Saturday, November 06, 2004

No, Not Courtney

Here's a pretty good fansite for the novelist Thorne Smith, the leading writer in what might be called "fantasitcom" -- situation comedies with a strong fantasy element. A lot of his books, like Topper, wound up as movies, though without the risque note he often struck; Turnabout, the first "body-switching" novel (a man and a woman magically switch places, leading to funny complications but also, unfortunately, to 18 Again and Like Father, Like Son), features a rather casual attitude toward adultery and "free love" in general. His stuff is a bit dated, but fun to read, and I've always loved the basic setup of having fantasy and magic intrude into otherwise mundane everyday settings. So much better than the Harry Potter type of fantasy novel, which takes the infinite possibilities of magic and puts them in a straitjacket by making them all part of some dull English public-school scene -- in other words, making magic as routine and mundane as everyday life, rather than letting magic shake up our everyday world a little.

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