I love books. Aside from having stories to write and share with the world, I love being able to look at words and find myself in another place, another time, maybe even as another person. That is the joy of escapism, especially when it comes to the realm of fiction.
Maybe it’s because realism allows us to relate to the characters in a story, maybe it’s because we live in a tense world with a bitter social climate, but it seems like we have lost our sense of imagination.
We hardly ever see anything like this scene. Floating columns, a fountain with no barriers, and a giant egg. Where is all this stuff at in the stories we craft, especially those using the written word.
It doesn’t come from a lack of language. Gene Wolfe didn’t make up any words when he wrote The Book of the New Sun, even though he crafts some unique notions and creations. It doesn’t come from a lack of skill. Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris includes a plague that can bestow magical powers.
For every work like these, there are a hundred that use detailed realism. For every totally original idea, there are two hundred fantasies that use elves, dwarves, and dark lords.
Where is the planet that rests on the west end of a continent? Where is the blade that cuts through dimensions, as well as steel and souls? Where is the person who shoots themselves in order to gain magic powers?
It is so rare for writers to truly dare in today’s markets. All too often, fantasy is an excuse for people with pointed ears to engage in medieval combat. Why don’t we do more to embrace the power of our imaginations?
I ask each and every one of you, what happened to raw creation? What can we do to get it back?