[Download] ✤ Beyond the Golden Stair Author Hannes Bok – Dolove.info
Beyond The Golden Stair Is A Fantasy Novel By Hannes Bok It Was First Published As The Short Story The Blue Flamingo In The January Issue Of The Magazine Startling Stories Later The Story Was Extensively Revised And Expanded By The Author Into Novel Form The Novel Version Was First Published In Book Form Posthumously In Paperback By Ballantine Books As The Twenty Third Volume Of The Celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series In November, The Ballantine Edition Includes An Introduction By Lin Carter This is my second Hannes Bok Not his real name book Another find at the time, Lin Carter of Ballantine got hold of a long rumoured manuscript back in the early 70 s Bok was best known for his lush Sci fi and fantasy artwork, but like most folks of genius was multi faceted.Beware, for this fantasy is very different from the regular sort No dragons, knights, castles and so on But it is a true fantasy, in a modern setting The characters are multi dimensional and interesting, even when you want to despise them I can t say whether most readers will find the present day elements make the story or less accessible I got around it, as it was a refreshing change from my Dark Ages Ancients stint I ve been on mostly lately The main character Hibbert is sympathetic, the love interests range from the sublime to the sick, and the Blue Flamingo in his multiple forms was the best prize of them all Well worth finding and reading. Hibbert is a rather trusting soul, one of those who lets himself be conned right into prison He is paired with a bruising hulk named Scarlatti, who keeps talking jailbreak With the help of a man named Burks, the jailbreak is successful Hibbert is brought along against his will, so he won t blab to the authorities Heading for the Florida Everglades, they hook up with Carlotta, Scarlatti s girlfriend.In the middle of nowhere, the four come across a golden stairway into the sky They ascend, and find a giant pool which may be The Fountain of Youth, guarded by a blue flamingo It attacks them, and doesn t last long after several shots from Burks pistol They ascend another stairway to a land called Khoire.It is something like being inside an M.C Escher drawing They meet a man named Patur, who has each of them put a crystal mask to their faces, which shows their true feelings They are told that they will change into whatever their true essence is within 24 hours, and that they cannot stay in Khoire Burks volunteers to turn into a blue flamingo, to take the place of the one he destroyed He ll accept being on the doorstep of Khoire, and do whatever is necessary to get himself an invitation back to Khoire Carlotta and Scarlatti experience their Change it is not pretty, and they end up eaten by a large carnivore Meantime, Hibbert has fallen head over heels in love with Mareth of the Watchers His Change is relatively minor he is still very much human He returns to Earth, passing Burks the flamingo Hibbert s quest is to find those people, who cannot reveal themselves beforehand, who will help him do what is needed to get his own invitation to Khoire.First published in greatly shortened form in 1948, this is an excellent piece of writing Bok was best known as an artist and illustrator during the pulp era this shows that he was also a fine writer If the reader can find a copy of this novel, it is very much recommended. The discovery of a multidimensional moralistic fantasy world Hannes Bok 1914 64 was a painter and general illustrator but he also wrote two books The Sorcerer s Ship and Beyond the Golden Stair first published as The Blue Flamingo in abbreviated format I found it difficult to like this book in its first half The author goes to great lengths to provide mental pictures to objectify a fantasy world It takes a lot of work to picture what is being described in such great detail As the story moves along it requires the reader to retain an image of the setting in which events take place Thankfully there are only six role playing characters in the plot, four from the earthly dimension and two from Khoire, a fantasy world beyond the golden star These characters have their own agendas, the have little in common but find themselves dependent on each other or on Khoiran hospitality By the end of the book each of them have met their fate or fulfilled their role in the quest for a higher soul destiny Two chapters, nine and ten, titled Mareth of the Watchers and The Wisdom of Khoire are full of allusions to how beings from the higher planes view the failings of earth s so called civilization The Watchers make attempts to pacify earth through emissaries who can enlighten members of society to be spiritually progressive I think the author had some good ideas he was trying to get across to the reader but he could have built on them by making the book much longer to develop those concepts. A book that deserves to find its way back into print part Lord Dunsany, part Edgar Rice Burroughs From when fantasy thought outside the box. The author, known as an artist and illustrator of various pulp magazines, was also a fine writer of fantasy as exemplified by this novel, first published posthumously in its expanded form in 1970 In it, the prime character, John Hibbert, is a World War II veteran with a crippled leg, due to a war wound, who has wound up unjustly in prison due to betrayal by erstwhile business partners His cellmate is a thug named Frank Scarlatti, who has a buddy named Burks who breaks them out and they flee into the Florida Everglades, on the way picking up Scarlatti s girlfriend, Carlotta In the middle of things they discover a golden staircase guarded by a blue flamingo which Burks ends up killing, after which they ascend said staircase into another dimension of reality, as it were Given the thuggish character of Scarlatti and to a lesser extent Burks, reading it felt like noir meets Fantasyland But Hibbert meets Mareth of the Watchers and they fall in love There are other significant characters they encounter as well, especially Patur All in all, a great read for anyone who gets off on the Fantasy genre Highly recommended.