Thanks, Hampus

by John Hertz:  I’m always glad to agree with Hampus Eckerman (although neither he nor I should be the fans you know if either of us expected that of the other).

This time I thank him for calling attention to The Wind on the Moon (E. Linklater, 1944).


Cora Buhlert on September 5, 2019 at 5:54 am said:

I haven’t even looked for left field finalists such as The Glass Bead Game or The Little Prince yet

Hampus Eckerman on September 5, 2019 at 7:10 am said:

And here comes the left field finalist….
The Wind on the Moon by Eric Linklater
Oh god, how I love this book.  It is bestest, bestest ever.  It shall has to win.

I borrowed the 1951 reprint from the Los Angeles Public Library.

It’s strange and wonderful.

Discussing the Retrospective Hugos with a librarian, I said The Little Prince wasn’t really a children’s book.  He said “Of course not.”  The Wind on the Moon may be.

It has magic, and two girls who turning into kangaroos learn animals’ language.

It has a very bad man who loves peppermint creams.

In Chapter 8 are 

weary hours they had spent with Miss Serendip trying to learn French

and in Chapter 30, without comment,

voices outside, that now spoke French

Its treatment of lawyers is horrid, though alas not without – I’ll say it – justice, but nevertheless they accomplish (ch. 22) a historic feat. 

It has (ch. 30) 

a sudden clamour, of men shouting and iron gates flung open, and the sky above the trap-door quivered and grew bright in the sudden glare of searchlights. 

Their powdery radiance poured into the van. 

Does it deserve nomination, bearing in mind Ape and Essence and Time Must Have a Stop (both A. Huxley), and Sirius (O. Stapledon)?

That we each decide for ourselves. 

Meanwhile I’m reading Renaissance (R. Jones).

In 1963 it was re-named Man of Two Worlds, which by then was Adam Strange and indeed Julie Schwartz.  But that’s another story.

7 thoughts on “Thanks, Hampus

  1. Thanks for mentioning this book; this is new to me. So far, I have found the options for the 1945 Retro Hugo novel category to be poor or not to my taste. I will not get to this in time to nominate, but will read it if it shows up.

  2. The LA City library has it available as an ebook via Overdrive. Your library may too, but probably not. LA City has an astounding inventory of ebooks.

  3. This is one of my favourite books ever since first hearing it read on Swedish radio a summer some 40 years ago. I have read it again and again. It’s got a dictator called Count Hulagu Bloot, it’s got witches, it’s got children turning into balloons. I absolutely recommend this one and it is one of my nominations.

  4. King County Library also has the ebook. (I have three partially read library books right now, so am reporting rather than borrowing it.)

  5. This is one of the most loved books of my childhood. And, yes, it existed in Polish translation back in 1960s.

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