The Dutch are coming 2: Tais Teng

Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. Dutch writer Tais Teng for instance is well known in the world of science fiction magazines and books as illustrator and cover designer. He did illustrations for the German Atlan series and the cover of a yearbook of Daily Science Fiction, to name a few. But not many readers outside the Netherlands will know that he wrote more than 100 books in Dutch. A large part of these are children’s books, mostly horror, but also science fiction. In the nineties Dutch publishers were faced with a growing demand for children’s horror books. They formed a group of 8 writers, under the name of “the Eerie Academy” (Griezelgenootschap), to write the books. Tais was one of the more prolific writers in the group.
However, it’s not the sheer volume of his work that makes Tais Teng stand out, it’s his unfathomed imagination. Whereas other writers build a story around a central “golden” idea, Tais seems to work from a “golden” explosion of ideas. Especially his young adult books published in this century, like the Gran Terre series or the Atlantis Unsunken series, present an avalanche of concepts, environments and situations, that sometimes force you to slow down your reading pace. I can’t think of any other writer that comes close. If you really need a reference, think of Terry Pratchett, but then on speed.
Two books have been translated in English: “The Emerald Boy” (no longer available) and “Lovecraft My Love” (e-book, available from most e-book stores). Over the years approximately ten stories have been published in English, but they will be hard to find. However, the good news is that some of the stories are on his website. What’s more, you may even download three stories for free from Smashwords. These three stories are from “Lovecraft My Love”, which contains mostly horror and science fiction stories. The narrative pace of this book is much more mundane than his latest YA work. There is nothing mundane however in the conceptual department, so prepare for exuberant eeriness and imagination.
Tais Teng’s English website
Tais Teng at Deviant Art
Tais Teng’s stories page on his website

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