Fantasy readers, what kind of fantasy do you like?
As a blogger of “Scop Talk” I go for quality story-telling. One element of a good tale is detailed world-building that assumes I am intelligent; such as C. J. Cherryth’s Foreigner, Robin McKinley’s Deerskin and Beauty, Rose Daughter, etc. Not simplistic communication that tells and describes the character’s action both at once, and insults my comprehension. Another element is a sense of wonder at the beauties of the created world, and that man is not the end-all and be-all.
I have not found many stories that honor the Creator of our bodies and souls, but tales that attract me the most portray some kind of inkling that the characters know there is a governing power of good beyond ourselves: tales that show truth, honor, loyalty, and goodness contrasted with the deceit and monstrosity of evil and those who follow it. And that show how evil can be deceptive and appear beautiful. Dennis McKiernan’s The Iron Tower trilogy is one of these. A medieval setting adds to the fun.
And a good fantasy is never complete without a grand sense of adventure. The adventure comes in the main character’s inner journey and war, the outer journey and conflict, and the character’s choices and responses that shape the world, such as in Lisa T. Bergren’s Cascade, Waterfall, and Torrent, in her River of Time series.
Actions do matter. Motive matters even more. Fantasy is a vehicle. Good fantasy makes a difference in how I see myself and the world. It shows that the smallest person makes a difference. We matter, and matter to our Creator.
You matter to me. As I write my fantasy stories, I’d like to know what kinds of good fantasy stir you. What do you like about your favorite fantasy tales? What do you call bad fantasy, in the matter of crafting and content? Will you share some Scop Talk?
Thank you so much.
For a longer list of great fantasy reads, see my reading list on my resources page.
Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.