Real World Blues

In my previous entry, I touched incidentally on my aversion to stories set in the “real world”. I didn’t have this problem growing up — although I preferred fantasy and science fiction stories, I consumed far more contemporary realism, mystery, and suspense stories, at least in High School.

I started to become a staunch Science Fiction and Fantasy “reader” around the same time that I went to college. I put “reader” in quotes because it was around that time that I stopped reading all but my favorite writers, and even then, only the works of my favorite writers’ favorite series. I spent much more time watching anime with a paranormal bent, and most of my time playing fantasy MMORPGs. It was during this time that I solidly decided that I wanted to be a writer, but as time went on, I knew less and less what that meant.

I became even more entrenched in my reading habits when forced to read the writing of such literary “greats” as Stein, Hemingway and Joyce, authors who, although skilled, brought no joy to me in the reading. So it’s realistic! Big deal. It’s dry and academic and stands diametrically opposed to my notion that reading should be fun.

So what did I do? I criticized it. I criticized unrealism where I found it, I criticized how boring it was, and I criticized anything else I could find. In the meantime, I’d avoid the obvious fact that fantasy and science fictions are oftentimes hundreds or thousands of times more unrealistic than the “real world” stories I’d criticize. My defense was easy. Those worlds are not the real world. My chosen genres do not attempt to imitate the real world. It’s not a fair meter to say that The Hobbit is unrealistic — of course it is. It’s Heroic Fantasy!

So a month ago when my girlfriend asks me to watch Dexter, I spent more time analyzing how it didn’t align to the real world than I did enjoying the show, never realizing that every story  is a fantasy world. Some just look more like this one than others do.

Get Dexter Season 1 here.

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