Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Keeping the Fantasy Real

This is why I read a lot: I want to find out what I don’t like.

That sounds odd. Even odder than the title of this post.

Yes, it is an oxymoron. So let me explain:

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Anthropomorphic up the wazoo, with rats gifted with intelligence due to human studies into such. Add to that a mouse who befriends a crow and is taken to see an owl and then has to drug a cat in order to save her home before the plow comes, and you’ve got a lot of fantasy.

 Used under the fair use doctrine for educational purposes.

But it’s real. Nothing other than a tractor and a shadowy bit of humanity intrudes on the story.

Not like the story I’m reading now, which, in the first few pages introduces me to a character who has grass and dandelions growing out of his head. That’s not all that bad. But he looks things up on eBay. On eBay, for heaven’s sake. But he’s in a version of our world – the story evidently takes place in New York City – where people can fly.

But eBay? Talk about a present-life experience intruding on fantasy time.

It’s a minor thing, I know. But you know what? It bugs me. Just like in Niel Hancock’s Squaring the Circle fantasies. I’m okay with everything in it, except for the modern guns and bombs and such. Why should all my fantasy swashbuckler? I don’t know. But I know I don’t like it when the bear and the otter who can turn into humans get handed rifles, of all things.

I do the same thing I my own writing, I know. So I’m going to have to re-read it. And see how much it bugs me.

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