Thursday, October 25, 2018

Flight of Fantasy

To celebrate the publication of Somewhere South of Cinco (pre-order available now) I've decided to wax wizardic on the genre of fantasy. Whether you prefer dragon-riding elves searching for elixirs or golems munching forbidden fruit beside a burning bush, arguably fantasy has become a most influential genre in the modern era.

At their foundation fantasy stories proclaim "screw true physics; the world 'really' works this way." In this fashion, broom transport, sabers of light, undead people that eat flesh (not to be confused with living people that eat flesh), etcera la majica break the rules of the real world.  Sometimes the plots are epic, sometimes cheese-ridden, but always extra-ordinary. Most importantly, fantasy realms permit their characters to investigate amazing mysteries and battle esoteric forces so as to stimulate readers' imagination.

Because of its uberfictional nature, many label fantasy simply as escapism. Indeed, a fantasy story, dark or light or somewhere in between, can help us forget the tedious, challenging life that is going on outside our sphere of imagination. So long as the escapist doesn't retreat madly into fictional realms these stories can refresh our minds to better face real-world challenges.

In fact, immersing ourselves in abstract realms can inspire us to cultivate a healthy imagination.  Simultaneously, fantasy stories provide contrast to recognize the difference between actual reality and misinformed world contrivances. Which is to say, it can help us build our critical thinking skills to better confront myths and false information that persist in the real world.

Finally, fantasy provides a unique platform to discuss topics that may be taboo in society. Using metaphor, analogy, and allegory, an author can highlight current issues in code, not only to sneak it past censors, but also secret it past the stereotypes and traditional ideas we our conditioned mind might otherwise reject outright.

To be sure, the fantasy genre has morphed substantially throughout recent decades. The fantasy behemoth has wandered far from its classical Middle Earth realms. Nowadays she might take the form of a dinosaur in a spacesuit, a time traveler in ancient Mars, or a climate refugee activist in False Key, Florida.

In every case, turn the page, and let magic happen!

Somewhere South of Cinco (more tales from False Key) is available now for pre-sale in flat scroll and magic slab forms at the AmazonatoriumThe book includes a couple of my poems and and my five part mini-serial story Goddess Cast. No spoilers here but if you're interested in fantasy stories that will whisk you away to and beyond tropical isles and sultry happenings, the of enchanted authors showcased here won't disappoint. 

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