book talk: why fantasy is my genre

Why Fantasy is my Genre

Posted February 2, 2018 by Amber in Bookish Things, Memes / 22 Comments

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I’ve taken a bit of flack as an adult who reads YA, but over the years I’ve actually taken more heat for my indulgences in my absolute favorite genre: fantasy.

These days, the animosity for fantasy is not as strong among the layfolk.  Thanks very much to the popularity of the DC and Marvel films, a fancy for the supernatural is considered more normal than it was fifteen years ago.  Personally, I’ve never been able to understand why people don’t love fantasy.

Fantasy ignites my soul.

I would like to present a casual defense of my favorite genre and why more people should be utterly taken with the possibilities of a fantasy world.  Yes, it’s not real.  The not-realness of it seems to be the main thing that people begrudge of the fantasy genre.  Why read about dragons when dragons aren’t real.

There’s a simple answer to that.

Dragons are freaking amazing.

Fantasy worlds push us to the edges of our imaginations, force us to shed our sensible skin and reach into something deeper within ourselves.  Perhaps it is a childish delight in the things that cannot be, perhaps an adult need to separate ourselves from the hum-drudgery of the modern world.

For myself, fantasy allures me with its possibilities.

I understand that not everyone has the capacity or the desire for that sort of suspension of disbelief.  And that’s okay!  For those people there are non-fiction, romance, thrillers and general fiction.

Science-fiction and fantasy are for the people who see the world as it is, and then imagine that despite all the impossibilities, see what it could be.

If humans had the ability to alter matter with their minds and hearts, we would have magic.

If animals have evolved differently, we would have dragons and mermaids and perhaps even lycans.

And if humans were a bit more advanced, perhaps we too could touch the distant stars.

Thinking of those things, is it so silly to want to experience those impossibilities?  To wrap ourselves in the worlds of the what-ifs?

This week’s Book Blogger Hop asked:

Do you prefer to blog about (a) specific book genre(s), or do you have an eclectic blog?

 

Short answer:  I read whatever interests me, but a lot of that is fantasy.  I can’t help but to dreams in a world of mages and pirates and impossible things.

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What is your favorite genre?

Do you read fantasy?

What genre(s) (if any) does your blog focus on?

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22 responses to “Why Fantasy is my Genre

  1. After years of reading no fantasy or magical realism, I’ve recently become much more open to it. Book like The Bear and the Nightingale and my current read, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance have reminded me of why I loved fantasy as a child and young adult. They’re also proving that fantasy can be just as smart as literary fiction.

    • Amber

      I’m so happy to hear you’ve rediscovered the genre! Fantasy over the years has gotten a bad reputation for things like silliness, sexism, etc… which is unfortunate. But like any other genre, it’s really book-by-book, author-by-author. 🙂

  2. Yes! I love fantasy! But I’m starting to realize I’m still incredibly picky with my fantasy too? The classic faux-medieval fantasy does absolutely nothing for me, but at the same time I’m not crazy about modern urban fantasy either. I also tend to prefer “girly” fantasy creatures (unicorns, nice fairies, satyrs) as opposed to “cool” and “masculine” ones (dragons, shape-shifters, wicked fairies), so that also limits my options quite a bit.

    • Amber

      I loooooooove medieval fantasy. 😀

      Have you tried Paranormalcy by Kiersten White? It’s one of her earlier books (may be her debut, now that I think about it) but it’s definitely lighter with such an amazing girly girl lead. It has a mix of darker things, but I feel like you’d like Evie.

      • I’ll definitely check it out, thanks for the rec! 🙂 I certainly don’t mind a bit of darkness, I think I just get a little tired of the ‘remember that cute, sweet thing you once thought was nice? Well, now it’s wicked and sassy and MATURE’….as if nice things can’t still be mature. It sort of reminds me of your other post about why we’re lacking in feminine girl characters so much lately.

        • Amber

          That’s true – taking perfectly good creatures and twisting them to our own ends. I get it, that’s how I feel about the vampires in Twilight (though that’s in reverse 🙂 ). I’m not a big fan of faeries because of all the sexualization.

    • Amber

      You may have ALL the romance books, my friend! That is not my genre, but I know so many people who enjoy it SO SO much. 🙂

  3. I’m with you, I recently got bitten by the bug for sci-fi and fantasy! I used to love fantasy a lot when I was younger. I do miss the general innocence of fantasy that are written for younger audiences. I prefer my fantasy with minimal romance or if there absolutely has to be romance, grounded romance that doesn’t feel forced. Because to me, the main draw of fantasy are the worlds. 🙂

    • Amber

      I agree – people like to write uncomfortable, distracting romance into fantasy worlds (sometimes I just think to have that erotic scene with a centaur? #awkward). It’s the adventure and the world itself that encompass the genre best!

  4. LOVE this post! Fantasy and sci-fi are so great at helping us escape reality or imagine what reality could be with future technology or abilities that we wish existed. Fantasy brings magic in to our lives and stretches our imaginations!

    • Amber

      I can honestly go on about so many different reasons why I love fantasy, but the day I wrote this post imagination and escapism was really resounding with me. 😀 I think that we all need a little magic in our lives when things get too real, tho. <3