I'm in blog mode to do some minor admin, not intending to post, but I just glanced at a publisher's site with details of their latest fantasy books. So here's a question occurring to me for the zillionth time - why would people who believe in democracy want to read about kings and rightful heirs to thrones? Especially in the US - I mean, isn't that un-American? Ha!


Blogger Max Kaehn said...

The most fantastic element isn’t the wizards and dragons; it’s having a reliable mechanism for placing virtuous people in positions of power.

August 18, 2010 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger John Meaney said...

You mean we don't have one...?

But you're absolutely right. It's all about shaking hands with the devil.

Frank Herbert had trouble with this, I think. The triumph of Dune involved an aristocrat taking power amid treachery then starting a jihad... No wonder he started twisting everything around.

August 18, 2010 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

I think that even though most Americans disagree with the thought of a random person being born into a position of power, the whole idea of a book about kings and heirs to the throne is alluring maybe just because it’s exotic to us. I wouldn’t touch a book about modern kings and queens, but show me a book whose storyline takes place in the way-back-when era and I'll give it a read. I’m guessing that the fights to the death and other manly things that come along with being in a position of power draw in most male readers. From a woman’s point of view- well, a story with characters living in castles, riding around on horses, and wearing fancy clothes is captivating enough on its own. Add some macho men sword fighting and I’m sold!

August 20, 2010 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger John Meaney said...

Hi Dee... You're spot on, of course. I'd love to be a horse-riding warrior it weren't for the, you know, saddles sores/rain/festering wounds/short life span kind of stuff. And did I mention pain? The exotic location makes all the difference.

Of course you don't need history or made-up worlds for some of the things you've mentioned. As I'm sure most Americans know, everyone in Britain lives in a castle. ;)

August 20, 2010 at 7:42 PM  

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