Welcome back to the
YA Indie Blog Carnival!
This week’s feature attraction:
Why do I read paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy?
I admit that I don’t read a lot of classics, self-improvement, or educational books. The books I prefer to read may be regarded by some to be silly flights of fancy. And while some of them may very well be, darn it, they sure are fun. So why do I mainly read paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy?
Pure and simple: escapism. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, but when I read I long to escape to a world that’s “other.” A world that doesn’t or can’t exist within the confines and reality of our own. A world that’s filled with impossible beings with incredible abilities and inescapable destinies who war with unimaginable evils. I love epic journeys, kick-butt heroines/heroes, quests, adventure, excitement, deliciously complex and powerful villains, the unexplainable, and deeds of daring-do. I love the romance, mystery and unfamiliarity of it all.
In addition to that, I think that the paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy genres are home to some of the most creative minds, the dreamers. Not only do these authors have to create characters, plot lines and everything else a story requires, but often times they are creating whole worlds, universes, rules, languages, creatures, technologies, histories in which to place their stories. I find the level of world building and planning that goes into these novels fascinating and awe-inspiring. There are truly some amazingly creative dreamers out there and when I read I prefer to live, if only for a short time, in their worlds.
And, I would contest the thought that the paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy genres are silly, useless and unenlightening. I could try to explain it in my own words but there’s a quote on the subject that’s just stuck with me and describes it better than I ever could:
“Science fiction is an existential metaphor that allows us to tell stories about the human condition. Isaac Asimov once said, ‘Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinded critics and philosophers of today, but the core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all.’”
~ Stargate SG-1, 200th episode
I think you could also insert the paranormal and fantasy genres in there as well, and while I believe in a Higher Power for salvation, I think that Asimov’s view pretty much encapsulates the reasons behind reading and writing these genres. To those who would look deeper, beyond the strangeness, beyond the “other”, they will find messages, truths and cautionary tales that are applicable to all people — normal people who have their feet planted on our real, solid earth.
That in a nutshell is why I read what I read.
Check out my fellow carnies to see why they write what they write!
So….why do you read what you read?