Guest Blog! M. Pax: Why is Fantasy so Popular?

Today I am very honoured, for I have fantasy author, M. Pax, writing a post for me on my blog. M. Pax is author of the popular sci-fi series, The Backworlds, and the new adult urban fantasy Hetty Locklear series.  She knows her stuff, as you will read below. If you are not already a fan, then follow the links at the bottom of the post to her exciting worlds!

Why is Fantasy so Popular?  By M. Pax

Ghosts, werewolves, and vampires lurk under our desks, in our cars, and in the house next store. Dragons, swords, angels, and elves are everywhere. So much so, the niche of fantasy borders on mainstream. We see it in books, on TV, in the movies, and in games.

Could part of the answer have to do with us living our lives in a virtual sense? We interact in binary code with people we never see in worlds that don’t exist which are created on machines. Games like Second Life and The Sims showed us the way to leading a pretend life that for many became as real as the non-virtual world. Many prefer their virtual selves and spend as much time there as possible. Is that it?

Or perhaps as reality becomes more complicated, the news more dire, our stress levels go through the roof, and life becomes more of a struggle, it’s natural for many to turn to any form of escapism.

“Hey,” a citizen might think, “my life is simple compared to this vampire hunting or falling in love with a demon.”

Or perhaps it’s just more interesting. As our world opens up and much mystery is stripped away, fantasy may be one of the last refuges of the unknowable. It just may be more fun to think of the neighbor you never see as a werewolf.

The reasons for fantasy’s surge in popularity could be myriad and probably are. I think it boils down to the need to escape, though. What provides a better one than fantasy and science fiction?

Best of all, the explosion of the genre proves imagination isn’t dead. What a wonderful thing!

Why do you think fantasy has become so popular?

Try The Backworlds for free!

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe.
After the war with the Foreworlders, Backworlders scatter across the planets left. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to improve his fortunes by destroying his son.
Cut off from family and friends with little money and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

Paperback ($7.95): Amazon

Free from:
Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords / iTunes / Barnes & Noble/ Kobo / Other outlets

M. Pax is author of the sci-fi series, The Backworlds, and the new adult urban fantasy Hetty Locklear series. A Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats.

Website / FB / Twitter / Goodreads

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26 comments on “Guest Blog! M. Pax: Why is Fantasy so Popular?

  1. Pingback: Paperback Writer, Backworlds Available in Print, Polar Night | M. Pax

  2. I don’t think fantasy every “became” popular. It seems it always was. Did the people of the Dark Ages really believe there was a guy named Beowulf and a monster named Grendel? Probably not, but they loved to hear the tale while sipping mead in the longhouse.

  3. A lot does have to do with escapism. I think it’s also how a lot of people process and deal with their own problems.
    And if you’ve ever looked at the world-wide top grossing films, all but two are either fantasy or science fiction. People obviously enjoy them.

    • Escapism is definitely the key. High adventure and strange tales go way back – back to Jules Verne, to the tales of King Arthur, Grimms Fairy Tales, and even further. One of the first great epics, Gilgamesh, was essentially escapist fantasy. There is a need for it. When it starts to disappear, it comes back with a bang. Back in the Seventies, George Lucas realized that kids no longer had mythology or fantasy in their lives, other than maybe Jaws or Kojak. When he unleased a certain space opera upon the world, it caused an avalanche of interest and imitators. Now, with the technology to bring practically anything to the screen, it seems that fantasy is here to stay. And that has also had an impact on the reading world.

  4. I also think the stress of the real world has contributed to the appeal of fantasy stories. I know for me it has. In the past I didn’t even think I liked fantasy or sci-fi and was strictly interested in “real world” tales, but now my tastes have totally changed. I think that’s at least partly due to the fact that real life has been more stressful in the past few years than it was in the past.

    Great post, Mary, and thanks for hosting, Mark!

  5. Thanks, Mary. Now I’m looking for the vampire under my desk…
    While fantasy has always been popular, I agree that it’s become more mainstream and widely accepted. Yay for us fantasy writers!

  6. Gilgamesh is the first known ‘fiction’. I enjoyed reading that a lot. Talk about time travel. Look at all the mythology made up about the constellations. Obviously, fantasy has played a role in human society since we learned to speak. Maybe even before then. You have to be able to imagine to progress. Yes? Perhaps it’s just inherent.

  7. Fantasy is popular for the same reason that dinosaurs are popular with kids. You just can’t believe that these creatures existed. Then you go from that to dragons and boom…you are in fantasy land. Plus knights in armor can look hot so there’s the whole “knight in shiny armor” aspect that is kind of a sexual attraction. Throw in some royalty (America is a royal obsessed culture…just look at how the Brit’s royals get stalked by us), and you have the perfect storm.

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