The Tough Guide to Fantasyland—Fun and Funny

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones book
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

A “guidebook” by Diana Wynne Jones, the premise of The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (updated and Dark Lord Approved!) is that all fantasy novels take place in the same world. Entries cover tropes and cliches, such as food—it’s always stew—places such as nunneries (for sacking, with on survivor left); surmises on the ecology of Fantasyland, such as the lack of insects and preponderance of hares/rabbits, and the supposition that horses in Fantasyland breed via pollination.
In particular, I like the “Official Management Terms” such as calling magical ability Talent of Gift, or insistence on using the word “dwell”. Each chapter (which are alphabetical) starts with a completely random gnomic utterance, because that’s just how things are done in Fantasyland.
Everything from “Adept” to “Zombies” is covered and every entry is entertaining. Read in order or follow the “links” from one article to the next. If you like fantasy books then I recommend picking up the Tough Guide to Fantasyland. It’s a hoot.