A CLEVEDON bookshop owner is publishing his first major academic book with Bloomsbury Academic later this month. 

Alistair Sims is a dyslexic author, scholar, bookseller and publisher at Books on the Hill, an independent bookshop in Clevedon. 

His most recent publication is Teutonic VS Celtist: Does the battle still wage in Modern Fantasy?, published in 2019.

His new book is called Imagining the Celtic Past in Modern Fantasy, which Alistair co-edited with Dimitra Fimi. It will be released on February 23.

Focusing on representations of Celtic motifs and traditions in post-1980s adult fantasy literature, this book illuminates how the historical, the mythological and the folkloric have served as inspiration for the fantastic in modern and popular culture of the western world.

Bringing together both highly acclaimed works with those that have received less critical attention, Imagining the Celtic Past in Modern Fantasy explores texts such as: Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Alan Garner's Weirdstone trilogy, the Irish fantasies of Jodi McIsaac, David Gemmell's Rigante novels, Patricia Kennealy-Morrison Keltiad books, as well as An Sgoil Dhubh by Iain F. MacLeòid and the Vertigen and Frontier series by Léa Silhol.

Lively and covering new ground, this collection examines topics like fairy magic, Celtic-inspired worldbuilding, heroic patterns, classical ethnography, and genre tropes, alongside analyses of the Celtic Tarot in speculative fiction and Celtic appropriation in fan culture.

Introducing a nuanced understanding of the Celtic past, this wide-ranging and provocative book shows how modern fantasy is indebted to medieval Celtic-language texts, folkloric traditions, as well as classical sources.

For more information, contact Alistair at booksonthehill@gmail.com.