Reading Nicholas Fisk

Sweets from a Stranger coverOver the past few weeks, I’ve been reading a lot of books by Nicholas Fisk. It’s one of those projects I’ve always meant to get around to; with Trillions and A Rag, A Bone and a Hank of Hair Fisk was one of my formative sf reading experiences. I’ve always wanted to go back and see how he holds up, and perhaps write an essay about his work. What I hadn’t appreciated, until quite recently, is just how prolific Fisk is. I’ve read nine of his books now, and that only really scratches the surface.

Anyway, book number ten is a short story collection, the only one by Fisk I’ve come across: Sweets from a Stranger, first published in 1982. I’ve decided to blog it story by story this week, as a start on getting my thoughts on his work into some kind of shape.

First up: the title story. There seems to be precious little about any of Fisk’s work online, but “Sweets from a Stranger” has obviously been taught at some point, since googling it brings up this pdf of the full text, which comes complete with questions for discussion. My thoughts later today, when I’m confident I’ve arrived at answers at least as good as the ones a ten year old would come up with.

7 Responses to “Reading Nicholas Fisk”

  1. Jocelyn Says:

    Huh. You know, I hadn’t thought of him in years, but as soon as I saw his name I was transported back to my childhood. Grinny, in particular, sprang to mind immediately, before I looked at his Wikipedia entry – it’s a book that I can remember in detail, despite almost certainly not having read it for over thirty years.

  2. Niall Says:

    Yeah, Grinny is one of the ones people always remember, and it does hold up surprisingly well. But for me it was always Trillions and Hank of Hair. I only discovered Grinny had a sequel (You Remember Me) when I started on this project.

  3. Not Enough Time, Not Enough Ears « Everything Is Nice Says:

    […] a comment » Niall Harrison is reading Nicholas Fisk: Fisk is a cornerstone for British speculative fiction readers who grew up in the Seventies and […]

  4. Charles Says:

    I’m reading Hank of Hair revisiting Hank of Hair right now after 15 years and it just transports me to another universe. I’m just so glad I read Mr Fisk as a kid because his story still lives with me. I wish I read more, but to be honest, Hank of Hair was pretty grim and I actually remember being kind of depressed by the ending.

  5. Hannah Says:

    I’d be interested to read this but the pdf link doesn’t work. Is there any other way to get hold of it? I read Trillions and On the Flip Side when I was younger, the latter becoming one of my favourite books at the time.

  6. Niall Says:

    Hi Hannah — You’re right, the link seems to have died. Unfortunately I can’t find any other copies of the story online; even Google Books just links to the same place.

  7. Hannah Says:

    Ah well, thanks anyway Niall!


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