Brilliant post by Guy Haley discussing the heroic roots of Watership Down. It’s one of my favourite books and, I’m not ashamed to confess, a formative influence on my own writing…

Haley's Comment

This is a piece on Richard Adam’s Watership Down, first published in Death Ray #19 in 2009.

This tale of fluffy bunnies owes far more to Virgil’s Aeneid than to Beatrix Potter, and is a cornerstone of animal fantasy, argues Guy Haley.

Animal fantasy is a tricky beast. The anthropomorphised animal inhabits a funny little world at the end of the genre branchline, its stations lie on a different route entirely to SF, and at least three stops past fantasy. From a certain point of view, a speaking rat might appear to be firmly in DeathRay‘s stadium of odd little dreams, from the other, maybe not. It’s not the medium in this case, but the message – the stories told by the chatty animals are often a slight things, moralising in the ‘be good to your chums’ mode, aimed at children.

Perhaps that it’s to cover in depth…

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