Playing on the Edge
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The anarchic hero of many daring adventures, William, as depicted on our cover by Thomas Henry in one of his effective, humorous pen and ink illustrations, is now a period piece. A William de nos jours illustrated by Tony Ross and aimed at a younger audience stands alongside him. This new William will be featured in adaptations of the stories by Martin Jarvis. Richmal Crompton, author of the William books, is the subject of this issue's Authorgraph. Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for their help with this November cover.
Set in the year 2064, this futuristic sports story deals with present day issues of performance enhancers and the increasing gap which exists between the wealthiest soccer clubs and their lower league cousins. Easy Linker, the young teenage hero, is a brilliant footballer who will be taken over by the mighty Gunman Reds and forced to take performance enhancers like most other professional footballers, even though they possess life threatening side effects. The clubs are so powerful that the authorities seem unable or unwilling to do anything about it. Easy's Dad, Tom, wants to blow the whistle on the whole business but in so doing he endangers his own life and that of his son too. This novel has an interesting plot but rather one dimensional characterisation. Arksey makes some attempt to give a futuristic feel but of consistency in this regard, leads to some anachronisms.