March 29, 2018
A list of my 10 favorite adventures — in chronological order — whose titles feature the word “glass.” Derived from my ongoing research into the BEST ADVENTURES of all time.
Note that the majority of these books are, for the most part, epistemological thrillers — apophenic adventures about the quest to distinguish reality from unreality, truth from falsehood, fantasy from fact. Are we seeing things straight… or as though through a glass darkly?
- (19th century) Lewis Carroll’s fantasy adventure Through the Looking-Glass (1871). Enter the Jabberwocky!
- (Twenties) Dashiell Hammett’s crime adventure The Glass Key (1931). William Kennedy, on this book: “Hammett’s strategy is to show the process of detection as motivated by and affecting a friendship between two men. Out of these materials Hammett creates a dynamic structure of uncertain, constantly shifting human relationships.”
- (Thirties) Hergé’s Tintin adventure The Seven Crystal Balls (1943–1946 serialized; as an album, 1948). Published as a color album in 1948. OK, not a “glass” title.
- (Sixties) John le Carré’s espionage adventure The Looking Glass War (1965).
- (Sixties) Roald Dahl’s children’s fantasy adventure Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1972). Not an apophenic adventure — just a silly, fun, sci-fi sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- (Seventies) Philip K. Dick’s science fiction adventure A Scanner Darkly (1977) — sneaking this one in here, because the title implies glass.
- (Eighties) K.W. Jeter’s cyberpunk sci-fi adventure The Glass Hammer (1985).
- (Eighties) Paul Auster’s crime adventure City of Glass (1985).
- (Twenty-Oughts) Gordon Dahlquist’s The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (2006).
- (Twenty-Oughts) Charles Stross’s science-fiction adventure Glasshouse (2006).
Please check out these additional lists. JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.