Somewhere or other, Suzanne Collins claimed that she conceived the Underland Chronicles as a modern, urban answer to Alice in Wonderland. To be sure, what Gregor finds at the bottom of a manhole in Central Park is jarringly different from the topsy-turvyland Alice found at the bottom of her English rabbit hole. It is so different, in fact, that I am inclined to think of Underland as more of an Oz for the 21st century.
In Scholastics About the Author blurb, Suzanne Collins explains her first novel as a 21st-century, New York City version of Alice in Wonderland in the sense that instead of a rabbit hole, you might fall down a manhole and what you would find at the bottom would be quite different too. What 11-year-old Gregor finds is an underground kingdom populated by purple-eyed people who live in harmony with giant bats (fliers). Their uneasy allies include giant spiders (called spinners) and giant cockroaches (crawlers). And their chief enemy is a race of man-sized, man-eating rats (gnawers).
I think this is the first book written by the author of The Brave Apprentice. Both books, and presumably The Eye of the Warlock also, belong to a series called Further Tales. The Brave Apprentice is the further tale of what happened after the classic tale of the Brave Little Tailor. And naturally, The Thief and the Beanstalk is the further tale that happens after Jack and the Beanstalk.
Want escape? If you mix up the letters in that question, you may get P. W. Catanese the pen-name of an American gentleman named Paul, who has also written The Thief and the Beanstalk and The Eye of the Warlock.
This story, by the author of Aliens Ate My Homework and I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X, started its life in an elementary school classroom, where the authors half-mad, hunchbacked brother Igor made an appearance every Halloween. The classroom tradition evolved into a storybook which finally got published, so the rest of the world can fall in love with Igor and gasp with amazement, horror, and laughter at the antics of the goblins.
The sixth of twenty completed novels about a 19th-century Royal Navy captain named Jack Aubrey and his faithful ships surgeon, Stephen Maturin, is unusual in many ways. For example, in this book Aubrey is never in command of anything larger than a rowboat. As OBrian explains in the preface, the book dramatizes actual events in naval history, inserting his fictional characters into the action. Yet even though they don’t displace any of the real people who took part in these eventsfor example, Aubrey commands none of the ships that fight in the books two thrilling battle scenesOBrians characters make this story very much their own.
The book that started not one but two celebrated series of science fiction novels started, in turn, as a story in Analog Magazine, which my father used to get when I was a kid, so it was always lying around. First published in 1977, it is eerily predictive of some developments such as e-mail and the internet…but mostly, it is a far-out fantasy that inhabits its own unique, somewhat futuristic world.
In the near future, a place called Satellite City has become the urban nightmare du jour. Everything, including the steering of individual cars, is controlled by a privately-owned satellite hanging low in the sky over town. City police, private police, and armed-and- dangerous squads of lawyers patrol the city, and no-sponsor orphans like Cosmo Hill are locked up in a maximum security institute for parentally challenged boys where they earn their keep as guinea pigs to test all kinds of products, from music videos to health-and-beauty aids. Cosmo knows that he has a slim chance of living to adulthood, and if he does, he will be sold to a labor prison on trumped-up charges. He has three choices: be adopted, die, or escape. Its too late for door number one, so that really only leaves two…
Fifth in the series of historical novels that started with Master and Commander, this book continues the adventures of the big, jolly Royal Navy Captain Jack Aubrey and his small, melancholy friend and ships surgeon, Stephen Maturin. And though the mission in this book is an enormous test of Jacks seamanship, leadership, and heroism, it ismore than the previous books in the seriesreally Stephens adventure, for the most part.
This is the fourth novel of the twenty-book series about the Napoleonic-era exploits of British naval captain Lucky Jack Aubrey and his friend, surgeon, and intelligence officer, Stephen Maturin. Or rather, as one reader wrote to me, it is the fourth part of one huge, wandering novel in twenty parts.