Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Familiar Territory and a Breakthrough

I'm stubborn.  Really hard-headed.  I've been here before, with the whole, "I'm not surprised that secondary world fantasy does nothing for me," feeling.  The question is why I keep going back. 

It's secondary world fantasy that turned me on to reading.  After reading enough, and finding some really great stuff, it was secondary world fantasy that alerted me to the fact that I love to read.  That was years ago...  Nostalgia is so very dangerous.  I've tried a few times this year to rekindle past good reading vibes, and it has nothing to do with the works I've chosen or the authors, rather, it's me.  I can't read this genre anymore.  I recently put down a well-written book that seemed to have much going for it simply because I can't suffer the genre's structure and conventions anymore.  (I could get real specific here, but no one is listening anyway so why bother?)

So what does this falling out of genre fantasy mean for me?  Well, for one thing, it's sad.  It's also awesome to severe ties and move on completely.  There has been a huge cull on my bookshelves and my TBR stack has nearly been trimmed by nearly fifty percent.  I'm happy about those points, and speaking of points it seems I'll be hitting the jackpot on my next trip to trade in books at my used book store.  I should mention I'm not completely wiping the slate clean: there are a few authors in the genre that I enjoy too much (and write to what think is a higher standard than most genre writers) that I'm not willing to part with.  Furthermore there is one series that I've been collecting--but have yet to read--that I will at least try before trading in.

It may seem that I'm narrowing my reading focus but the opposite is true.  I still think the most creative and often time profound fiction comes from the fantasy genre; I only need to work harder in seeking it out.  I'm also slowly warming up to the fact that I like science fiction.  It doesn't scare me as much as it used too, though I don't see myself trying space opera of any kind.

I've learned something new about myself and I'm coming out to tell the world.  It feels good.  

1 comment:

Marion said...

I can't really see you kicking back with a space-opera either, but I think you are warming up to science fiction. Even though a lot of it's hokey, it can be the genre of Big Ideas.