Why I like Spellsinger.

Gawd, my readers must be thinking.  It sounds like a high school composition, like What I did on my Christmas Break.  And it may do but it’s important for you guys to understand where my passion for SPELLSINGER came from.  It’s not something that happened yesterday.  And if you think I’m some suit in LaLa land that’s been pitched a book to make a movie then you’d better read on.

About  23 years ago I was in my local library in Ipswich Queensland and was starting to expand my reading horizons by looking at  more adult fiction.

I had discovered Don Pendleton and his one man war against the Mafia Mack Bolan when I was about 14 but that was as far as I had gone.

My parents were into Wilbur Smith and James Clavell but I just couldn’t relate to them.  Their writing did not resonate with me.

At 16, It took me 15 attempts to read Shogun. And to my developing adolescent mind ,God it was boring.

I’d tried reading Lord of the Rings but the language did not connect with me. I found it stifling but I liked the fantasy elements.  I’m not a scholar and I don’t pretend to be.  I like being entertained when I read.  I much preferred Alice in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth and The Narnia series by CS Lewis.  I loved to escape into other worlds and completely immerse myself these fantasies.

From an early age I preferred non fiction accounts because I could relate more to real stories than the stories that adults tried to tell to each other.

I have had copies of The Great Escape and Colditz Castle since I was 10.  After I read the Wooden horse my brother and I started to dig a tunnel under the house which was discovered by my father when he stood on the entrance and promptly sunk up to his navel.  Mum reckons you could hear him screaming down the street.  Poor bastard was a Vietnam vet and probably thought there were pungi sticks waiting at the bottom.

I digress.

Forward wind back to the library and I’m looking at the Adult Fiction section and I see a book called SPELLSINGER.  I liked the title immediately and picked it up to have a look but the cover tells me nothing.

So I turn to the back and start reading.

Here’s this stoned Uni Student brought to this world that’s totally under threat from a strange alien source. I read quickly and as Jon Tom arrived at Clothahumps for the first time, I was hooked.

It was brilliant like a dark adult Alice in Wonderland without the old English and with quirky Characters that spoke right at you through the pages.  I loved the vividness of the world and like my favourite children’s books it connected me with the fantasy immediately and I hadn’t even arrived at the Spellsinging!

It was the only book I borrowed that day. And by the end of the week I’d read it twice!

Now at the time I was 17 going on 18. I loved Rock Music and lived in what I feel was the best time for music since the 60’s.  The 80’s!  ACDC, Bon Jovi, The Choir Boys, Van Halen, Def Leopard, Iron Maiden Wasp, I liked all of them, much to the chagrin of my mates who could not believe that I liked The Cure as well.

The Spellsinging and Flor and Talea (Ie Girls and Rock and Roll)Really resonated.  I liked both.

I was a huge fan of Minder (UK TV Series) and Mudge reminded me of Terry with a bit of Arthur mixed in. I loved the little fuzzball.  His deviousness made me laugh.  I have an Uncle that’s a bit like Mudge.  He’s a stand up guy and always looking for a way to make a quid.  When I was 9 we met my Uncle outside a topless bar where he gave a dog that I had for the next 25 years (Chihuahua’s live forever.  They must have inspired the ever ready bunny)

The Spellsinging was another thing entirely.  Thank You Alan.  You introduced me to Jimi Hendrix. My folks were more into The Beatles, The Stones, Deep Purple, Cliff Richard and Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd.  By the 80’s The Beach Boys had done Kokomo and I think that might have just come out because a lot of their classics were being played on the radio as well.  Mind you like the Stones, The Beach Boys Music was also used in countless adds as well.  So the music even though it was before my time, was universal. It was timeless in a way because it still stands up, even today. Have a look at The Beach Boys.  They are reuniting (How peacefully I have no idea) after 50 years.  I watched Mick Jagger dance and entertain for 2 hours and he’s over 60! Amazing man and better than a lot of people younger than him too.

The coolest thing was that Jon Tom made the music into magic.  It was this spiritual connection with his music that I liked and the Gneechees and the fact that he had no idea what the results were going to be!

Action, Music, Strong Females, A Devious Otter, Magic and a Socialist Dragon in this amazing wonderlandscape.  You cannot ask for more.

To my delight, The Hour at the Gate was like a roller coaster ride which I did not want to get off!

