New Year, New Worlds

Happy new year, friends of Pandemonium Books! As we go forward in time, for better or for worse, we are still very much in the same world. But what if you could change that? Fantasy and science fiction are all about showing us new worlds, whether that means a portal to another dimension or a hop back through the centuries. Open a door to another time and place with one of these books- no matter how dangerous it gets, there’s always a way home!


Piranesi [Clarke, Susanna]

Piranesi, by Susannah Clarke (visionary author of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell) introduces the reader to a man who lives in a great, abandoned house filled with tides and sculptures- he is called Piranesi by the only other human he has ever met, yet he somehow knows that is not his name. The great house has many secrets, but no secret is so great as what might lie beyond it. Is there a world elsewhere? If so, what might its inhabitants want of the isolated hero?

Neil Gaiman offers us an eerie mirror world in Coraline, where a bored young girl finds another version of her own house and family. It’s a great deal of fun and everyone is friendly, but why does everyone have buttons for eyes? Who is the creature who calls herself the Other Mother? Alongside a black cat who can travel with ease through both worlds, Coraline faces down an adventure that will thrill (and sometimes frighten!) children and adults alike.

If you’re a reader, you’ve no doubt fantasized about becoming a character in your favorite book. Something very similar happens in The Eyre Affair, where supervillains can actually kidnap literary characters and ruin books, requiring investigators to go in and get them back! The ‘real world’ is already one different from our own in entertaining ways- much of the culture revolves around literature, with door to door evangelists trying to convince people that Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays, and performances of Richard III being treated like Rocky Horror. The heroine Thursday Next has to chase her way into and through books to rescue the abducted Jane Eyre, dealing with characters who know their lives and actions are up to the whims of their authors all the while.

Of course, if you want a dramatically different world, sometimes all you need to do is take a look at history. Doomsday Book is set in the middle ages during the black plague, where an academic time-travels to perform a few studies. A woman with modern training and knowledge of medication turns out to make a great difference in the lives of medieval peasants, and she finds herself attempting to save the community just as her colleagues are attempting to save her. If the resonance with the current pandemic isn’t too much for you, you may find this more timely than ever!

Pandemonium is committed to helping you discover worlds of creativity and imagination, be that in books or games of any kind. Let’s plan to take plenty of those journeys in the coming year!

Written By: Mira G.

Edited By: Irenee W.

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