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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Fantasy as a genre can be tad difficult to define.To paraphrase Wikipedia, a fantasy is any story which employs magic and/or "other supernatural phenomena" as a driving force of plot, theme or setting; and, like science fiction, fantasy tales are often set somewhere-other-than-here-and-now. Fantasy has something in the neighborhood of a dozen sub genres, depending on how one counts -- high fantasy, epic fantasy, sword-and-sandal fantasy, feminist fantasy, eco-fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, et cetera and so on. It also mixes well with other genres; consider how many fantasy romances and magical mysteries are on the market. 

Fantasy is a very Pagan-friendly genre. By its very definition, it contains elements which are of central importance to our communities. Pull nearly any fantasy novel off the shelf, and you will find polytheism, environmentalism, "alternative" and "mainstream" sexualities, gender (re)construction, fantastic creatures, magic, and I could go on.

While the genre itself may be Pagan-friendly, that is not the case with every individual title.* Quite a few books treat the Gods as jokes or caricatures, tart up the female characters for the sake of titillation, engage in gross stereotyping or -- sorry -- are just plain badly written.

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