What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

On fantasy novels

The local library has run out of new Science Fiction books that I want to read. So, I picked up a couple from the shelves in the Fantasy genre. I don’t usually read Fantasy novels. I prefer the more “hard science” types of Science Fictions novels for my periodic fiction fix.

Fantasy novels have a couple of characteristics that I just don’t find very appealing.

First of all, they seem to take place in some ubiquitous medieval setting. Even if the planet is supposed to be in some distant universe, it still bears a striking resemblance to thirteenth century England. They live in keeps. They wear tunics. They carry swords. Someone will be called “Lord” or “Lady”. They eat a lot of fire-roasted fowl. All the worlds of fantasy are remarkably similar.

Secondly, they all seem to end with the exact same “magic showdown”. The good vs. evil showdown usually takes place at some elevated location such as a stone tower or rocky hillside. It is set against the backdrop of a “real” world battle that involves horses, arrows, gnomes, catapults, and elves. (The elves always have silver or blue hair. The male elves seem to be somewhat effeminate.) This epic battle is fought at the end of the main character’s arduous quest to find his/her magical heritage and/or legendary powers. In the finest “deus ex machina” tradition, the outcome of this supernatural fight instantly resolves all the outstanding character and storyline conflicts in one massive orgy of bright light, mystical blue fire and smoking brimstone. Good, of course, always wins. Evil is instantly banished to some distant “dark” place or cooked to an unrecognizable smoldering cinder.

Lastly, I just can’t keep track of all the names. The characters, of which there are many, and the places, of which there are even more, all have multi-syllabic monikers that I can’t even pronounce in my head. After reading through about three pages, I have to go back several pages in order to figure out if the characters trekking through the endless tracts of forest are discussing a mystical city, a serving wench, or a troll king. After several minutes of searching, I discover that “Phlemhardington” is actually the name of the High Lord Frem Dunsillantonicuis’s beloved horse. Oddly, the main character always seems to have been singularly blessed with a single syllable name in this unfortunately polysyllabic world.

Fantasy novels will never be high on my list of reading material. However, I may try to write one someday. It will be set in the medieval neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio. The conflict will involve a set of mysteriously misaligned headlights and perhaps, a sinister grease fire. There will only be one character named, Bob. He will have to walk about three blocks and face many hardships and dangers in order to find his lost truck. His truck will be named, Unostoitcliclkcosinessty. It will be a silver 1970 Plymouth Arrow pick-up with a pink velour interior. Magically, it still runs, uses no oil, and only has a tiny bit of body rust.

Still working on the title.


Blogger Glory said...

I have to clean off my monitor now, on account of "Phlemhardington" making me spray Diet Coke.

6/1/06 10:23 AM  

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