Fantasy Lovers discussion

Why Fantasy?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

What is it about fantasy books that makes you love them? I know that for me, it's the whole concept of alternate worlds and magic and everything else in that, paranormal, if you will, category. That, and the characters. (I fall in love every time I start a new book, and the characters in fantasy sagas outstrip other genres by far.)

message 2: by Stacy (new)

Stacy | 1 comments I agree with you. Also for me I fall in love with the mythical creatures.

message 3: by Michelle (new)

Michelle I like the characters usually.

message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 21, 2008 07:56AM) (new)

I have mixed feelings for the "creatures". Some I'm totally repulsed at, and some "win my heart" right away. I know I'll sound steroetypical and prejudiced (if it possible to be about creatures that don't even exist) but I don't like lizard like things or scaly stuff (I had a bad run-in with a snake as a little tot. I absolutly can't stand them...)

message 5: by Shannon (new)

Shannon  (giraffe_days) Oh boy, you've done it now! Prepare for a lot of rambling!

I love lots of things about fantasy, including the no-boundaries/no-limits-to-what-you-can-do-with-it thing about the genre; the organic settings (as opposed to the incredibly non-organic settings typical of sci-fi); a more philosophical focus on what we are, who we are and what drives us; the potential to explore tropes of subjectivity, naturalism, supernaturalism, religion, politics, the cosmic forces of life, the universe and everything...

What isn't to love about fantasy? I don't care for sci-fi much, because (and I have read a few), they are too human-centred, as in, they have superiority complexes. They also indulge in, ironically, the ultimate fantasy: that no matter what we do to fuck things up, like the planet, someone somewhere will save us before it's too late, so we don't have to change anything about our lifestyles etc.

I enjoy watching sci-fi movies, but I notice this all the time. There's never any explanation behind the amazing technological achievements that enable humans to continue indulging in this superiority complex. I hate Star Trek etc., because their basic structure is a bunch of humans going round the universe solving other people's problems for them, rescuing and just in general being the heroes of the day (the only one I love is Farscape, which is like fantasy set in space).

Instead, fantasy takes us to a place before we screwed up, often bringing us back to nature (in a non-hippy kind of way), lets us explore our true potential not as beings who destroy everything and take advantage of everything, but beings who have something to offer and who are a part of something bigger.

On a generic formula front, fantasy is about ordinary people with often extraordinary talents and destinies, and this can't help but appeal to us. The idea that with a bit of courage, a bit of confidence, and some determination, not to mention some great and supportive friends, we can achieve things.

And all the cool creatures and other fantastic escapees of our imaginations are definitely part of the appeal!

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I most certainly agree with you on the fantasy/ sci-fi thing as well as the brings-us-to-a-place-we-haven't-screwed-up-yet topic. Now, I hope you don't mind me building on your response with my own thoughts...
Fantasy is a place where we can let our imaginations run wild without that inner little voice laughing at our sense of adventure. In fantasy books you can run or ride or fly or whatever the heck it is that the characters are doing along side them without leaving the comfort of your own couch.
But even more importantly, fantasy reflects on our own reality in a way that makes you wish you could go shove your head in that book forever and leave our world behind. The morals and values of the characters within those adventures are truly values. Their focus is on nature, family, love, and all that other sappy shit versus iPods and television.
Tell me, which would you rather the world be like 100 years from now, a place that still has trees and blue sky or a place where you don't have to lift a finger to do any manual labor all day?
At the rate we're going, it looks like it's gonna be the latter, but if we were all like the heroes and heroines in fantasy books, I know what the answer would be.

message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Distopias are fun to read about, though.

message 8: by Shannon (new)

Shannon  (giraffe_days) I agree with you Emma, I really do. I also happen to love reading post-apocalyptic fantasy/sci-fi, I guess partly because then there's no more "I won't be alive when the world goes to crap so what do I care?" bullshit, the characters, whether it's years and years later or not, have to revisit what it means to be human, and re-evaluate their priorities.

I like Dystopias too, there's something grotesquely fascinating about them (and post-apcoalyptic books too), maybe because it's more of a mirror? I haven't really analysed why I like dystopian fiction.

message 9: by Katie (new)

Katie I love fantasy books, although i have a hard time finding good ones. Do you have any recommendations?

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Do I?? Oh Yeah!!

Poison Study, then Magic Study and Fire Study, by Maria V Snyder are decent.

But... If you want some REALLY good books, try David & Leigh Eddings! First read the Belgariad Series. (My FAVORITE books of all time! :) ) Then the Mallorian, the follow up series. Next read the Elenium, which is totally different, but still good, just not as good as the Belgariad. The follow up series to the Elenium is the Tamuli. Now, don't mind Shannon and Michelle's protests against these books. They are amazing. But they can probably give you some good books too.

message 11: by Teresa 8-22 (new)

Teresa 8-22 | 4 comments What are the Eddings books about?

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

There is an orb, which has these really strong powers, but hates the world because one evil god, Torak, abused it. Then, there is this boy growing up with his aunt on a farm. Because of some odd old person, he gets caught up in all of it, but not by accident. I sort of sound like an inside book flap right now, but I'm trying not to give anything away! Well, that's the Belgariad at any rate. Read those first.

message 13: by Teresa 8-22 (new)

Teresa 8-22 | 4 comments They sound good. :)

message 14: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Don't listen to Emma, they are really boring.

message 15: by Teresa 8-22 (new)

Teresa 8-22 | 4 comments Why are they so boring? I mean, you seem to think they're boring, but Emma believes they're brilliant. Explain!

message 16: by Michelle (new)

Michelle It's like inkheart: some people are crazy about it, but the *cough normal cough* people are not.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Michelle, you haven't even read them! How can you say they are boring! Oh, and they are NOT like Inkheart, in that the people who read them truly appreciate the genre, whereas Inkheart fans - no offense to anyone here - who are SOLEY Inkheart fans, only do so because it is a big fat book and makes them look smart. With Eddings...

message 18: by Kataury (new)

Kataury Yeah... It's always for the characters when it comes to Fantasy... If only the Characters were real though... *sigh* But as another answer to your question is that the world would never have any possible creativity without Fantasy! It would be crazy for one not to love fantasy!(although... this coming from me...)

message 19: by Kataury (new)

Kataury Ha Ha! I think I would have to agree with Michelle! :D

message 20: by Rustyford (new)

Rustyford | 4 comments interesting fact, Salvatore wrote the Cleric Quintet because of his love of the Belgariad.

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