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Gord Sellar on Boyran, a novel by World’s Youngest Fantasy Writer Wonje Song

Gord Sellar shares his opinion on Boyran, a novel by World’s Youngest Fantasy Writer Wonje Song.

“Boyran” by Wonje Song was published in 1995 by the Joong-ang Daily News. The bit in the middle — “a novel by World’s Youngest Fantasy Writer” is factually inaccurate, of course: he tied with Jim Theis, author of The Eye of Argon, which Nick mentioned as soon as we started reading through the text.

Well, if you know anything about that latter novel, you know that it’s famously baaaaaaaaaad, famously awful indeed —  David Langford puts it thus (as quoted inthe Wikipedia page on the text): “”a malaprop genius, a McGonagall of prose with an eerie gift for choosing the wrong word and then misapplying it”– and that it has been circulated mercilessly among SF fans who use it as part of a party game. Thies was also 16 when he wrote The Eye of Argon, and that was a full twenty-five years before Song’s book was published.


August 20, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. Hmm… Amelia Atwater-Rhodes was 13 when her first book was published; is there a reason she doesn’t count?

    Comment by Matt Doyle | August 20, 2010

  2. I was going to mention Christopher Paolini, who was 15, but Matt has someone younger.

    Comment by Farah Mendlesohn | August 20, 2010

  3. Oh, duh.

    Tobias Druitt and Zou Zou Corder are both mother and child writing teams. In each case the child was under 12.

    Comment by Farah Mendlesohn | August 20, 2010

  4. Yeah, I was just going with the text blurb. I didn’t know about those writers, but surely meant no slight by not mentioning them. It was more of a segue to comparing the book with The Eye of Argon, which is, well… unfortunately quite appropriate.

    Still haven’t tracked down a Korean translation of it. Nobody I ask seems to have heard of it at all…

    Comment by gordsellar | August 28, 2010

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