By: William Morris (1834-1896)
News From Nowhere
News from Nowhere (1890) is a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction written by the artist, designer and socialist pioneer William Morris. In the book, the narrator, William Guest, falls asleep after returning from a meeting of the Socialist League and awakes to find himself in a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems...
The Well at the World's End, Book 1: The Road unto Love
The Well at World's End is thought to be one of the first examples of an entirely fictional fantasy world, and has greatly influenced later fantasy writers such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. The book follows the travels of Ralph, a prince of a tiny country, as he disobeys his fathers wishes and runs away from home to adventure in the world, and seek out the fabled Well at World's End, said to grant eternal youth to those who drink from it.
The House of the Wolfings
William Morris (1834-1896) was a writer, illustrator and medievalist from the Romantic period and associated with other renowned authors of the time such as Dante Rossetti. His fascination with ancient Germanic and Norse people dominated his writings, the first to be set in an entirely invented fantasy world and which helped to establish the fantasy genre. The House of Wolfings (1890), some argue, is a demonstration of Morris' socialism as the society described, though not an utopia, is clan-based, elects leaders and makes decisions in clan tribal meetings...
Story of the Glittering Plain
In this early example of the modern high fantasy genre, Hallblithe, a warrior of the House of Raven, sets out in pursuit of the pirates who have kidnapped his troth-plight maiden, the Hostage. Kidnapped himself, Hallblithe sails to the Isle of Ransom in the company of the giant Puny Fox. Travelling onward to the Land of the Glittering Plain, he spurns the offer of eternal youth and the hand of the King's daughter to continue the search for his beloved. First published in 1890 in the English Illustrated Magazine, The Story of the Glittering Plain was re-published in 1973 as the first volume of the celebrated Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library...
Prose Romances from the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine (1856)
William Morris initiated the genre of high fantasy in a number of short novels written toward the end of his life. But he had already experimented with the genre much earlier in stories written for the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, which he launched as a student at Oxford University in 1856. Published posthumously in book form, and reprinted as the eighth volume of the celebrated Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library under the title Golden Wings and other Stories, these short stories make an entertaining collection that stands up well against Morris's mature work. - Summary by Phil Benson
Well at the World's End: Book 4: The Road Home
In The Well at the World's End, Ralph of Upmeads, youngest son of the King of Upmeads, leaves home without permission and sets out looking for adventure. When he hears rumors of a well that exudes water with magical properties, he is intrigued and begins his quest. Along the way, he travels through various towns and wildernesses and meets -- and is sometimes led astray by -- a host of interesting people including a mysterious knight, a beautiful woman who may be a goddess, a treacherous servant, a brave tavern wench, a barbarian warrior, a solitary sage, and a sadistic king. Book 4 finishes his adventure. - Summary by Kristingj
Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair
A prose romance set in the forested kingdom of Oakenrealm, where a squirrel can go about from end to end without touching the ground, in which Christopher wins the fair queen Goldilind, discovers his true identity and reclaims his birthright. In this tale of valour and romance, William Morris reimagined the medieval lay of Havelock the Dane. Child Christopher was originally published by Morris's Kelmscott Press and reprinted in the 1970s as the twelfth volume of the celebrated Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library. - Summary by Phil Benson
By: William Shuler Harris (b. 1865)
Life in a Thousand Worlds
A jolly romp, which could be perhaps be described as Gulliver’s Travels Through Our Solar System and Beyond, as written by a great admirer of C. S. Lewis, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, after one too many mugs of cocoa. Includes some thought on alien philosophies and how to apply them to moral and social problems here on Planet Earth.