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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

  Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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W. W. Tarn

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This is a brief discussion of W. W. Tarn and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Tarn.

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Tarn: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Tarn tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Tarn worthy; in sum, to help you rank W. W. Tarn (and the works by Tarn listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.

A Few Words About W. W. Tarn

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the “Other Resources” section below will lead you to some information about the “Notable Books” listed farther down this page.

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Other W. W. Tarn Resources

W. W. Tarn Resources on the Web

“W. W.” Tarn was Sir William Woodthorpe Tarn, and he was not an author of speculative fiction save for the one delight listed below. He was once described as “a proper Scottish gentleman”; his field was the classics—though he was not formally trained as a historian—and he was in his day an eminent scholar, notably on ancient Greece (with a focus on Alexander’s life and times). He was made a a Fellow of the British Academy in 1928. Almost all material generally available concerns his scholarship and scholarly writings.

As to his fantasy novel, there are—so far as I could see—only a couple of web pages, but fortunately they are good ones. Those are W. W. Tarn, The Treasure of the Isle of Mist (1919) [archived copy] by Rob Maslen at The City of Lost Books; and Classics in Short: Hebridean Treasures on the Isle of Mist by Brian Alderson at Books For Keeps. And that’s that.

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W. W. Tarn Resources in Print

I found one: Sir William Woodthorpe Tarn [archived copy], by F. E. Adcock.

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Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by W. W. Tarn ***

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