while I might review or talk about a few books that take place in realistic or historic places I mostly read fantasy and science fiction novels. This has been something I have loved since I first realized books were cool. Even back when my parents read to me I tended to pick out fairy tales or space adventures at the library.  Here I want to explain why my preference makes sense.

Two years ago I was really lucky when my college offered a class being taught by Dr. Shippey. If you google him plus the word Tolkien or Lewis, you will find that he is the leading expert on both authors as well as Beowulf and Arthurian legends. He was on campus for two years and I got into one of his last classes. This man took a class by C.S. Lewis and went to the same school as Tolkien and took over his position at Leads.

Shippey often talked about the folly of regular literature. He said that most books we read in English class are there because English department head are all pompous asshole and there is no way to understand the shit they give us. He also said he was glad Virginia Wolfe drowned herself to save him the trouble. He called half of the "great literary minds" pedophiles and pricks.

But fantasy is the last place where true writing can be done. Shippey said that the great writers were the ones with a traumatic life, and they always wrote fantasy. Fantasy lets a writer explore common situations, make them uncommon and yet get a perfectly clear message across. No one misunderstand the threat of Mordor in the LOTR, we all know that out there is the entire army and legion ready to destroy everything we love and hold dear. But it took a fantasy world for that message to reach the masses the way it did.

Too often we discount fantasy as being for children but Tolkien and Lewis wrote for adults. In fantasy our real fears and dreams can be explored beyond the boring dredge of everyday life. Here we find that our feelings of fighting against the grain is not something we experience solely in our world but that in every possible existence it is felt.

Only recently has fantasy taken this turn of teenage lust bound hell. Mostly I blame Twilight and its lack of real depth. But at the same time I have to thank it because now there is a lot more fantasy out there, which means more for me to read.

I can't convince everyone to like fantasy, but I hope that perhaps this blog will get just one more person to read one of the books I have reviewed.