I'm going to start toying with a (potentially) once-a-week "discussion" type post, wherein readers can read and share ideas about certain topics. This is my first post of that nature. This will be fairly experimental while I see how it takes off. If it works, I'll keep doing it. If it belly flops, I'll drop it.
So here it is.
My mom can't ever get her head wrapped around why I enjoy fantasy and science fiction so much. My father's answer is, "your mother has no imagination." However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that my mother's wonder about the genre and why people are attracted to it is probably fairly normal among readers. Speculative Fiction, while attracting tons of readers, seems to be the genre that quite a few people can't understand. Why would anyone want to read about something that's not real? Magic? Dragons? Please.
Two of my brothers actually turned me onto fantasy when I was in high school. I thought I'd hate it at first but I fell in love with it. At the time it was probably as much to connect with my brothers as the fact that I actually enjoyed the books themselves. However, the more I read, the more I liked it. This time, when my mother asked me why I read such weird things, I actually gave it some serious thought. Here's what I came up with.
I enjoy speculative fiction so much because the authors become the gods of their own worlds. They create and destroy and everything in between. They have clean, white canvasses to work with and they can do whatever they want with it. Literally. The laws of physics and science of our world, our social constrictions don't have to play in their world(s). That fascinates me, because only with what doesn't exist can you take such incredible liberties with your creation. When authors have that much freedom with their work, I tend to think that their books are (often times, but not always) deeper. That really attracts me, and that's what keeps me reading speculative fiction. I like to see what people can create when they become gods.
So what about you? Why do YOU read speculative fiction?