Stephen King is one of my favourite authors and his quasi-autobiographical horror novel, “It”, is not just an outstanding example of the genre but a wonderful book in its own right. King’s description of the fictional New England town of Derry in the 1950s, and the supernatural forces which lurk beneath, remains as evocative and chilling in 2016 as it did when published way back in 1986. The fact that it was largely inspired by his hometown of Bangor, Maine, adds to the frisson of recognising Ireland-linked names in his works (albeit through Scots-Irish settlement in North America). So it is interesting to see him in conversation with Fantasy author, George R. R. Martin, whose star has been in the ascendant since the success of the “Game of Thrones” television series, a dramatisation of his “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. Truth be told, though I’m a fan of the TV show, I found aspects of the original books somewhat too familiar in terms of the subject matter. Not to be unkind, but I once described Martin as Tad Williams with more sex and talent. Personally the pseudo-Medieval whores and chores did not make up for the lack of societal, cultural and geographical verisimilitude that someone like JRR Tolkien brought to the literary table (though Martin’s human characters are more rounded and appealing to contemporary sensibilities). That said, his 1982 vampire tale, “Fevre Dream”, is a beautiful piece of writing, far superior to the glut of vampire novels which dotted the period.