If you’re stuck in a dreaded reading slump or haven’t picked up a book since Catcher in the Rye in High School English but don’t know where to start, here’s a list that might help. I read a lot of books in 2018 – some great, some not so great. But the following books were standouts to me. I mostly read Young Adult and Fantasy Fiction, but there are some variations, such as Historical Fiction and Mystery. If you’re interested in seeing all the books I’ve read in 2018, check out my Goodreads.
Continue reading “Favorite Reads of 2018”
One of the best things about writing in the fantasy fiction genre is that anything goes. I’m not saying there aren’t rules – there are – Harry Potter wasn’t able to bring his parents back from the dead, the One Ring gave Frodo powers, but not without consequence. If done correctly, magic or superpowers shouldn’t be a panacea to all life’s problems or there would be nothing at stake, nothing for our hero to overcome or run up against. There are limits to magic and rules that govern fantasy worlds. But – the good news is, as a writer – you make the rules! You can create a fictional world of fish people, so long as you can convincingly explain to the reader how they’re able to breath under water, what kind of teeth they have for eating prey and how they’re able to navigate the darkest depths of the ocean. Fantasy – no matter how far-fetched – must have a basis in reality or you risk the reader suspending their disbelief.
Which is why a lot of fantasy worlds draw from science, historical events, real people or historical periods. Doing this provides the reader with a recognizable framework through which to view the world. Going forward, let’s call that framework belief glasses. As long as the writer provides the reader with a pair of belief glasses, the reader should be able to comfortably navigate the writer’s world and not get taken out of it. So when you’re creating those glasses, why create ones that only see white people? Why create glasses that can see dragons but not women in positions of power? Why not make full-spectrum glasses? Continue reading “Diversity in Fantasy: We Can Do Better.”
The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood in the Reagan era, has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity due to the visually stunning Hulu series based on the book. Atwood’s book has reaped the rewards of the TV show’s success – making an uncontrolled ascent to the top of the Amazon rankings – as a whole new wave of women and feminists co-opt its ideas and heed the cautionary tales inherent in its narrative. The renewed interest lies not just in the gorgeous costuming, great cast and grim portrayal of a bleak future, but because the story has real resonance in our modern world.
Continue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale Exposes the Perils of Non-Inclusive Feminism and Racism in America.”