As a genre of literature and of movies, Fantasy is often considered Science Fiction’s idiot kid brother. And that’s on a good day. The stories of swords and sorcery are considered appropriate for children who cannot yet grasp the amazing awesomeness of faster-than-light space travel or why a story line is centered on not interfering with a species’ natural course of evolution. And while we might accept a historically accurate re-telling of the story of King Arthur, Hercules, Oedipus, and Merlin are relegated to mini-series and TV shows.
It’s as if we are willing to suspend our disbelief for a miracle when it can be described as a brilliant manipulation of organic tissue using a molecular synthesizer, but we don’t like it so much when it gets boiled down to magic. That is to say that science trumps the supernatural.
Now I’m sorry for saying it, but Christians are the worst about it too. I can tell my atheist friends I’m reading Twilight and they’ll question my taste in books. I tell my Christian friends I’m reading Twilight and they start to worry about the state of my soul. And it goes beyond that into every kind of book that might possibly be categorized as “fantasy.” I don’t like to tell people I like Dungeons and Dragons because then they REALLY start to worry about whether or not I’m a Christian and maybe I’m actually trying to subvert Christian culture with my own demonic agenda… ok that only happened once but you can see that it kind of messed with me.
There are of course, two exceptions to this rule and they are The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. Now I have a book that I’ve finished writing that has been sitting on the shelf for a while because I want to publish it and it is most certainly a fantasy novel but I have shared it with only a handful of people because most of my friends are Christian and I don’t think they’ll judge me for it, and I don’t think they’ll think I’m suddenly demonized because of it, but I’m absolutely terrified of something else they’ll do.
Compare it to CS Lewis.
Well I’m pretty happy to say that I don’t really care any more if it is compared to him because he’s already written his books and now I get to write mine. No matter what else I may do with it, it’s my hope that I can help polish some of the mess off of Fantasy’s reputation with it. Every so often I’ll be publishing a chapter from it on my other blog desiredreality.wordpress.com which is going to be 100% dedicated to my creative efforts. Feel free to join me J