Dear Readers of Visby.
Fantasy is about myth, magic, monsters, mystery and wonder. It’s a window into other worlds, other times, other realities. Places that have never existed and could never exist, except in the minds of writer and reader.
But fantasy is also a window into our world. A way of talking about us. About the modern world. About the things that are universal to humanity. Love and hate, war and peace, truth and lies, courage and cowardice, victory and defeat, right and wrong and all the grey space in between. About politics, parenthood, money, violence, progress, belief, betrayal, ambition and triumph. About what it means to be a hero. About whether it is possible to be a hero.
And, of course, fantasy wouldn’t be much good if it wasn’t about fascinating, funny, strange, honest, conflicted people getting themselves into terrible trouble. And getting out again. If they’re lucky…
(I was asked by a librarian in Visby, Sweden, to write a letter of inspiration for their fantasy section that might inspire people to read fantasy books. Thought I might as well re-post it here so that people outside of Visby might also benefit from my inspirationality (that’s a word now). Forgive my unusually pompous tone, if you can… )