The other day someone mentioned to me that Heroic Fantasy as a genre is weak. It’s a place for power fantasies and weirdness.
I disagree, good Heroic Fantasy isn’t about projection.
Fantasy at its best is inspirational. It’s a fuel for ambitions that don’t come easy for some. It’s not about imaginary power, it’s about the way we experience a beautiful world. After reading good Fantasy you should want to walk, crush the gym, see distant lands. Cram more into your mind. Live that shit.
If you’re sitting on your ass or don’t feel a twinge of wander-lust bursting in your veins then something is wrong. Maybe you’re sensible. Sensible people are good people, nothing wrong with it. Yet there’s something glorious about embracing potential. Letting your mind loose to not just dream, but plan.
Is there a mountain you want to scale? Is there a sight you want to see? Is there some lust deep inside yourself to get into high impact physical sports?
Fuck it, that guy in the book pulled it off and he was a nobody. Maybe I can do it too.
Maybe you’ve never woken up bruised and battered, but proud of an accomplishment. The prospect of pain scares you, yet you’ve always wanted to try something with the risk of it.
Grit your teeth, you bastards. Get that music that pumps you up on, and go for it.
If you’re healthy and without any sickness, Fantasy should be your push to go further. Not a crutch or a window into a world that can never be yours.
You can hide in it, sure. That’s how I often hear a lot of people describe the genre. It’s camouflage from reality. I can understand that, I can empathise with it. I just disagree it’s all there is.
Through depression, cancer, growing up gay, all the violence and everyday bullshit, Fantasy has been there. Never as an escape but a friend laying out sagas that gave me something to aspire toward.
The question good books tend to pose is ‘What would I do?’
We get put in situations everyday where we can answer that with action. Small things usually, but they define us. Heroic Fantasy boils down to doing the right thing.
That is something everyone can aim for. Being a person who helps others, looks on things with awe, and rides life like a horse.
We don’t need swords or magic to do it, we just need to be inspired.
Heroic Fantasy is inspirational. It’s raw passion for the best things in life.
Next time you finish a book that sparks something inside, keep clicking it until it ignites.