Published by Wrecking Ball Press (2016)
William Warboys (the Second) is a cantankerous, working class slacker, plying the trade ships out of Coperny, an industrial city on the edge of the New World. With only half a chartership to his name, Warboys expects very little out of life – but fate is about to change things forever. For, while Warboys has been at sea, the New World has finally shaken off the shackles of the Old, the monarchy has been overthrown and a new military republic instituted in its place. These are Modern Times – a time for the world to forge on without Empires and Kings – and, no sooner has he come back to Coperny, with its endless redbrick terraces and factories, Warboys and his father are conscripted by the new regime. Their mission: to journey south, and quell an uprising in the distant port town of Blackhaven.
Along the way, Warboys will discover that the New World holds more mystery and magic than the drudgery of working class Coperny could ever offer. For in the heart of the continent lies the unconquered Eldask, the dense wilderness to which the continent’s native inhabitants retreated when settlers from the Old World first made land. There, they have been biding their time, awaiting the moment when they can emerge and reclaim the continent. And with a caste of fundamentalist guerillas fomenting rebellion wherever they can, only three men stand between order and chaos: Warboys, his world-weary father, and Nouzi Araanya – a young, enemy soldier, plagued by crippling panic attacks, and in desperate need of a friend. Even if that friend happens to be William Warboys himself…
One of the most unique epic fantasies in recent memory, Lee Harrison’s debut is that most rare of beasts: a thoroughly modern fantasy.
Praise for THE BASTARD WONDERLAND:
“Utterly magical – Around The World In Eighty Days meets Steptoe and Son”
“THE BASTARD WONDERLAND is a novel of startling originality. Heartfelt and brutal, sympathetic and strange, Lee Harrison’s début novel stands head and shoulders above the rest in the crowd – and, in William Warboys Jr, Harrison has created a hero for our times: lost and down on his luck, vicious and vacant and decent, trapped by circumstance and always yearning for something more. THE BASTARD WONDERLAND might just be one of the great 21st century novels; that it takes place in an imaginary otherworld matters not one bit. This, finally, is where fantasy gets modern.”
“The Bastard Wonderland is a characterful debut through a splendidly realised world at the verge of a new age. Harrison perfectly captures the northern sensibility. His is a voice that feels genuinely fresh, unafraid to tackle the unusual, and infused with great vision and imagination. Hopefully, this book heralds the start of a long and fruitful career in fantasy fiction.”
“Alternately familiar and fantastical, homely and harrowing, The Bastard Wonderland‘s mix of industrial imperialism and magic makes it a truly unique, compelling debut.”
“The Bastard Wonderland is a quirky, humorous, original page turner, that provides a breath of fresh air for the fantasy genre”