In the fifty some odd years since C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia were published, other authors have been inspired by, or provoked by, Lewis’s imaginary land and characters. If you like the Chronicles of Narnia, especially if you’re a die-hard fan, you may enjoy these related books:
Young Adult Fiction:
Here There Be Dragons by James Owen. Owen’s Imaginarium Geographica and the lands it maps are clearly inspired by Lewis’s Narnia as well as other fantasy and science fiction classics.
Nymeth’s review of Here There Be Dragons. I’m pretty much in agreement with her: great literature it’s not, but it is a lot of fun.
Semicolon review here. The sequels are The Search for the Red Dragon and The Indigo King. I just finished reading The Indigo King, and as with the other two it was a lot of fun, mostly because of all the sic-fi and fantasy allusions and in this third book also because of the time travel element which reminded me somewhat of LOST. (Of course, everything reminds me of LOST.)
A Door Near Here by Heather Quarles is quite a different kettle of fish, although it has a Narnia slant, too. It’s young adult contemporary fiction about a family of children dealing with the alcoholism of their mom. One way the youngest child copes is by writing letters to C.S. Lewis and believing that she can go to Narnia if she can just find the right door.
Semicolon review here.
In Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson, Leslie is a fan of the Narnia books, and the children name their secret place Terebithia, which Ms. Paterson says was not consciously a corruption of Terebinthia, an island in Narnia. It sure sounds awfully close to me, though, and the author admits that she probably got her secret kingdom’s name from Lewis, although sub-consciously.
Neil Gaiman wrote a 2004 short story called The Problem of Susan in which we get to meet a grown-up, left behind, Susan Pevensie. I suspect I won’t like the story very much, because I don’t like short stories in general and I never did understand what the problem was with Lewis’s having Susan refuse to return to Narnia. She “outgrew” Narnia, so Narnia was closed to her. I’m going to read it, though, just to see what Gaiman’s take is on the whole “Susan problem.”
The Narnia Cookbook by Douglas Gresham. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes. HarperCollins, 1998. I haven’t actually seen this book, but doesn’t it sound like fun. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to make Turkish Delight, even though I hear it’s not nearly as good as it’s cracked up to be?
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Michael Ward. I’m definitely going to read this book as a part of Carrie’s Narnia Challenge. You can read more about the book here and here.
Any other suggestions for Narnia-inspired fiction or nonfiction?