Why Fantasy? – By Nathan Garrison

It’s happening again. Someone I know is leaning in towards someone else, speaking those fated words.

“Did you know Nathan writes?”

Both pairs of eyes dart towards me, clamping on like barnacles. The first guy thinks he’s doing me a favor, and maybe he is. But at this moment, all I know is that two questions are coming. One spoken. The other awkwardly avoided at all costs.

“What kind of things do you write?”

Fantasy, I reply.

I’m lucky if the second guy responds with a raised eyebrow, a forced “cool”, and a not-so-subtle shift to another subject of conversation. But even in the best of times, I can practically read the thought–that unspoken query–as if the words were plastered across his forehead:

Why fantasy?

Despite the popularity of Lord of the Rings and Games of Thrones (to name a very, very few) it still shocks me how many people cringe at the idea of fantasy in the written form.  Even self-proclaimed “geeks”, who can name every Avenger ever and describe obscure plotlines from the Star Wars expanded universe, still give me blanks looks and surreptitious hints that if I’m going to write I should write something people actually like.

As always, I sigh, try not to let it bother me, and move on with my day.

However, from time to time, I can’t help but ask myself that very same question. Why fantasy? It doesn’t sell as well as other genres. The fans, in my experience, are far more critical of perceived flaws. And whereas almost everyone can find some way to relate to a modern day crime drama, war story, or murder mystery, only a select few, it seems, have enough imagination to fully immerse themselves in a good ol’ fashioned romp through the land of make-believe.

I know all this, but I write fantasy anyway.

Now, I could get into the reasons behind that, but I don’t really see the point. I write fantasy because it’s what I love. And if you’re reading this, you probably love it too.

[Editor’s note: Nathan in fact loves writing fantasy so much, sometimes he forgets to actually talk about the books he writes! Nathan is the author of the Sundered World Trilogy, which includes Veiled Empire, Shadow of the Void (both of which are currently the September 2017 Kindle Monthly Deal and only $.99!), and completes the story with the upcoming The Light that Binds, which comes out October 3rd]

In The Light That Binds, the final installment of the Sundered World trilogy, Nathan Garrison concludes the story of Mevon, Jasside, and Draevenus—among many others—that he began with Veiled Empire and Shadow of the Void.

The Veil came down…but what did it let in?

In the wake of a treasonous plot that plunged the world into a vicious war, a new threat emerges: the Ruvak. It quickly becomes clear that the forces of man, mierothi, and valynkar are no match against this new foe. Not only do the Ruvak have a peculiar resistance to magic, their numbers are so vast, even the combined power of these unlikely allies have no way of matching them.

Still reeling from the betrayal that resulted in her coronation, and with the Ruvaki fleet inexorably pushing across the continent, Queen Arivana must now make hard decisions for her people and for the world, including turning a blind eye to Vashodia’s machinations and sending agents Tassariel and Draevenus to infiltrate enemy territory.

With the help of powerful Jasside and thoughtful Gilshamed, though, all is not lost.

But each new battle moves the Ruvak ever forward, and even the appearance of Mevon—who many thought dead—and his father’s armies might not be enough to prevent a new species from exterminating them all. It is the final battle for survival, and even the gods are powerless to stop it.

[It’s almost funny people don’t know about what Nathan writes, considering Library Journal compared his books to those of N.K. Jemisin, Joe Abercrombie, and Michael J. Sullivan—pretty good company. Make sure to check out his books, and learn just how much his love for fantasy shows.]



Harper Voyager on Twitter