2019 is the year of the prince!
Throughout 2018, I asked friends and contacts what they thought made a good princess. You can find the answers to those questions here
This year, I will be asking authors from a variety of genres, as well as a host of others from editors to academics, what they think makes a definitive prince.
This month we are joined by David Tallerman. David is the author of the recently released crime thriller The Bad Neighbour, ongoing YA fantasy series The Black River Chronicles, the Tales of Easie Damasco trilogy, and the novella Patchwerk. His comics work includes the absurdist steampunk graphic novel Endangered Weapon B: Mechanimal Science with Bob Molesworth.
David’s short fiction has appeared in around eighty markets, including Clarkesworld, Nightmare, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. A number of his best dark fantasy and horror stories were gathered together in his debut collection The Sign in the Moonlight and Other Stories.
He can be found online at www.davidtallerman.co.uk.
1. A prince has to win the trust not only of his people but of his chosen princess - and very quickly! What three qualities would you need a prince to show before you’d be won over to their cause?
Courage, steadfastness, and the willingness to resign their function in favour of a democratically elected state.
2. All princes are armed, but what is the best weapon or weapons for a prince? (Magical weapons are allowed).
Perhaps a magical staff of self-negation? Failing that, some kind of electrified chain whip.
3. Disney princesses often have an animal companion to share their trials with. If the same applied to princes, what kind of animal would be a good choice for a prince?
Hmm, tricky. Maybe a velociraptor? Or one of those battle polar bears out of His Dark Materials? Basically, anything that would take him far away at high speed and stand a reasonable chance of eating his face.
4. The Disney princes were a pretty unmemorable bunch. What kind of prince - or saviour-hero - would you like to see in future Disney movies?
If you think the Disney princes are unmemorable, you’re clearly forgetting Kuzco! I mean, I guess he’s more of an emperor, but surely he was a prince at some point? And why does everyone always ignore Bambi?
In all seriousness, though, I think we’re long past the point where we need to put those traditional sorts of princely protagonists to bed. I’m genuinely a huge fan of Disney’s animated films, and I’m glad to live in a world where they exist, but those stories are out there now and it’s okay to move on.
I’d like to see heroes, of whatever gender, who actively work to justify their roles and, most importantly, to do some real good; who have the courage not to fight, who stand up for the natural world, who treat others with care and dignity no matter who they are, and who are confronted with real problems without easy solutions. And I don’t think any of those things are outside the scope of stories created expressly for children. In fact, maybe stories for children are even better placed to tell them.
5. The focus on princesses is often what they wear, but what would be a good look for your ideal prince?
A dashing sack-cloth outfit so that he could mingle among the peasantry and learn how the other ninety-nine percent live.
6. Which fictional prince is your favourite, and why?
Without a doubt, it has to be Utena Tenjou from the anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena, who proves that being a prince can be awesome if you do it right, and more importantly, that it isn’t just for the boys.
Copyright 2015-2019 Charlotte Bond
"Northern Lights over Low Row" Copyright Sandra Cockayne