The Desperate Search for Something New

My favorite fantasy novels, the ones I like the best, are the ones that stick closest to the truth. I supposed this may come from a certain jaded attitude to the fantasies that Hollywood has been putting out, with each new offering vying with the preceding ones in being more astonishing visually while up against the wall at the same time for a new plot. The prime plots have been done and redone ad nauseum and it’s only because there are new children arriving on the scene every year that people are going to those movies at all anymore.

The new craze that started fairly recently is the teenage action hero craze, particularly the female teenage action hero. Are these fantasies? I would say that anything so far from what is possible would have to be classified that way as well as being in the action movie genre. But even the best offering in this class, the ones with the highest production values, simply seem to me to be examples of Hollywood’s desperation to find something new to present, not any attempt to present life in a way that can teach us something, any more than the gladiatorial spectacles of Rome were meant to be edifying.

Action novels are presently moving in the same direction through exaggeration and competition simply to produce a volume of novels. But the truth is still a powerful asset to any writer who wants his work to last longer than a bag of popcorn. The best recent offering in the genre where truth and make-believe are hard to separate is the fantasy novel The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality by ex-thesbian Gahan Hanmer which takes place in an isolated kingdom in the present day which takes nothing from the modern world. Could such a kingdom really exist? Each reader will have to decide for himself.