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Authors: Andri Snaer Magnason

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The Story of the Blue Planet

BOOK: The Story of the Blue Planet
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The
Story
of the
Blue
Planet

 

ANDRI SNÆR MAGNASON

Illustrated by

ÁSLAUG JÓNSDÓTTIR

Translated by

JULIAN MELDON D’ARCY

SEVEN STORIES PRESS
NEW YORK

Copyright © 1999 by Andri Snær Magnason

Illustration copyright © 1999 by Áslaug Jónsdóttir

English translation © 2012 by Julian Meldon D’Arcy

FIRST ENGLISH-LANGUAGE EDITION

Title of the original Icelandic edition:
Sagan af bláa hnettinum

Published by agreement with Forlagið,
www.forlagid.is

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

SEVEN STORIES PRESS

140 Watts Street

New York, NY 10013

www.sevenstories.com

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Andri Snær Magnason, 1973-

[Sagan af bláa hnettinum. English]

The story of the blue planet / Andri Snær Magnason; illustrated by Aslaug Jonsdottir; translated by Julian Meldon D’Arcy. -- 1st English-language ed.

p. cm.

Summary: When Gleesome Goodday crash-lands on a beautiful island on a planet with no adults, he promises wonderful things in exchange for a bit of youth, but best friends Brimir and Hulda see that Goodday is not all he seems so it is up to them to stop him.

ISBN 978-1-60980-428-2 (hardback)

[1. Adventure and adventurers--Fiction. 2. Conduct of life--Fiction. 3. Interpersonal relations--Fiction. 4. Best friends--Fiction. 5. Friendship--Fiction.] I. Áslaug Jónsdóttir, ill. II. D’Arcy, Julian Meldon. III. Title.

PZ7.M27362Sto 2012

[Fic]--dc23

2012023316

Printed in China

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

The translation of this book was made possible with a grant from the Icelandic Literature Fund.

To my son, Hlynur, and his great grandparents

Contents

 

 

There Was a Blue Planet

The Saga Begins

The Space Monster

Mr. Goodday

Butterfly Powder

Evening Falls, the Sun Sets

Wolf! Wolf!

The Strangest Stink

The Great Flying Competition and into the Blue

Wind-cold Wolf-trees

The Fierce Grizzly

Hairy Spiders and Poisonous Insects

The Butterfly Monsters

The Wildest Wild Animals

The Ghost Children

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Jolly-Goodday the Comedian

Who Owns the Sun?

The Elections

The Rescue Party

The Bomb in the Crate

Steel-hearted or Stone-hearted

Jolly-Goodday’s Dream

His Majesty Jolly-Goodday

There Was a Blue Planet

 

Once upon a time there was a blue planet far out in space. At first sight, it looked like a very ordinary blue planet and it’s unlikely that an astrologist or astronaut would even have given it a second glance. A sun and a moon circled the planet once every day and wind swayed the grass and flowers, while waterfalls tumbled from high mountains into deep dark canyons. Clouds were blown across the sky and stars twinkled behind them. The planet was covered with lands and around each land was an ocean that could be as calm as a mirror until it was caught by the roaring winds and smashed into a thousand drops on rocky shores.

The blue planet was very special for one reason: Only children lived there. Plants and animals lived there too of course, but all around the planet were children in all shapes and sizes. Big children, small children, chubby children, and skinny children, and some were even weird like the child you see in the mirror. There were many more than a hundred of them, so let’s just say that they were countless. The children were completely free to do what they pleased since no grown-ups lived on the blue planet and there was no one to order them around. The wild children ate when they were hungry, slept when they got tired, and in between they played without anyone interfering. These words are not meant to criticize grown-ups; many of them are quite nice.

The blue planet was beautiful, but it was also a dangerous place. Each day was so full of danger and excitement that no grown-ups could have lived there without getting gray hair and withering away from stress and worry. That’s why no grown-up had landed on the planet for as long as the youngest child could remember, and astronomers wouldn’t dare point their telescopes towards the blue planet.

Now someone might ask: Where did the children come from? How did they multiply? Did they never grow up? How were they born if there were no grownups living on the planet? The answer is simple: Nobody knows.

As I said, scientists were not interested in the planet and no research had been done on it. We only know that it was full of children that never grew up. For some unknown reason the well of youth in their hearts seemed limitless, and in fact, the children could easily have been many hundreds of years old.

The children had endless adventures on the blue planet. They could follow fireflies in the dark or climb rocky cliffs and jump into warm waters. They could gather shells on the beach and watch the sea turtles crawl ashore to lay their eggs. There were high cliffs full of nesting birds and cold white glaciers that crawled to the sea, crunching and crumbling. The forests were light-green during the day when the tigers and parrots were about, but they turned dark-green in the evening when the wolves began howling, and black-green at night when the bats awoke and spiders with hairy legs wove their webs between branches.

BOOK: The Story of the Blue Planet
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ads

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