The Land of Bad Fantasy, by K.J. Taylor

The medallion appeared at around four in the afternoon, when I was doing my homework…It was very large: larger than the palm of my hand. On one side was etched a map, though not a map of any continent I recognised. The other side was covered in some kind of script I couldn’t read. I sighed, tossed the medallion aside and returned to my books. Mysterious happenings were all very well, but I had work to do.

Ana Beachcombe isn’t terribly surprised when a magic transport medallion lands in her bedroom. She does, after all, live in a Crossroads universe where all other universes meet. She waits for the right moment to use the medallion – packing carefully and planning her exit for maximum impact. Soon she finds herself alone in a strange land – Sydnup: the Land of Bad Fantasy. Here she makes some strange friends – a troll who is allergic to eating people, a were-person who turns into a canary instead of a wolf, and a monster who is scared of just about everything. Together the four go an a quest across Sydnup to he great city of Laundromatt, to speak to the King about equal rights for all.

The Land of Bad Fantasy proclaims itself as a parody of every fantasy you’ve ever read. Fantasy fans will recognise characters and motifs from the genre – from the teenage wizard with glasses and messy hair, to the quest itself and the consequent complications. Ana is a wryly cynical narrator and central character, who relates her adventures in a conversational voice which is easy to read.

Prior familiarity with the fantasy genre will be a helpful tool for readers, with much of the humour stemming from the clichéd characters, landscapes and events.

The Land of Bad Fantasy, by K. J. Taylor
Omnibus, 2006