A few days back, a contact of mine posted on his Facebook a sign that read “Say no to fantasy”.
I wondered why, but I did not feel like starting a discussion that would be, ultimately, pointless. It’s certainly a fact that a lot of drivel is published in the fantasy genre, but there’s exactly the same amount of drivel published in any other field.
Theodore Sturgeon had something to say about that.

Anyway I’ve just spent two hours reading a beautiful fantasy novella – part of my shopping spree last Christmas. It’s called Thief of War, by Beth Bernobich, an author I had never read before, but that I will certainly read again. Great story, great sense of place, a poignant story without being saccharine. An intriguing world I’ll be happy to explore further in the future.

I went through it in two hours, because after dinner I was feeling bad – physically, because of my rickety health, but most importantly psychologically.
One of my usual black moods, a general sense of defeat that has no true reason. That sense of existential void when you need some chocolate, and there’s no chocolate in your house.

An upbeat, light read would have been in order, but I brewed me a tisane and sat down to read Thief of War – that has some pretty tense action, but it is also melancholy and in many ways sad.

But it worked anyway. The author transported me for two hours in a different world, and gave my mind something to handle and to play with, and helped dissolve my depression, if not my physical fatigue.

I tend to be rather lucky, in my explorations – I usually find good books.
There is a lot of excellent genre fiction out there, being published. Very high standards are being set both by authors and publishers.
And this also goes for fantasy.
That allows me to take a brief vacation once in a while, no matter what some post on their Facebook wall.

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