The rest of the story.
The theme I described in my previous post is consistent with the beginning
of the 20th century. First World War. Good Monarchists vs Bad
Monarchists. The Freaks from Left Field, the Democrats, march in and save
the day. Most of the best of both flavors of Monarchists are slaughtered,
and the Good Monarchists win, but they're broken, and the Freaks are rich
and powerful and hated. Eventually all the good guys are broken, and the
Evil Monarchists make a massive comeback, and nobody wants to listen,
because the Good Guys won last time.
And then when the boys are up against it and the game is on the line,
along comes the Gipper, in this case embodied by Franklin Roosevelt, in
fiction the crippled prince of the forgotten royal family, and so on.
Same old damn story.
Back in the real world, the royalists on both sides are dead, the old
enemies are dead, and the enemies are totally different. And we can't face
reality because it's not the story we know anymore, and we don't know
anymore that the good guys win.
And worse yet, maybe we're the bad guys. The other guys aren't good, but
we aren't good either.
So let's drop all the old-school crap of the fantasy era, and if there is
such a thing, let's find a new story. Where we're not sure who the good
guys are, or who the bad guys are, and maybe we're the bad guys -- not
just that we're corrupted by external bad guys, but maybe our objectives
It's been done a few times in books I've read. I'm terrible about
remembering authors or specific stories -- which is why this is a personal
blog and not a review column. News this ain't.
I read a series a while back, though, that embodied what I was talking
about. The underlying melieu was Law versus Chaos, and in several volumes
Law was presented as the be-all and end-all, and at the end, Law won.
Then, in later stories, the reality of the Chaos side was presented, warts
and all, but with Chaos as the good guys, and Law as reactionary
extremists. And the good guys won, only with a Balance being achieved
between Law and Chaos.
Not the same old theme, but much the same theme, in a sense. All Law and
Chaos. Fantasy inherently really sucks at dealing with reality, it's all
about extremes. And real life is not about extremes.
So fantasy doesn't work at all in the real world. Which is all right with
me, because I don't read fantasy for real world. The real world kinda
sucks. I wanna see the good guys win in fiction, and I wanna believe the
good guys are going to win in the real world. So give me more fantasy.
Just, since fantasy is all about imagination, let us be more imaginative,
Grizzly <grizzly at grizzly.podzone.org>
A minor local celebrity's fifteen minutes of