In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle reads an enjoyable and high-octane fantasy from one of the genre’s most original voices
Here’s a question for you. Have you heard of the poet William Ashbless? He has his own Wikipedia page. Yet he doesn’t exist. He never has. Ashbless was the creation of two writers, Tim Powers and James Blaylock, in the 1970s when they were college students. Unimpressed by the terrible poetry being published in their school magazine, Blaylock and Powers decided to invent their own poet and submit ‘his’ work to the magazine as a joke. It was enthusiastically accepted.