One of my favorite sci-fi authors (Sharon Lee) has declared June 23rd Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Day.
As she puts it:
So! In my Official Capacity as a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I hereby proclaim June 23 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day! A day of celebration and wonder! A day for all of us readers of science fiction and fantasy to reach out and say thank you to our favorite writers. A day, perhaps, to blog about our favorite sf/f writers. A day to reflect upon how written science fiction and fantasy has changed your life.
So … what might you do on the 23rd to celebrate? Do you even read fantasy/sci-fi? Why? Why not?
I've never enjoyed sci-fi, but I do like fantasy. I love the Harry Potter books, the His Dark Materials trilogy, the Prydain chronicles, the Chronicles of Narnia, and a few other assorted ones. When I was growing up, I was very enthralled by fantasy novels. My best friend and I searched extremely hard for the Gateway to Narnia (hint: nowhere in her house, my house or the woods behind my house). We didn't act out our favorite books, but pretended to be characters from our favorite books. And, it goes without saying, we read them over and over.
I always read all types of novels, though, and still do. But I enjoy reading fantasy. I like the humor and wit in the Harry Potter books: the paintings that act as hall monitors, the difficulties of selling books such as The Invisible Book of Invisibility ("Cost a fortune to order and we never found any of them!"), the wizard candies like Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs. I also find them kind of inspiring. It's pretty bad when you share something like that with your guild in World of Warcraft and they laugh at your geekiness, but it's true. In most of the books, Harry Potter was pushed into impossible situations he didn't even want to be in, where everyone wanted to see him fail. But he kept going, even at the cost of many relationships in his life and even at the cost of some of his friends' very lives, and ultimately succeeded.
When fantasy's done well, it gives you a little break from the ordinary. With a book like Harry Potter or Narnia, you can even choose to semi-believe in it. After all, maybe the gateway's out there somehwere, and I just never found it...