Fantasy Friday – A Look at Reality


From time to time, I find it necessary to write an apology for fantasy or perhaps for certain aspects of fantasy. When I ran across a post criticizing CS Lewis and questioning his salvation, that served to goad me into a discussion about fantasy and what authors can accomplish in a genre centered on good versus evil.

Interestingly enough, people who disdain or criticize fantasy seem inoculated against the problems with reality fiction.

For starters, reality fiction can be written by those whose reality is not one consistent with what the Bible says is true. Take a look at some of the books with a gay agenda such as Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate. In addition, much secular contemporary literature imprisons readers in the bleak and depressing, purposefully voiding ideals, sentiments, morality, religious values.

Now more and more Christian authors are pushing for reality Christian fiction to actually depict reality. That would be the sinful, fallen world: child abuse, pornography, Internet predators, drugs abuse, serial marriage, same sex marriage, child sex slaves, gang violence, homelessness … shall I go on?

With reality being what it is, writing reality fiction should not be looked upon as some kind of safe ground while fantasy dances with danger. Instead, fantasy can act much the way the old fairy tales did. In a pretend story, a child could see a truth that applied not only to the story but to the real world.

In fairy tales dwarfs take in a needy, lost girl; a disobedient child invites trouble into her grandmother’s house; a wise pig withstands the assault of the enemy; a vain queen loses everything because of her jealousy; a misused step-sister is rewarded for her constancy; and on and on.

Does anyone really need a reality villain to enjoy the story or get the point of Little Red Riding Hood?

Especially in a society that is becoming more and more “story saturated,” fantasy brings in something fresh and fun. This is fiction, after all. It’s made to enjoy.

And reality? Since reality has become so … real, it just may not be as entertaining as a good fantasy, even as it mucks around in the very real sin all around us—without offering an answer.

I’ll give you an example. Juno. This movie, released in the spring, I believe, took a bold pro-life stand. The reality was teen pregnancy. The result was, adoption is an option. I applaud the message, though it is but a band-aid to the real issues of life. No, not teen sexuality. Teen, adult rejection of God and His love and mercy and forgiveness so we can go our own way.

Reality is so partial. It tells a little bit of the truth perhaps. Fantasy deals with the real Truth.

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm  Comments (10)  
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