It was Armageddon time here in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday Weekend AKA the first weekend in June. I don’t mean the end of world, keeping an eye out for the four horsemen of the apocalypse type of Armageddon, but our annual pulp culture expo.
I had a great time, and picked up some goodies, one of which is a beautiful dragon necklace. I’ve always had a weakness for anything dragon related.
I’ve also been working on edits for One Word, the next instalment of my Hidden Places contempory fantasy series, and gearing up to start work on the final book in my high fantasy series Dragons of Astria.
With all this going on I figured I’d blog about fantasy, and why I’m drawn to it. I’ve read some really good MM fantasy books of late too, and I’d love to get some recs for your favourites, and to find out what appeals to you about the genre.
When I was growing up there I found it difficult to find much in the way of fantasy to read, although there were some that are still amongst my favourites—Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, to name a few. SF was easier to track down so I tended to read more of it than fantasy, although I love both.
Now there’s so much fantasy out there I’m never going to catch up. I love fantasy in all of its sub-genres: high, urban, paranormal and everything in between. So what is it that appeals to me?
I guess it’s the ‘what if’ part of fiction, that is even more pronounced in fantasy fiction. I love the idea of worlds where there are dragons and magic, and where often the norm is a bit different than what it is now. But mostly I like stories with those elements which still focus on characters who are flawed, or trying to make the best of a situation in which they’re out of their depth. They bring with it the element of escapism and the thought of ‘wow that would really cool’ but also hope, like wishing on a star for a glimpse of a different world.
Although fantasy still comes with its own set of rules—and the magic systems need to make sense—the reader and writer isn’t tied down as much with the rules and constraints of our own world. Not everything needs to be explained as long as it makes sense. Adults often lose that sense of wonder, and fantasy reminds me that I haven’t yet, and gives me hope that perhaps things do exist that I am yet to discover.
To quote the code phrase of the resistance movement from a world that exists alongside our own: I believe in dragons.