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Outgrowing Fantasy

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Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#1 by GwynnPollard
» 06 Sep 2016, 16:35

When I was a little girl, I was never not reading. I taught myself how to read when I was incredibly young by reading the colors out of catalogs. Ever since then, I've read fantasy.
Fantasy is a genre that caters primarily towards younger people. If you're on the subway and you see a grown person in a suit reading a book with a dragon on the cover, you'll have some questions. However, a little boy reading a book about pirates or magic is completely normal- why? Why are we expected to outgrow our imagination? There is an assumption that adult life means no more adventure or excitement- you settle down, you start working 9 to 5, you eat the same things every day, and you read boring books about boring subjects. While this may be fine for some people, it's not for me.
I personally refuse to grow up in that sense. I'll never stop reading books about angels and demons and monsters and parallel universes. I'll never give up my hope and my passion in exchange for stability- that's boring to me. I have no shame- I am an adult and I love Fantasy. There are too few of us, and we often get overlooked when it comes to creating a market for books like this. We have to search long and hard to find grown-up Fantasy authors.
That's why I made this post- to create a pseudo-database for Fantasy lovers like myself, where we can share our love for authors and books of the genre. For me, it's Neil Gaiman all the way. You read a Neil Gaiman book and, by the end of it, you are both entertained and educated. His books find the perfect balance between whimsical adventure and real-life lessons. Reply with your favorite Fantasy authors/books below, and join me in Neverland!!!
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#2 by CaitlinE
» 07 Oct 2016, 15:44

I'm right there with you! I was a little ashamed of my love for fantasy for a while, but then I figured I should just get over it!
My most recent books have been Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, and the Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier. I have never read Neil Gaiman, but I'll have to add him to my (very long) list!
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#3 by LivreAmour217
» 07 Oct 2016, 19:25

I'm with you all the way! I love the fantasy genre and I will never abandon it! I've suffered from depression off and on my whole life, and reading fantasy has been one if my coping mechanisms. Escaping into a magical world is a great way to get yourself out of a funk!
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#4 by Kalianne Ranger
» 15 Oct 2016, 06:28

I'll never grow out of the Fantasy genre, I think I started reading fantasy picture books when I was about 6 years old. Now many years later, I still read fantasy both adult and young adult fantasy, and I've also started to explore the sub-genres of fantasy like dystopian, adventure/crime thrillers, mysteries and science fiction. Sometimes historical fictional but rarely.
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#5 by karolinka
» 15 Oct 2016, 12:43

There is no way I'm ever outgrowing fantasy! Especially Urban fantasy and also SF, those are my faves! Romance and mysteries just don't do it for me.
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#6 by kileiah
» 21 Oct 2016, 00:07

There is such a wide range of fantasy books out there that I can't imagine myself ever growing out of this genre. I started with the classic Tolkien and was thrilled to discover Neil Gaiman's works when I was in high school. Later on a friend introduced me to Jim Butcher's urban fantasy, a long-going page turner full of mythology and crime and action. I definitely have to check out some of the other authors mentioned here!
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#7 by lane_vespertine
» 23 Oct 2016, 02:47

You had me at Neil Gaiman. He is a favorite author of mine as well.
I have a few thoughts about fantasy novels.
The first is that it is rare to see anyone reading anything (except for newspapers or magazines). When someone says, "Why don't adults read more Fantasy?" I feel like a reasonable response is, "Why don't adults read?"
But, having said all that, when I was younger I DID read more fantasy as a percentage of books read. In particular the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. I read, and reread, all of them. And I loved horror and alternate timeline stuff too.
I think that as I grew up, I became more patient. I used to require a lot more stimulation in my life (keep in mind, this is still the perspective of a kid who would lock himself in a room with a book, just like the rest of you ;)). If a book didn't have excitement and action and excitement and action, then I got bored and probably never got around to finishing it (I am and always have been a willing non-finisher.)
As an adult, I don't mind a bit of drama or a bit of dialogue. It doesn't bother me when a book is methodical and ponderous (actually, these are qualities I am more likely to praise rather than criticize now). It isn't that I outgrew dragons and vampires (ever read Fledgling? By Octavia Butler? Super duper good), but that all those other books that I would never have touched before are now appealing.
It is like if I was a kid who only liked chicken nuggets (fantasy novels). Seven days a week, I only ate chicken nuggets.
As I grew up, I added more things to my diet. Now I like so many foods that I only get around to eating chicken nuggets on my birthday. Cause, you know, I still like them... I just like pizza (scifi) too. And sushi (drama). And vegetables (history).
;)

-- 23 Oct 2016, 17:22 --

CaitlinE wrote:I'm right there with you! I was a little ashamed of my love for fantasy for a while, but then I figured I should just get over it!
My most recent books have been Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, and the Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier. I have never read Neil Gaiman, but I'll have to add him to my (very long) list!


I get it, our reading lists can get a bit long. There are only man so many hours in the day, blah blah blah.
But, if I may, you should move Neil Gaiman on up that list.
Imho, start with The Graveyard Book.
Then Neverwhere.
Then American Gods.
Then have a party. *Party party*.

