Cook, Hugh


The Chronicles of an Age of Darkness:

The Chronicles of an Age of Darkness is a ten-volume series of cross-genre fantasy and science fiction novels created by New Zealand cult author Hugh Cook which broadly tell the story of the events leading to the end of a dark age.

The Chronicles began with an ambitious outline for a series of twenty novels. This would have been followed by two equally long series, The Chronicles of an Age of Wrath, and The Chronicles of an Age of Heroes. This sixty-volume scheme ended with the publication of the tenth volume because of disappointing sales.

The novels are written in vastly different styles, which may have confused or alienated readers who expected continuity in each novel. Another theory is that the naming scheme, consisting of continual alliterative "W"-titles featuring unusual words put people off.

'His remarkable ability to alter his writing style, coupled with a truly striking ability to convey vastly differing characters and places, has led many people to believe that "Hugh Cook" is a generic name used by various authors.' 

The Chronicles defy the conventions of the fantasy genre, by including elements of science fiction, graphic violence, grotesque and macabre elements, and political cynicism. They are sometimes described as 'gritty' because of their realism.

The novels aren't high fantasy. They could be described as New Wave Sword and sorcery or Planetary romance/Sword and Planet. They also include elements of comedy. 

Unlike most fantasy literature, the series eschews the concept of good and evil. Drama is created by characters pursuing conflicting goals, and the text often refuses to assign a moral function to their actions.