The BBC Version of Gormenghast

The BBC version of Gormenghast made in 2000 brings together a variety of unusual fantasy elements, but without the usual magic and monsters that you normally see in a fantasy book or films.

What you get instead is a giant fantastical castle, the size of a large city, and one of the best villains you will ever see in any books: Steerpike.

Steerpike is arguably the perfect villain. He has motivations. He is ambitious. He is in love. He is Machiavellian in his schemes.

The BBC version of Gormenghast only covers the first two books of the series, ignoring the third book "Titus Alone", in which the character Titus Groan journeys beyond the valley of Gormenghast, gets lost and people don't even believe him when he describes the castle of Gormenghast.

The good news is that you can watch the BBC version of Gormenghast on YouTube. See the videos further below.

Alternatively you can easily get copies of the books (or ebooks or audiobooks) from your local libraries because Gormenghast is considered to be a classic.


The Adventures of the Bogatyr, Short Fiction Series

The Bogatyr is a class of Slavic knight popular in folktales and legends from the Slavic region of Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Romania, etc). In the stories Bogatyr knights often were wanderers who sometimes possessed supernatural powers or magic which helped them to achieve their goals. Eg. In one story one of the characters gained "giant strength" from a giant Bogatyr and was super strong afterwards.

In my literary fantasy world of Korovia however, I have taken it a step further. My version of Bogatyrs has access to specific kinds of magic, similar to a wizard or a cleric (as per Dungeons and Dragons), or similar to a Witcher from Andrzej Sapkowski's books, and in order to test the knight's abilities I even made a 2nd Edition Bogatyr character class which clearly spells out what the Bogatyr's abilities are.

But I wasn't done obviously. I have also written a series of 8 pieces of short fiction which are available to read via Amazon Kindle (a new one is released every 2 months), and I am planning to release them as an anthology in paperback and hardcover formats sometime in 2023.


THE ADVENTURES OF THE BOGATYR

  1. The Bogatyr & the Cursed Inn
  2. Dark Shadow in the Moonlight
  3. The Bogatyr & the Rusalka's Lament
  4. The Bogatyr & the Gentle Giant
  5. A Bag of Silver, A Bag of Bones
  6. The She-Wolf of Eraska
  7. The Midnight Dragon (Coming November 1st 2022)
  8. The Bogatyr & the Cursed Parcel (Coming January 1st 2023)

The individual stories are priced at $0.99 each, with the exception of two of the stories which are significantly longer and priced at $2.99 each.

I am also working on a trilogy of three Bogatyr novels, which will follow the adventures of Ilya and Dobrynya and other Bogatyr knights. But for those who love a good story about a wandering knight / monster hunter, with the occasional bit of time travel / time paradoxes in there, plus some dark fantasy, grimdark, or old school Sword & Sorcery well then this is something you are likely to enjoy reading... Please enjoy the short stories!

Readers interested in my other fantasy stories should check out the following:

The Adventures of Wrathgar (heroic fantasy novel series)

Wulfric the Wanderer (Sword & Sorcery short fiction series)

Maps of Gormenghast


The problem with Gormenghast (the trilogy of books by Mervyn Peake) is that there isn't really any official maps of the castle and region.

For those that don't know, Gormenghast is a huge castle depicted in the series of books by Mervyn Peake which were incredibly influential on other writers during the latter half of the 20th century.

So influential that it got a BBC mini series in the early 2000s. (The image on the above right is a depiction of the huge castle that was shown in the BBC version.)

The castle is effectly the size of a city. Not a small city either. Much bigger than that. Simply massive.

Due to the lack of official maps various people have made their own versions of what they think the castle might look like on a map, sometimes with their depictions suggesting something similar to the Forbidden City in China.

But they all, in my opinion, fall short of depicting the massive size of Gormenghast. The thing that people seem to forget is that Gormenghast should have a population of 10s of thousands of people, but only about 10% of the castle is actually occupied. Many of the rooms and buildings within Gormenghast have been abandoned for generations. So if there was say 40,000 people living there, the castle itself should be big enough to house 400,000 people.

For a context a small city of 40,000 people still takes up a good chunk of space. Thus Gormenghast should be roughly 10 times the size of a small city.

The maps below thus aren't really an accurate depiction to the true scale of Gormenghast. It should be tens of miles across, not just a few miles.




The above one basically copies the look of the Forbidden City in China.


Publishing a fantasy book? Make sure you get a professional fantasy book editor.

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