Thursday, April 7, 2011

"F" is for Fantasy

A-Z Challenge entry for today?  Fantasy.  

No, not like that.  Well, I did do erotica yesterday, so I guess I can see where you'd get that impression.

Anyway, since I know that there's always a lot of debate over how much overlap there is between the fantasy and sci-fi genres (fyi, Amazon lumps them together with an &), so I'll use a blanket definition of fantasy as: a story that contains some elements or events that could not happen or exist in the "real" world, i.e. magic, monsters, etc.  To me, fantasy can overlap a lot with other genres: sci-fi, historical, romance, young-adult, yadda yadda yadda.

That covers a lot of literary ground.  

What I like about reading in the fantasy genre is the suspension of belief and the escapism that the reader experiences.  You're magically transported into this new world where you don't have to worry about your taxes, feeding your cats, remembering to get gas for your car, or if you forgot to buy toilet paper.  

No, your only concern is that Frodo and his trusty friend Samwise get that damn ring to Mt. Doom and save Middle Earth from Sauron!  

Or that Harry, Ron, and Hermione get their act together, cut their camping trip short, find those horcruxes and give Tom Riddle what's coming to him.  

Or that Katniss and Peeta win the hearts of Panem to give them the best shot they can in the Hunger Games, even though the chances of either of them coming out alive are slim.  

Or maybe that whatever awesomely frighting creature and situation you're reading about in the latest Stephen King novel won't keep you up at night, looking over your shoulder and jumping at every noise you hear. see where I'm going with this?  

Escapism, pure and simple.  

Oddly enough, it's not something adults often allow for themselves.  They believe pretending is for kids, or that reading things like that is silly.  Why read a fantasy novel or even a short story when you can read up on politics, feng shui, or how to keep your credit score in perfect shape?  Are books about all these things (and other non-fiction) topics useless?  No, not at all...far from it.  I'm just saying that a lot of adults won't even consider a fantasy book because they think it's beneath them or reading them is a waste of time.  

Therefore, I'm giving you permission to find a fantasy novel and read it.  Go ahead...get in your car.  Go to the library and pick one up, even if it's a young adult novel like the ones I recommended above...all of them are completed series, by the way...hint hint.  It's getting warmer out, so take your shiny new book, find a quiet spot outside, and read to your heart's content.  I think you'll like it.  

If you already read fantasy, what are your favorites?  I've shown you mine, now you show me yours.

xoxo Sarah


  1. love fantasy fiction,
    a treat to read a novel.
    thanks for the inspirations.

  2. I think I'm a kid at heart when it comes to reading. I've read The Percy Jackson, book 1, with my kids, and they tell me to read more. I read all the Harry Potter books. I think that fantasy/sci fi spans many generations. (linked from Alex & the AZ challenge)

  3. Fantasy is a cool genre!!

    I love Eragon (and the complete series), Chronicles of Narnia, Potter series .....

    It's cool to be lost in the world of fantasy isn't it???

    with warm regards

  4. @Jingle: I love to read it, too! Always nice to see fellow fantasy readers.

    @Mary: Me, too. I haven't read the PJ books, but I've heard they're good.

    @AMP: Yes, the Eragon series is good! I think he has another book coming out sooner or later. The Chronicles of Narnia are also fantastic. :-)

  5. I love anything by Tamora Pierce. She has strong female leads and they're set in alternate universes. <3 em!

  6. Hello, My name is Mickey, and I am a reader of Fantasy.
    It's my dirty little secret.
    I try to keep my reading varied these days. For every "good" book I read ("good" as defined by Oprah and the other powers that be,) I allow myself one fun novel. For every Cormac McCarthy (whom I love, but let's face it, can be a little difficult at the end of the day,) I get a Hunger Games or a Stephen King. Yeah, I read YA too. I'm no longer ashamed to admit it. I read westerns, I read fantasy, you name it.

    Sometimes escapism is exactly what I need - If I want to be depressed I'll watch the news or read The Wallstreet Journal.

  7. Fantasy, in all its forms, is my drug of choice also.
    In addtion to the books you named, the best fantasy to come along lately is Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss.

    There is a perception that fantasy is more a male venue than female. According to what I've noticed, that just ain't so :)

  8. Fellow A to Z'er stopping by. Love your blog! I enjoyed Hunger Games, HP, Lord of the Rings (the movie - can't stand all of that narrative!), Percy Jackson, oh...I can't think of any others right now. I can't read horror because I get to into the stories and I get freaked out.

  9. @Kayla: Tamora Pierce is one of my favorites, too. The Song of the Lioness series is near the top of my list.

    @Mickey: LOL! Exactly. Balance is needed when reading, or you get stuck in a rut. That escapism is a wonderful thing.

    @Huntress: Ooh, I'll have to check that out! Kingkiller Chronicles, huh? Sounds interesting!

    @Kris: Hello! I'm glad you're enjoying my blog so far! Haha, I good as the movies were, the books are always better. I'll stop by your blog shortly to say hi!

  10. "the suspension of dis-belief and the escapism that the reader experiences"

    which is why I always read at least one fantasy when I'm reading a heavy literary or non-fiction piece.

  11. That's good! As a writer, you have to have that balance. That's a great idea. :-)

  12. I love fantasy, well mostly. I am not a fan of made up worlds I like it when there is a slight/dramatic change to our world. Makes it easier to follow and I don't get lost in the setting and miss the story.

  13. That's an interesting point, V. I can't say I've given that much thought. I suppose I like both kinds of fantasy worlds. If it's drastically different than ours, than I can more readily accept strange things that happen because it's not supposed to be an insert of our world. If it's just a small difference, I also like that because I can imagine it happening in the world we live in. They're both good to me.