Orbit UK in April 2012. For more, visit Ian’s website: http://www.ian-irvine.com/taintedrealm.html