Eoin Colfer, Laureate na n'Og, writes in his introduction to this anthology about the importance of the sense of place in every story. Our memories of a place will forever influence our feelings about it, and it would appear that place is as important in a piece of fiction as is plot.
"Why do so many writers come from Ireland?" Colfer is often asked, and he responds that the answer is in the question. Flaws and all, Ireland is a magical place. But not all of the stories in this book have rose-tinted glasses. Jane Mitchell's There and Here, for instance, tells the story of a young girl living in a Mosney-type immigrant settlement and it is harrowing stuff. Roddy Doyle's The Pumping Station contrasts Kilbarrack Road of 1968 with what it is now, reminding us adults that "progress" is a word we should approach with caution. Especially if it's used by town planners.
Colfer himself has a short story in the anthology. The Ram King is a riotously funny historical fantasy set in the mythical kingdom of Exterios (Hook Head). Derek Landy's The World's Greatest Teen Detective is quite the contrast, set mostly on the beach in Rush, Co Dublin and in the present day.
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