I have recently come to the realization that I am a science-fiction and fantasy fan. It has never occurred to me to use those words to describe myself. And yet, I don't think I can deny it any longer. My reading list as of late includes The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. My current TV show obsession is The Walking Dead and one of my all-time favorites is BattleStar Galactica.
I love the pure escape you get from these kinds of stories. They really transport you to another world in a way that realistic fiction just doesn't always do. Two of my favorite authors are Richard Russo and John Irving. Their books are touching, thoughtful and utterly human - totally of this world and often depressingly real. I do love reading something that gets right to the core of being human - the sweetness, vulnerability and cruelty of it. But there is something almost like free-falling when you really get into a work of fantasy. The fact that it couldn't happen (at least in my lifetime) and isn't happening anywhere in the world is liberating to me - even if the content of the story is dark and disturbing (hello, zombies eating people's faces off). The fact that there aren't actually zombies eating people's faces off anywhere on this earth right now somehow makes the story not as dark, not as upsetting. It engages my imagination in a purely innocent way. It's like being a kid and being enamored with brave soldiers at war before you really understood how awful war is.
So, that's it folks. I am a science-fiction and fantasy nerd. Bring on the wizards, mutant wolves, zombies and ancient kings with evil advisors! Take me away with you to your wonderfully complex worlds where I don't have to think about how stressful my job is, or that people can be mean and hurtful to each other, or that our planet is slowly warming and being filled with trash. No, I will take a break from this wonderful, but sometimes heavy, world we live in and join the sic-fi geeks. They're onto something!