fantasy

Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and You

Written by Grant Goodman, 2/16/2015 Time travel. Rocket ships. Wizards. Dystopias.

You will meet many people in your life who look down on “those kinds of stories.” They are the serious types. They believe in their serious literature.

We can let them believe in that.

They can have their stories about sad people in sad cities. Because, honestly, we read those books, too. Every now and again, we need a palate cleanser, a waystone that lets us step back into our own world.

The deep truth is this: we like other worlds. We like worlds that don’t already exist.

Besides, the biggest milestones of human storytelling tend to be about magic and dystopias.

The Odyssey is full of witches and sea monsters and Cyclops. Beowulf fought a dragon. Shakespeare filled his plays with ghosts and wizards and prophecy. Mary Shelley brought the dead back to life. Jules Verne sent humanity to explore the moon long before John F. Kennedy was born.

Reading fantasy and science-fiction connects us to the roots of the world. The desires to explore and to escape and to imagine are built into us.

That’s why we need Suzanne Collins to send us into the arena. That’s why we need Darren Shan to show us the hidden world of vampires. That’s why Ray Bradbury once wrote, “I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”

So go ahead and dive into sci-fi and fantasy.

But don’t be afraid to dip your toes into realistic fiction, either. There’s excellence to be found there, too.

Book Trailer: THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by Catherynne M. Valente

I am only fifty pages into this fairytale novel and I am completely in love with it. Clever times a million, whimsical times a billion, spellbinding times a trillion. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Watch the trailer and then purchase immediately.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU4q8dpKhDY&w=420&h=315]

BONUS POST: A Quote From Pat Rothfuss

You can't go wrong with Pat Rothfuss. The man understands language, story-telling, kindness, and humor. He crafts novels that strike me on a deeper level than most authors ever do. He also knows how to write an excellent book review. Now, I haven't read THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by Catherynne Valente but I immediately went ahead and added it to my queue after reading this quip from Rothfuss:

"This book is beautiful. The language is lovely without being pretentious. The story is careful and playful and smart. This book made me tear up in places. Not because it is particularly sad. But because sometimes when a story is true and sweet and perfectly shaped, it puts its hand around my heart."

I think that's what all of us want in a good story. That's what makes us into lifelong readers.

-Grant