I don't mean to derail the thread with Neil Gaiman.
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#8 by MarisaRose
» 25 Oct 2016, 08:14

I completely agree with this post! Fantasy novels are such a fun escape. I grew up reading things like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter; as I got older I also fell in love with Neil Gaiman. My only issue with the genre as a whole is that it's so hard, once you've read a ton of fantasy over the years, to find books that are new and innovative. Some many times I have picked up a fantasy book and not even finished because it's a rehash of a different fantasy story I've already read! I would say this happens for one out of every three fantasy books I read! Anyone else experience this?
"No two persons ever read the same book." -Edmund Wilson
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#9 by Tami216-
» 26 Oct 2016, 19:58

I think the stigma about adults reading fantasy is mainly due to the fact that it is much easier to write fantasy for kids than adults. There may be less good adult fantasy out there because kids don't need their stories to make sense, while adults who read fantasy still need some sense of normalcy and authors of adult fantasy have to be careful so that their works it don't come across as silly. I have loved fantasy for as long as I have been able to read and I noticed that as I grow up it gets harder to find satisfactory fiction books. A lot of books in that genre are either not at all creative or not written believably. Not that I don't love fantasy books anymore, just it's harder to find good ones to read. I love all the Harry Potter, His Dark materials, and Throne of glass books among many others.
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#10 by Jennifer Allsbrook
» 26 Oct 2016, 21:16

I copied this post from one I posted in the Authors forum, but I felt like it was very relevant to this thread. I include two mini book reviews as well.

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite fantasy authors. Some of his works include Elantris, the Mistborn Trilogy, Warbreaker, and Way of Kings.

I would recommend reading Elantris if you want a shorter self-contained story. You follow the travails of Roaden, a prince of his people, who is stricken with a mysterious disease that has blighted his people. He is thrown into the once powerful city of Elantris, where citizens stricken with the disease are now imprisoned. The story follows Roaden as he battles to overcome the illness and return Elantris to a city of power that it once was. Central to Roaden's struggle is his finding and interpreting Aons, symbols that gave Elantrians magical powers. Many of these Aons can be seen on Sanderson's website as jewelry available for purchase. This story is soulful and you find yourself cheering Roaden through his successes and sharing heartbreak during his failures. Overall, Elantris is well worth the journey!

Another recommendation is The Mistborn Trilogy. This trilogy is an amazing work of storytelling! With epic battle scenes, romance, and intrigue, not to mention, characters that you love and love to hate, you can't go wrong. With Kelsier, Vin, and Eland as protagonists and the Lord Ruler and the fantastical Steel Inquisitors with spikes for eyes as antagonists, the story is full of suspense, action, and Sanderson keeps readers guessing as the plot twists through this dark and compelling world. One aspect of the story that is extremely entertaining is the ability of characters to gain magical powers by manipulating metals. Vin, a Mistborn allomancer, gains power as she ingests metals and her body "burns" them releasing certain powers. Science fiction at its finest!
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#11 by lane_vespertine
» 27 Oct 2016, 17:12

MarisaRose wrote:I completely agree with this post! Fantasy novels are such a fun escape. I grew up reading things like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter; as I got older I also fell in love with Neil Gaiman. My only issue with the genre as a whole is that it's so hard, once you've read a ton of fantasy over the years, to find books that are new and innovative. Some many times I have picked up a fantasy book and not even finished because it's a rehash of a different fantasy story I've already read! I would say this happens for one out of every three fantasy books I read! Anyone else experience this?


Totes agree.
When I am in a judgmental mood, I tend to tell people that all fantasy is a rip-off of LOTR, Dune, and a Wrinkle in Time.
I don't actually think this is totally true. But the themes and characters in these three book series' do tend to crop up all the time.
Now, if I am reading a fun and interesting fantasy book and all of a sudden a dragon appears I tend to smack myself on the forehead. For example, A Song of Ice and Fire. The dragon is such a cliché that I almost don't like them anymore.
I'm waiting for a self aware fantasy novel that includes an ironic and meta dragon. "Fire, or whatever... whatever I'm supposed to do... ohhh, scary..."
:D
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#12 by Harmony Hills
» 28 Jul 2017, 05:45

Hi yes! I agree with you. Neil Gaiman is such a wonderful author and after i've read 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane', I was left dumbfounded. Coraline, Stardust and the Graveyard Book are all wonderufl!
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#13 by ReviewerDiksha
» 18 Aug 2017, 23:17

Fantasy is my favourite genre and I have no shame in admitting that I love stories with dragons and magic and demigods. I would still be rereading Harry Potter for the umpteenth time when I grow older and I couldn't care less about what people have to think about me.
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Re: Outgrowing Fantasy

Post Number:#14 by jenjayfromSA
» 21 Sep 2017, 02:32

I read a lot of different things, but the books I collect are nearly all fantasy (possibly because pre-Amazon - those dinosaur days - they were hard to get). I'm moving and cleaning out my stuff and some of them are so tattered and loved I'm battling to resuscitate them (and re-reading them too). Favourites? Diana Wynne Jones. She did a couple of adult ones too, really funny and unusual. I read them again, especially the Dark Lord and Year of the Griffin and laugh all over again. Then there's Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. They're also getting worn out. Oh, and the kids stuff - Rick Riordan and Pittacus Lore. Love them. Going further back, Robert Heinlein's YA books, still got all those. Harry Potter, naturally, Lord of the Rings, always. Oh and the Belgariad.
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