Traffic is slow today at the bookstore, which meant I got to listen to Delia Sherman’s “The Wizard’s Apprentice” over at Podcastle while I checked in box after box of dusty tomes. (I know, I know! It’s true! I have everybody’s dream job!)
It’s a quite short story, but very dear — it reminds me, actually, of Diana Wynne Jones’ The Lives of Christopher Chant — just a bit, and in the best way. It’s YA Fantasy, very easy on the ears, with magic and shape-shifting and cranky wizards and lost boys and oatmeal and impossible tasks.
I remember hearing Neil Gaiman say — or reading about him saying it — that children read Coraline with every confidence that she’ll come through all her troubles all right. But that adults read it, and they find it far more frightening an experience because they’re not at all sure she will. I had occasion to be reminded of this as well while listening to this story.
Luckily for me, soon there will be a novel of these two characters, evil Mr. Smallbone and doughty Nick Chanticleer, and I for one am looking forward to getting to know them a heckuva lot better! Go, Delia! Write your heart out!