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And speaking of inserting oneself (or something) into the book . . .

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    A coworker just showed me a copy of a new book called _Mad Dogs and Englishmen_ by Paul Magrs. It s a Doctor Who book. According to the cover, it s the 100th
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 8, 2002
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      A coworker just showed me a copy of a new book called _Mad Dogs and
      Englishmen_ by Paul Magrs. It's a Doctor Who book. According to the cover,
      it's the 100th Doctor Who book and it's about the eighth Doctor. It was a
      British edition found in an American bookstore, so I presume there's no
      American edition.

      It seems similar to the science fiction and fantasy parodies by such British
      authors as Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, and Robert Rankin.
      Probably closer to Rankin than the others, since the story looks rather
      ragged, with everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, like Rankin's books.
      It's about an author named Reginald Tyler who worked on this fantasy epic
      called _The True History of Planets_ for all his adult life, starting in 1917
      when he was "on leave from soldiering in France," till his death in 1974
      after having moved in his retirement to Bournemouth with his wife Enid. He
      taught at some Cambridge college where he belonged to a literary group called
      the Smudgelings, the chief figure in which is another professor named
      Cleavis. Cleavis was single and lived in a house with his brother Fred. The
      Smudgelings sometimes met in a pub called the Book and Candle. At one point
      Tyler had told Cleavis that he need to change the bus that he was going to
      put into his (Cleavis's) fantasy into a piece of furniture instead, perhaps a
      chest of drawers or some such.

      Anyway, after Tyler's death, his wife took the manuscripts of the novel that
      he had been working on all this life and submitted them to a publisher. The
      book becomes an enormous cult hit. The actual plot of _Mad Dogs and
      Englishmen_ is about the Doctor arriving in the TARDIS with a couple of his
      assistants to fix a time anomaly. It seems that someone has been messing
      around with history and has changed _The True History of Planets_ so that
      it's no long about the standard fantasy things (wizards and dwaves and such),
      but it's now about pink poodles.

      And this is just what I've been able to discover from five minutes flipping
      through the novel. There's a lot more in it, including a lot of other snide
      references to the Inklings. If I ever get around to reading it I'll tell you
      more about it.

      Wendell Wagner
    • David S. Bratman
      ... This is fascinating. I shall have to start keeping a list of novels that are not inspired by Tolkien s works but which include fictionalized versions of
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 8, 2002
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        At 03:24 AM 3/8/2002 , Wendell wrote:
        >A coworker just showed me a copy of a new book called _Mad Dogs and
        >Englishmen_ by Paul Magrs. ...
        >It's about an author named Reginald Tyler who worked on this fantasy epic
        >called _The True History of Planets_ for all his adult life, starting in 1917
        >when he was "on leave from soldiering in France," till his death in 1974
        >after having moved in his retirement to Bournemouth with his wife Enid. He
        >taught at some Cambridge college where he belonged to a literary group called
        >the Smudgelings, the chief figure in which is another professor named
        >Cleavis. Cleavis was single and lived in a house with his brother Fred. The
        >Smudgelings sometimes met in a pub called the Book and Candle.

        This is fascinating. I shall have to start keeping a list of novels that
        are not inspired by Tolkien's works but which include fictionalized
        versions of Tolkien _himself_ as a character. To date the most noted such
        character is J.B. Timbermill, a rather off-the-rails Oxford professor of
        Anglo-Saxon in J.I.M. Stewart's sequence "A Staircase in Surrey".

        I think there are one or two others, but they don't come to mind, and
        they're not as extensive as this appears to be. (Even Timbermill is a very
        minor character who only appears on-stage twice, I think, in a 5-book
        series.) I do remember a short parodic piece somewhere about a Professor
        J.R.R. Talking.

        And then there are the fictionalized versions of Lewis, perhaps the best
        known of which is God's defense lawyer (I don't remember the character's
        name) in James Morrow's _Blameless in Abaddon_, a mighty verbal arguer who
        writes Christian children's fiction on the side.

        I know of exactly one fictionalized version of Charles Williams. He's in
        _Nor Fish Nor Flesh_ by CW's friend Gerard Hopkins, a novel which probably
        nobody here except me has read. (It's really bad.)

        I shall have to get this new book. A first for me: I've never read a
        Doctor Who novel. Whoever reads it first can give a report.


        David Bratman
      • David S. Bratman
        ... This is fascinating. I shall have to start keeping a list of novels that are not inspired by Tolkien s works but which include fictionalized versions of
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 8, 2002
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          At 03:24 AM 3/8/2002 , Wendell wrote:
          >A coworker just showed me a copy of a new book called _Mad Dogs and
          >Englishmen_ by Paul Magrs. ...
          >It's about an author named Reginald Tyler who worked on this fantasy epic
          >called _The True History of Planets_ for all his adult life, starting in 1917
          >when he was "on leave from soldiering in France," till his death in 1974
          >after having moved in his retirement to Bournemouth with his wife Enid. He
          >taught at some Cambridge college where he belonged to a literary group called
          >the Smudgelings, the chief figure in which is another professor named
          >Cleavis. Cleavis was single and lived in a house with his brother Fred. The
          >Smudgelings sometimes met in a pub called the Book and Candle.

          This is fascinating. I shall have to start keeping a list of novels that
          are not inspired by Tolkien's works but which include fictionalized
          versions of Tolkien _himself_ as a character. To date the most noted such
          character is J.B. Timbermill, a rather off-the-rails Oxford professor of
          Anglo-Saxon in J.I.M. Stewart's sequence "A Staircase in Surrey".

          I think there are one or two others, but they don't come to mind, and
          they're not as extensive as this appears to be. (Even Timbermill is a very
          minor character who only appears on-stage twice, I think, in a 5-book
          series.) I do remember a short parodic piece somewhere about a Professor
          J.R.R. Talking.

          And then there are the fictionalized versions of Lewis, perhaps the best
          known of which is God's defense lawyer (I don't remember the character's
          name) in James Morrow's _Blameless in Abaddon_, a mighty verbal arguer who
          writes Christian children's fiction on the side.

          I know of exactly one fictionalized version of Charles Williams. He's in
          _Nor Fish Nor Flesh_ by CW's friend Gerard Hopkins, a novel which probably
          nobody here except me has read. (It's really bad.)

          I shall have to get this new book. A first for me: I've never read a
          Doctor Who novel. Whoever reads it first can give a report.


          David Bratman
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