Damian Magee is, quite simply, one of the loveliest people alive. A gentle librarian with glasses and a moustache that would send Professor Challenger into fits of envy, his softly-spoken demeanour, air of general gentility and love of all things Sherlockian seem almost old-worldly when surrounded by the gauche flashiness of much of science fiction fandom, wherein he spends most of his off hours.

Here, as befits his bibliophilic stature, he gives us not one Precious Literary possession, but a quartet.

Precious Things: Damian Magee

Head shot

During those years of growing up, Mum always seemed give me books to understand the world and the language. The first real book Mum gave me, discounting the TV Annuals, was Vanity Fair. It did not impact, nor did A Tale of Two Cities, or even Charles & Mary’s Shakespeare. I started collecting my own classic books, as well as novels based on TV & Film.

But four authors changed my life and their works became my literary treasure. First,  H.G. Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come, a book that looked at a future war and and the science necessary to stop it. John Galsworthy’s trilogy The Forsyte Saga, and the works of NZ writer Kathleen Mansfield joined my list. Finally, on my 16th birthday, Mum gave me the works of Franz Kafka, which changed something deep within me. Those are my literary treasures.


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