In defence of fantasy
Three years ago, I wrote an essay for YA Interrobang in defense of YA science fiction and fantasy.
They brought it back last week. Fortunately in those three years lots of people have slagged off about YA, or fantasy, or science fiction, or some combination of the three, so the piece still feels fresh. I mean, HURRAH, right? Here's the big finish, but you can go read the whole thing.
Fantasy has always appealed to young people. There are many reasons, but I think the core of it is this. Fantasy elevates ordinary and eternal problems of youth into stories via the language of myth. It turns “No one really knows me” into “I’ve got a secret identity.” It turns “I don’t understand why other people act the way they do” into “I’m trapped in a faerie realm.” It turns “my high school must have been built over the mouth of hell” into “my high school must have been built over the mouth of hell.”
... There are certain things in life that are glorious, and they are glorious for everyone. There are more that are hard, and they are hard for everyone. We like to see these things retold, but with dragons."