I love fantasy stories because I can leave the dull, everyday world and enter a world of imagination, magic and wonder.
Places are interesting (and often beautiful) with exotic cities, mysterious forests and other places where strange creatures lurk in the darkness.
I love fantasy because it's fun. I can meet people I’d seldom meet in life. Heroes often have strong values, which are sometimes hard to find in our world. Wrongs can be set right, and I can share the adventures of the characters and through them experience their dreams, hopes and journey through life.
Into the core of the planet—from Book 2 in the Blue Prometheus Series
Some people dismiss fantasy books as escapism, but escapism is an important part of life, and the way this genre provides a healthy escape from the harshness of life and is another reason I love fantasy stories. Fantasy also stimulates creativity and refreshes the parts of your psyche that other genres cannot (so easily) reach—fantasy can lift your spirit.
As Freud said, escapist phantasy is a necessary element of life. He considered it a defence mechanism reducing anxiety.
And if healthy escapism is denied, people will often turn to unhealthy escapism. One of the most virulent critics of fantasy I ever met died relatively young trying to escape from life in alcohol.
I love writing fantasy for the same reasons I love reading it, but also because it allows me to tell stories that would be harder to tell in other genres—including literary fiction.
I can tell stories where life and death are just parts of an endless flow of life. I can explore rebirth through my characters. Although some of my characters die, their spirit never dies, and they can be reborn—although they can never return in exactly the same form.
I love fantasy stories because they allow me to look at the relationship between science and magic—and particularly at the different ways of thinking between people who follow a very rational approach to life compared to those who follow a much more intuitive approach.
I love fantasy stories because I can look at the human relationship with animals and nature in a unique way—where else can I have my heroes talk to animals and plants?
Fantasy allows me to explore themes involving psychic phenomena and abilities: telepathy, out of body experiences, lucid dreaming and astral projection.
I’ve loved reading fantasy books since I could first read and I still do. But there have always been stories I wanted to read, that I couldn’t find. So, like many other writers before me, I write to fulfill that need—and hopefully others will enjoy the worlds I create, too.
Read more articles by Ned Marcus.