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Rewriting Our Own Fantastic Histories

Frodo and Sam

Fantasy novels, especially High Fantasy like Tad Williams “The Dragonbone Chair”, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”, Terry Brooks’ “Shanara” or Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” have a special place in my heart.

Not so much “The Game of Thrones”. Not because it’s not well done. It is. It’s amazing, and well plotted. But damn, it’s so dark and violent. And shaded.

I tend to be a bit of a round-robin reader, bouncing back and forth between science fiction and fantasy. I love science fiction for its speculation about what might be coming. But more and more, those possibilities are looking dark, with climate change and political unrest around the world and disease and famine and…

Fantasy, on the other hand, at least High Fantasy, tends to draw a clear line between Good and Evil. We have Heroes we can really get behind and support, and Villains we can hate with a passion.

It also gives us a chance to rewrite our own messy history – Camelot versus the gritty, day-to-day reality of medieval England, for instance.

So my question today – does Fantasy also give us a unique opportunity to rewrite our own personal histories as LGBT people? How can we use this genre to our own advantage? And have you written or read anything that has done this particularly well? Links and explanations, please.


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