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Into the woods

Americans may love British fantasy fiction because it hearkens back to simpler times. But it might have more to tell us about the horrors of the present.

FANTASTIC FOUR. Clockwise from top left: English writers Richard Adams, Rudyard Kipling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis introduced dark themes, drawn from their own experiences, into their wildly popular fantasy novels. At far left, 'Watership Down' by Richard Adams.
FANTASTIC FOUR. Clockwise from top left: English writers Richard Adams, Rudyard Kipling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis introduced dark themes, drawn from their own experiences, into their wildly popular fantasy novels. At far left, "Watership Down" by Richard Adams.
By James Parker
October 16, 2005

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SOMETIMES THINK," grumbled the British science fiction writer Michael Moorcock in a 1987 essay titled ''Epic Pooh," ''that as Britain declines...her middle-classes turn increasingly to the fantasy of rural life and talking animals....Old hippies, housewives, civil servants, share in this wistful trance; eating nothing as dangerous or exotic as the lotus, but chewing instead on a form of mildly anaesthetic ... (Full article: 1683 words)

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