In the 1970s, Michael Maguire (1954–) wrote two wildly unusual pony books about a robotic horse called Mylor. Despite being man-made, Mylor has character, heart and enough strength of will to propel an entire pony club. The books made an impact on anyone who read them: in a world of identikit pony girl plots, Mylor was then, and remains now, unique. Until now (2012), the books in their original printings were not always easy to find, but the author has now updated and republished them both in hardback and paperback.
Michael Maguire is writing another children’s series, Swiftly, which is set in an Animal Rescue Centre, and which has some horse content. Swiftly is not, I think, as good as his Mylor books. It has something of the same fantastical elements (a mystical greyhound) but it’s not written with the same dash and verve of Mylor, which carry the reader effortlessly along. The sequel, Swiftly 2, has, the author tells me, 'about 25% horse content!'
Michael Maguire’s love of horses started early. He left school at 16, and worked at the Brewhurst Stud, writing freelance articles for the sporting press in his spare time. After two years at Brewhurst, he started as a journalist at The Sporting Life. His four adult novels, three of which form a series about the investigator Simon Drake, are all set in the racing world.
Mylor: the Kidnap
Finding the books
All the children’s titles are currently in print; the Mylor titles having been updated. The original versions are not always easy to find, and first edition hardbacks can be expensive. None of the adult novels are in print (2012), but are easy to find secondhand.
Sources and links
Correspondence with Michael Maguire
Michael Maguire’s website