In a few short months I read all of the books at the time and followed Jon Tom and Mudge’s adventures with interest.

My favourite book in the entire series is The Day of the Dissonance.  I love all of the Aussie Elements ACDC, The huge demonic Kangaroo, The Koala landlady.  But I love the story and especially the irony of the Aspirin and Jon Tom surfing on Roseroar!

So there you have it.  Now I have been reading this series every year sometimes twice a year for most of my life  over the past 23 years and yet I find something new in it every time I read.  The experience is awesome.  I can’t think of another fictional book that has had this much effect on my life. Other than the non fictional account of The Great Escape which I devoted Four years of my life to to make a documentary, only to be pipped at the post, SPELLSINGER is the only fictional work that I am truly passionate about.

That’s why I like SPELLSINGER.

Now tell me, what is it about SPELLSINGER that you really like?


About spellsingerthemovie

I am a huge fan of Fantasy books. My favourite without question is the Spellsinger series by prolific author Alan Dean Foster and we are going to do everything it takes to put this amazing book series onto the Big Screen! View all posts by spellsingerthemovie

3 responses to “Why I like Spellsinger.

  • Carrigan Chantz

    I recently felt compelled to write to Alan Dean Foster, and here’s what I said (as it explains why I like Spellsinger):

    “Mr. Foster,

    Life is good. At times when the world tries you to forget that, the universe has a way of reminding through magnanimous epiphany…

    Such was the case when Amazon put the Spellsinger series of ebooks (which I have been advocating for many, many years now) on sale as part of their Black Friday event. I was beyond estatic! I bought all eight. As I am reading each one again, I am catapulted back to my junior high school days when I first discovered this beyond brilliant collection. I am fully zapped back to the many nights when, rather than the usual multi-hour phone conversations with friends, or blasting my stereo to the sounds of KISS (or, as my interests changed, Air Supply LOL), I sat on my bed for hours engrossed in the world of the Spellsinger. Needless to say, my parents were elated for the most part. There were lengthy fits of unstoppable laughter that slightly compensated for the void of music.

    Nothing in the real world mattered when I was journeying through the fantastical life of Jon-Tom and compatriots. And so, I must thank you from the depths of my being.

    And now… talk about ultimate elation! There’s the possibility for a movie! I wish you the best of blessing the universe can offer to see the project truly come to life and soar. I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t implore you to advocate for the incredibly hilarious banter that had me rolling with fits of laughter to the point of hurting (most of which, of course, was a direct result of the wit and sarcasm of Mudge, bless his soul.)

    It is said that good things come to them that wait and not to those who hesitate. The Spellsinger series was so far ahead of its time, and now, time has caught up. The film production world would surely be missing an incredible opportunity not to bring your classic to life with all the grandeur, magic, and yes, humor that it deserves.

    …next up will be the merchandise! Ah yes… collectible figurines of my favorite characters and towns travelled… A dreamer can dream, eh? T-shirts? 🙂 The sky’s the limit!

    Again, thank you so much for this series. I have read several of your science fiction works, but will always hold Spellsinger at the very top of my list of all-time greats.

    Continued success in all of your endeavors!”


    He replied with an appreciative note of thanks for my sharing! It amazes me just how approachable he is!

    Carrigan Chantz

  • James Cowan

    For me the magic in reading Spellsinger was the unfortunate & clumsy cross over between our world and the world where Jon-Tom finds himself. From the moment that Clothahump mistakenly summons him… “My official title is sanitation engineer.” and then repeated in every spell sung up by Jon-Tom, the consequences of magic and the interactions between the lyrics of one world and the magic of another are enthralling.
    To Jon-Tom, the concept of talking animals, inter-species flirting, making magic with music was outlandish, and to the inhabitants of that world, the music, lyrics and conjurations Jon-Tom brought from our world were equally crazy.
    I see the book as much more of this cross-over story than a musical experience, I always imagined that Jon-Tom’s playing was up there with Hendrix, but his vocal delivery was a long way from anything that would sell records or wow an audience. The whole thing is a walking-talking-singing comedy from start to finish. The subtlety of wit from everyone they encounter, human and animal, the bumbling uncertainty and naivety of the main character, the uncomfortable reactions to different social norms, the contrasts between his reactions to the world, and those of Flor when she appears.
    Everyone who reads Spellsinger can’t help but imagine themselves in the story because the characters and situations are just so easy to relate to.

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