''Voyage of the Basset'' is a 1996 {{fantasy}} novella. It tells the story of Professor Algernon Aisling and his two daughters Miranda and Cassandra as they set off on the HMS ''Basset'', a marvelous ship run by dwarves and gremlins, into the lands where magical creatures live. It was adapted as ''VoyageOfTheUnicorn''.
!!This book contains examples of the following tropes:
* AerithAndBob: Played with. One of the trolls is named "Bob", but the author tells us that "Bob" is short "not for Robert, but for Bobalogwar."
* AllMythsAreTrue: the protagonists end up meeting the Minotaur, the Sphinx, harpies, a dryad, elves, Medusa, ogres, and a unicorn.
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: the ones the ''Basset'' encounters are human-sized, ugly creatures with a decidedly malicious bent.
* TheAloner: When they find Medusa, she is completely alone because of her petrification powers. She tells the crew she has grown tired of it.
* BiggerOnTheInside: the ''Basset'' contains far more rooms than it should be able to, looking at the outside. Miranda calls Sebastian on this, to which he answers, "As you said, Miss Miranda, it's all nonsense."
* CassandraTruth: Cassandra tries to tell her father that stealing the dragon skull from the trolls' lair is a bad idea, but he doesn't listen to her. It ends up bringing the trolls down on them at the end of the book.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: Presumably, Professor Aisling's belief is what enabled him to safely look into Medusa's eyes near the end.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Medusa. She is cold and arrogant when they initially find her, but she becomes a part of the team.
* HeldGaze: As Professor Aisling falls in love with Medusa, he finds himself wishing to look into her eyes.
* GorgeousGorgon: Medusa.
* GripingAboutGremlins: these are decidedly curious rather than malicious.
* GrowingUpSucks: Cassandra believes this thanks to Miranda, but it is averted in Professor Aisling, as well as in [[spoiler: Cassandra and Miranda at the end of the book.]]
* InDefenceOfStoryTelling: Professor Aisling's quest, touched off by a taunting colleague, is to prove why the old stories are important. He eventually decides that stories are important for keeping open the mind and giving it ideas.
* KidHero: Cassandra, who is only nine.
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler: Cassandra (to a botanist) and Miranda (to a clergyman) at the end of the book.]]
* HatesBaths: According to the text, trolls may fear hair-washing more than fire.
* HarpingOnAboutHarpies: Although loud and prone to snatching food if not invited to join the dinner, these are actually good creatures and enthusiastic cooks.
* LetsGetDangerous: The harpies, who usually are simply annoying, can reputedly be fearsome opponents [[BerserkButton if you mess up their kitchen.]]
* MeaningfulName: Cassandra, who foresees disaster without being believed.
* MissingMom: Mrs. Aisling died of an unknown illness sometime before the start of the book.
* MoreHeroThanThou: Professor Aisling and one of the dwarves have a discussion like this when they think a preventative may have been found for Medusa. Medusa cuts them short, saying that she'll test its efficacy on the birds if the crew will give her a moment alone on deck.
* MustLetThemGetAway: Professor Aisling wants to pursue and kill the trolls at the end, but the dragon reminds him that they are part of the myths too.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Professor Aisling causes the trolls to pursue the ''Basset'' by stealing a dragon skull from their lair, against the protests of Cassandra.
* OurGryphonsAreDifferent: the ''Basset'' takes on a classical griffin when he saves Cassandra from the trolls.
* OurOgresAreHungrier: the ''Basset'' crew encounters ogres that, while ugly, are actually friendly and reasonably intelligent. One of them even leads them to where they can find the unicorn.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: these are lovely, friendly women with fish tails and a none-too-serious outlook on life.
* PowerLimiter: Medusa cannot turn a person to stone if her eyes are shut or covered. Partway through the book, the ''Basset'' crew discovers that she can live a fairly normal life by wearing smoke-stained glasses.
* ReluctantMonster: Medusa seems to have this vibe; although detached about the statues in her "garden" upon first sighting, she doesn't want to turn so much as a seagull into stone during her time on the ''Basset''. That doesn't stop her from accidentally petrifying the first mate.
* SecondLove: Professor Aisling falls in love with Medusa.
* SirensAreMermaids: the mermaids can sing with haunting beauty, although they use it to call the sea serpent so he can save ships from being dashed on the rocks. According to Professor Aisling's notes, they allege that sailors made up the whole "singing sailors to their deaths" bit.
* StockNessMonster: the mermaids' sea serpent looks like a snake, but unlike some presentations, he saves ships rather than sinking them.
* TakenForGranite:
** Sebastian gets turned into a statue halfway through the book when he tries to prevent Medusa from accidentally doing the same thing to Cassandra. This touches off the quest for a unicorn.
** Medusa weaponizes her gaze towards the troll a in the final battle.
* TakingTheBullet / TuckAndCover: After pushing Miranda and the unicorn out of the way of the dragon's flame, Professor Aisling covers them with his body. He isn't hurt, though; the dragon only gets Skotos, the troll chief.
* UnicornsAreSacred: But the trolls don't mind strangling one.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Professor Aisling becomes one of these midway through the book in his zeal to prove the importance of myths; he rationalizes taking the mythological creatures back with him and putting them on display in London. He gets better.
* WhatHaveIDone?: Professor Aisling when his change to a well-intentioned extremist inadvertently contributes to Sebastian's petrification.
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious: When Professor Aisling tries to look into Medusa's eyes, she says, "Algernon, don't!" Normally, she refers to him more formally.