Skip to main content

Don't Lose Your Sensawunda.

Was reading a local litblog of some repute today and at first I thought he would be reviewing a particular fantasy book but it turned out he just wanted to rant about the state of today's fantasy. About how today's fantasy novels seemed to be written for teens and young adults and none of them seemed to be written for middle-aged dads.

Well, the answer to that is, well... yes. Fantasy is written for teens and young adults. From Conan to Tolkien to Martin.

But then again, fantasy novels have always targeted teens and young adults. Sure, some of them have involved adult themes and imagery but let's not kid (heh) ourselves here, fantasy is, and has always been, largely a domain for the young and young at heart.

The message of the rant implied that just because modern fantasy is for mere children, as it were, it automatically fails to challenge, intrigue, entertain, grab by the collars or refuse any reprieve. And the writer condemned this sweeping judgement upon modern fantasy after reading the first fifty pages of just one book.

And here is where I take exception. Why sir, surely making such a general statement borders on absurdity? What about Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie and the myriad other authors who write fantasy with adult themes? Surely their work must count for something?

I'm not a middle aged dad. I'm a bouncing, hale and hearty thirty-year-old man. (Also, I just had my tonsils out. Always a sign of youthfulness! ;P) But I am a dad. But that doesn't mean I have gotten jaded yet with the genre and I don't know if I ever will. I hope not. To lose one's sense of wonder is a terrible thing.

To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, a man who is tired of fantasy, is tired of life.


  1. The earliest recorded stories known to mankind are, in fact, fantasy stories. Homer's Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh comes to mind.

    It's a archetypical form that has existed and persisted for thousands of years. To say that fantasy is childish is to miss the historical point: they are and always have been grand morality tales meant to engage and instruct the young and the young at heart. ;)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

HOWTO: Get Rid of Silverfish

The bane of every book collecting person: the Silverfish. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! How to get rid of them? If one book has been infected, place it inside an air-tight plastic bag along with some silica gel desiccant. The silica gel is important to get rid of moisture, because you will now place the sealed plastic bag with the book in it inside the freezer. Leave it in there for a couple of days so that those bugs catch their death of cold. If you're feeling particularly paranoid, (like I usually am) feel free to leave the plastic bag in there for a week. If they're not dead, then you might likely have an infestation of zombie silverfish , which is out of the scope of this blogpost. But what if a whole colony of silverfish decided to invade your whole bookcase? Then you have to make sure you're ready for war. Place a generous amount of silica gel (or if you can find it, diatomaceous earth) behind your books at the back of the shelves so that moisture levels remain low.

Hitting 1000.

Last night Sharon quoted Raman of having said to writers when they bring him their manuscripts for publishing, "How many books have you read? Have you read a thousand books? If not, get out and go read a thousand books, then come back with your manuscript." His point being, you've got to have read a lot if you want to be a writer. And I thought to myself, a thousand books isn't so bad. I've probably read more. Er...Wrong. After some quick calculations, we determined that if a person read a book per week, it would take around 20 years to reach a thousand. I'm a slow reader. I'm only 25. There's no way I've read 1000 books my whole life! When I got home I counted the books in my house. I estimate I own around 300 books, probably another 300 left at my parents's house. That's only around 600 books that I own... and a lot less that I've read! So with that number in mind, I have resolved to start keeping track of my book reading. I ne

Send me to Clarion West! - My crowdfunding effort.

I just launched my crowdfunding page to help fund my Clarion West trip on GoGetFunding and I am nervous as heck. Anyway here's a link . Any help or support much appreciated even if it's just to share the link around. Thank you so much!