“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” ― Lloyd Alexander
It’s been a while since I’ve done an author quote, so I felt it was appropriate that I pick one that resonates so completely with me. It’s a beautiful snippet for any lover for the fantastical and magical, one I think would be a great one to have posted up on the wall of my workroom to remind me of its strength, which isn’t something I say about many quotes. I like a lot of quotes, but this is truly one I wish to hold in my heart always.
My whole life, fantasy was always my favorite genre of fiction; I was raised on a lot of quest adventure video games, fantastical dragon and fairy movies, and our basement was stuffed with fantasy paperbacks with the most entrancing covers I had ever seen. My wild imagination has always fully embraced fantasy, even through the efforts of my college education trying to convince me that genre fiction was absolutely rubbish. I spent hours, days, weeks building fantasy worlds every chance I got, through notebooks, coloring books, even pretending our farm was an adventure game and running it while my brother grudgingly obliged as I directed him through it (is it any surprise I’m the go-to DM these days with my group of friends?). A lot of people might lean toward the suggestion that I was trying to escape the world; I’m sure my counselors, teachers, and therapist did. But I believe now that I was merely attempting to make sense of it.
For me, the thing that stands out most as far as helping me “figure things out” are the King’s Quest games, which made me think critically as well as creatively, and even gave me some of the best examples of girls being as awesome as boys growing up. I remember the DragonLance books doing very much the same thing, making me feel as though I was just as capable of defeating monsters as anyone. How about you? What fantasy works have allowed you to understand reality in your own unique way? I’d love to hear some great fantasy-inspired life stories!