Do You Believe in Magic?

‘What are you reading?’

‘Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett.’

‘Awww, that’s so cute! You read kid’s books?’

*fuming* ‘It is not a kid’s book’

*Laughs indulgently* ‘Of course it is, it’s about vampires and monsters or something right?’

*Counts to 10, chants ‘She’s not worth it, she’s not worth it’ to self*

Yes, the above conversation actually happened and no, I did not kill that person even though I really really wanted to. Sometimes I surprise myself with the level of self-restraint I manage to display.

Apparently, Even in today’s day and age there are people who believe that reading fantasy and SciFi is a form of escapism, of wilfully ignoring reality or a childish pastime that adults should have outgrown years ago. Me? I find people who say such things silly, if not downright annoying, but then again I’m a self-proclaimed Fantasy addict so what do I know, right?

terry-pratchett-book
Pictured: A small part of my Terry Pratchett collection. I did mention I’m addicted right?

The way I see it, the world is chock full of ‘reality’ as it is, and most of it is shocking, depressing or frustrating (or made out to be that way by our ridiculously sensationalist media). Why would you want more of the same in your choice of fiction when you could just as easily immerse yourself in a world of witches and queens, chivalry and epic battles? Why read another ‘serious’ piece of literature when you can go explore Narnia instead? I want wonder, adventure and imagination in my world, and if that means I have to be the girl who still believes in magic, then there is no other girl that I would rather be.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against ‘serious’ or non-fantasy fiction (or non-fiction for that matter), neither am I that special brand of crazy person who fervently believes that the Cullens are real people or that the Matrix is a documentary. What I have a problem with is the idea that Fantasy fiction or SciFi is not for adults or for parents or for academics and so on and so on. Fantasy fiction is for everyone, without exception, and I’d choose the Wee Free Men over ‘grown-up’ literature any day of the week. Oh and by the way, just because it has magic in it does not mean a book is non-serious, incapable of being profound or that it won’t teach you a thing or two about human nature.

So, do YOU believe in magic?

 

In answer to this Daily Prompt.

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36 thoughts on “Do You Believe in Magic?

  1. Also have an urge to tell them some of the jokes that come up… I would not have been allowed to read the books at 10yrs old if Mum had known some of the jokes in there. I’m a self-confessed sci-fi/fantasy addict too though, so what would I know? 🙂 terry pratchett forever!

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    1. Terry Pratchett forever indeed! I generally end up feeling sorry for such people because saying such things means they didn’t understand half the things in the book which means they’re missing out on a lot

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  2. Love this! Excellent defense of the sci-fi/fantasy genre,,,,can you say “Ender’s Game (and all of Orson Scott Card?), Lord of the Rings, Hyperion, and more, and authors like Clarke, Burroughs and Heinlein? Funny how much of what we see and use today in the way of technology is a result of Star Trek (tablets) and other far future, visionary authors.

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    1. Very very true! I find it funny how it’s suddenly cool to be into fantasy and SciFi because Hollywood has suddenly discovered it. Knowing all the Lord of the Rings movie trivia does not make you a fantasy nerd people, having read (and fallen in love with) the books long before the movies were but a twinkle in Peter Jackson’s eye is what makes you fantasy nerd :p Sometimes the appropriation of ‘nerd’ culture by mainstream cinema is fun, other times it’s annoying, but that’s a discussion for a different post 🙂

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  3. I’m with you — when I read for pleasure I want to be entertained. I will happily admit to having read all of the Harry Potter and Narnia books as an adult. It’s so wonderful that you are secure enough in your adulthood to read whatever pleases you instead of what others consider adult appropriate!

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    1. Exactly! As a rule though I tend to steer clear of these newer YA books simply because they tend to be very angsty or formulaic, with some exceptions of course. But give me C.S.Lewis, David Eddings and Philip Pullman and I’m a happy girl 🙂

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    1. Next time I’m going to make sure to have a broom handy :p Not reacting is the grownup thing to do but hitting them over the head with a broom is so much more satisfying!

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  4. Oh, do I know that kind of conversation. It’s funny how the people who say fantasy literature is silly stuff for kids usually have no problem watching, say, Thor 2 in 3D. If someone gives you grieve again, try this: “Yes, of course, books whose author frequently makes references to Shakespeare plays, not to mention other works of the English literary canon, and sexual innuendos the likes of which would make a metaphysical poet blush are of course only written for children.” If that fails, tell them about Nanny Ogg’s banana soup surprise. Pratchett forever!

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  5. Love this! I definitely agree that sci fi and fantasy are just as much ‘literature’ as Tolstoy, though admittedly I love that classical genre as well. Reading for fun is supposed to be fun! I have yet to read any Terry Pratchett, but I think there are definitely a ton of fantasty/sci fi books out there that can have a very profound message in today’s society.

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  6. I enjoy all types of reading and have a fondness for fantasy/sci-fi. I think any genre can be a form of escapism, but I especially appreciate the otherworldly insights of fantasy. I discovered Harry Potter as an adult and it brought back wonderful memories of being completely engrossed in books I read as a child and teenager, like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

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      1. Well, the people in question wouldn’t be able to imagine this life as they don’t have the imagination to do so! Very sad in my opinion. Books are like a portal to personal creativity; the same book can be read by two different people who will imagine the story in completely different ways!

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      2. That is so true, which is why movie adaptations of books can never satisfy all the fans: each reader has her own idea of what the characters should look/act like!

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      3. Exactly, however, I still enjoy seeing the films just to see someone else’s vision. To see what their imagination conjured up, and all of the similarities and differences between my version and theirs.

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