The following is a reblog from Janna Noelle, a writer I’ve been following for a long time. She writes fantasy and is very careful and systematic about it (I’m still waiting to read the debut novel when it’s published), and always has interesting things to say):
“I’ve been thinking about how magic is often represented in fantasy.
I’ve written previously about how many SFF stories (poorly) represent post-racial societies. My issue with magic is a close cousin to that topic.
Magic is frequently connected to oppression within the story world. Often it’s illegal, with practitioners doing so in secret while on the run and/or in hiding from the armed forces of a state-sanctioned death squad seeking to exterminate them.
It’s an obvious attempt by fantasy writers to draw a thematic comparison to the real-world oppression of marginalized people.
It doesn’t work…”
Please go to her blog to read WHY it doesn’t work – Janna is very coherent.
I don’t read much fantasy, and don’t write it, but it hit me immediately that she’s nailed it.
She has all kinds of other great posts, too.
Thank you, Alicia! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately because I’ve been watching a lot of fantasy shows during the pandemic. I don’t actually write fantasy myself anymore; that was many moons ago when I first started writing. Nowadays I’m historical fiction through and through (although I won’t say never again to fantasy because I do still love it!)
Do you want me to change that? It’s a completely valid observation for fantasy, even if you don’t write it now.
No it’s fine. I’m not fussed.