Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Do I like Fantasy?

At one time I would have answered that question with a resounding "No." I'm a pretty practical type of person, and when I am reading and writing, I like to stay within the realms of possibility. Besides, for many years almost all fantasy novels written were clones of Lord of the Rings. Once I read that, there wasn't any need to read anything else.

However, tastes change, and not only that but literature changes. In the 80's there was a change in fantasy literature. Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels gave us fantasy that explored issues such as gender differences, culture clash, religion, wife abuse and pedophilia. She, along with other writers, ushered n a new era in fantasy novels-- a post LOTR era. Fantasy novels no longer always involved a quest or a war between good and evil or a dark lord. Sure, there were generally some elements of good and evil in most fantasy novels, but it was a different sort of focus than we found in Lord of the Rings.

Now I read and enjoy quite a bit of fantasy, and even wrote a fantasy novel, The Dreamer's Way, which is a blend of SF and Fantasy. I love the opportunity to be able to explore problems that we have in a different setting. Sometimes by just stepping sideways a bit and looking at a problem in a different way we can find a way to resolve it.

I've never been a linear thinker, so Fantasy allows me to indulge the non-conformist part of me. And sometimes it's just plain fun-- wouldn't we all like to have magical powers? Don't most of us secretly long for the days when we believed in Santa Claus?

In the world of fantasy, we slip the bounds of reality and can become anything we want. In a middle-aged life that often seems to be little but get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, a little bit of fantasy reminds us that there is more to life than the mundane of every day.


Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Oh Dindy, how right you are about escaping when reading fantasy. Actually in all genre books you have this possibility but in fantasy the worlds writers build are so unigue from one to the other that you can't help but be mesmerized.

Lea Schizas

Cheryl said...

Great post Dindy! I haven't read much sci-fi or fantasy in my day--except when critiquing the work of other writers. But I never say I won't read it. Who knows, I loved the Chronicles of Narnia and the televsion shows Star Trek and Star Trek the New Generation...maybe there is a sci-fi and fantasy novel out there that I will fall in love with and become a big fan of the genre.

Cheryl M. (The Muse Board)

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Oh Cheryl, I went to the movies three times to see Narnia and then I bought the DVD and watched it another two times on our big screen. I loved it. Also Star Trek was a big all time fav of mine while growing up.


Rob Preece/ said...

Hi Dindy,

I've been a fantasy fan since I can remember. Certainly discovering JRR Tolkien in the 7th grade (I was in the 7th, he was somewhat older) was an eye-opening experience for me although I'd already acquainted myself with Conan. Later, Zelazny opened new doors for me, and L. Sprague de Camp opened my eyes with the idea that fantasy can be funny.

So, why? Because in fantasy, decisions matter. Because in fantasy, a warrior can make himself king. Because in fantasy love really can tame the wildest beast.

I'm still a fantasy fan after all these years.

Rob Preece

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Rob, I'm not sure what aspect in fantasy it is that pulls me in but the fact other worlds, fairies, and various other elements involved in this genre makes a make-believe world seem real just in other genres and to pull this off, all areas to construct this 'real' world need to be in place.

Like in Lord of the Rings, the places the characters trotted on jumped right out at you, drawing you into their magical realm.

I guess Dindy was right...they allow you to fully escape this world and venture out without paying an airline fare.

Lea Schizas

Swimming Kangaroo said...

Try reading some books in the Liaden Universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. They are science fiction with some mysticism thrown in, but are also romatic and fun to read. That might be a good way to ease you into the genre.

Barbara M. Hodges said...

Fantasy. I love it. I was at a critique group the other evening and someone said something about one of the dragons in my books and I responded, no, no. My dragon would never say that.

That's how real fantasy characters are to me. I would love to be able to go, beside just in my head, and visit many of the fantasy worlds I've read about and of course my own also.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Barbara, don't you find when you're writing your stories you are actually in that make believe world you've created? So many times, like you, I wish I could somehow transport myself in there to see some of these other worlds I read about.

Lea Schizas