Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Discussing Fantasy

I thought since I'm in the middle of a huge epic Sanderson fantasy right now I'd revisit this post from nearly four years ago when he (Sanderson) came to our library and talked about fantasy. I loved what he had to say then and I still love it now. And I'm wondering what you, my newer-ish readers who missed this post the first time around, think about it. I'd love your response to the questions!

Here's my original post:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Fantasy?

Yesterday our library kicked off a couple of months of celebrating fantasy with a Brandon Sanderson appearance in which he talked about his feelings for the fantasy genre.  People always ask him why he writes fantasy and he said he wishes he could say, "Obviously because everything else is boring!"

He listed some great points about why he thinks fantasy is legit, and it made me think about why I enjoy it so much too.

Brandon's reasons for writing/reading fantasy:

  • to explore other worlds, while at the same time learning about our own
  • to warn and to teach, to ponder the "what ifs" both  negative and positive
  • to focus on humanity. It's like an experiment where you change up all the variables in life, but the human characters remain the same, and are the control group. Thus, we come to understand ourselves better.
  • to simply enjoy the story itself. It's like mythology for our time. He told about when people were trying to figure out what Tolkien meant to say with Lord of the Rings. Was it about WWII? Was it symbolic for the atomic bomb? Tolkien always responded with a  resounding NO. It's JUST A STORY!
  • to inspire and to imagine. Reading fantasy is like doing crunches for the imagination! He reminded us of an Einstein quote (one of my favorites), "Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the whole world, and all we will ever know and understand." It doesn't have to be real for us to learn and gain something from it.

Great reasons, yes?

My reasons for reading (and loving) fantasy:

  • sweeping involved detailed and imaginative stories
  • extremely well defined characters
  • new worlds (language, races, cultures, religions, politics) to explore 
  • it's just plain fun! Of course it is!
Okay, so my reasons aren't quite as meaty, but still.  As Brandon Sanderson also said, there's those that get it and those that don't. I'm happy to be on the "get it" side. And oh man, there's so much of it I haven't read. It's overwhelming!

Where do you fall in this debate? Do you get the fantasy thing? Perhaps you are still not sure about it? Or maybe you won't even go near it? I'd love to know your feelings on fantasy!

And my thoughts today? Like I said, still the same. One of my biggest issues with reading in general is actually finding the time to read the huge epic fantasies and still fit in everything else there is to read. It's a frustrating thing sometimes! I mean, if I had nothing else to do maybe it could happen, but as is it is, when I'm reading a huge fantasy, it seems all other reading gets put on hold. It's hard. But I love it and I wish I could fit more in.

So anyway, what are your feelings on fantasy? Do you agree with the above points? Or would you rather spend your reading time on more real life situations?

For more Throwback Thursday posts and to link up your own post, head on over to Mom's Small Victories.


  1. I heart fantasy! I love the escapism of it - but I also love the brilliance and creativity of it. The authors have to have some kind of freaking amazing imagination and a bit of genius to come up with what they do. And that's not something everyone has - certainly not me.

    Tanya Patrice

  2. I enjoy fantasy and getting lost in another world. I agree with Tanya P., it takes creative genius to create a whole new world. Thanks for sharing with #ThrowbackThursdaylinkup

  3. How cool! I just finished Sanderson's Words of Radiance and I can really see the focus on humanity thing. By mixing up gender roles and creating a society where eye color instead of skin color is often a reason for descrimination, I think he does a great job making people think about race and gender in our own world without being to in-your-face about it. I definitely share your love of fantasy's sweeping, epic stories. It's one of my favorite things about the genre :)



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