Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Reading Tastes

Anybody who knows me, or who has read this blog, knows that I love to read. It's one of my favorite activities and has been for as long as I can remember. 

Growing up, every member of my family loved to go to their own corner of the house and read. My older brother is famous for disappearing, only to be found reading in some odd spot, like, say, the woodpile. It was what we did.

I get attached to the characters in the books I read. That's why I read books over and over again. I like discovering new books, but it can be scary. I hate being disappointed by something I read, so it's easier to keep reading what I've read before. 

Out of all the genres, my absolute favorite is Fantasy. I don't like Science Fiction, which often gets lumped together with Fantasy. I think I make the taste distinction because most science fiction is based on some scientific fact or possibility, whereas fantasy is most often pure imagination. 

I like the escapist nature of Fantasy. I like visiting worlds where good and evil are fairly well defined. I like that a normal person can wake up one day with magical powers and save the world. It's a nice feeling. 

And Fantasy taps into daydreams and, well, fantasies that I have. The last work of science fiction that did that was the movie the Matrix. I've often wondered, "What if this life is a dream and I just can't wake up?" I don't often dream of laser guns and flying through space. I dream of seeing the world around me in a new light. I dream of tapping into the elemental forces of the world and using that power to create something wonderful and new. 

Not too long ago, I discovered a new sub-genre of Fantasy: Urban Fantasy. These are tales of magic and mythology that take place in the real world. These creatures that people think are just legends and myths are real, they've just been in hiding, waiting for a chance to step into the light and be accepted. Or they are struggling to maintain the secret of their existence. This again ties into my daydreams and fantasies. I like to think, "What if these creatures and people were real and had to exist in the real world? How would wizards and dragons and vampires and werewolves deal with technology and a population that doesn't believe they can exist?"

I love Fantasy. I want to write Fantasy. I make forays into other realms of fiction, but I always come back to the realm of the impossible, so that I can dream and wish that I lived in that sort of world.

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