RbJ's Online Journals - 96/06/23

This morning was a eureka! morning, on the factasy front.

I was thinking about the "factasy column" yesterday and it occurred to me that I didn't really have much idea what a fantasy is. Of course I know what the word means, and I went for the factasy column because I think I spend a lot of my time fantasising. But a fantasy is also a kind of novel, and I didn't really have much idea what was in them.

I asked Barbara. She was telling me about the one she was reading anyway (a bit too intricate for her tastes). I was thinking that I had never read any, but now I realise that Tolkein is a fantasy writer and I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

So it seems, from what Barbara was telling me that in a fantasy you are likely to find a struggle between good and dark forces and some magic. The one she was reading had a lot about forces of chaos and order, and you might well get into the meaning and purpose of life, the universe and everything.

I'm sitting there thinking that this is all a lot more appropriate than I was expecting it to be, and maybe I should make more of the fantasy element. It all looks seriously obvious now, but it really hadn't occurred to me that this kind of theme was as pervasive in fantasy novels as Barabara made it sound. I had just started to think what the difference between science fiction and fantasy is. I knew that fantasy didn't have to be scientific at all, which is fine because for me the technogy is just means. Discovering that the extra ingredients in fantasy are likely to be morality, purpose and struggle is really handy, because I need to get through to these things without getting pious.

So maybe my web space can get closer to what fantasy readers will recognise and enjoy.

I had been worrying about the column (which hasn't really got up yet) that it just wasn't looking fantastic enough to call a factasy column, and in any case maybe it should be a science faction column, or even a logic faction column. But there's no doubt that factasy is where I want it to be.

I've also been putting up some of my ancient writings, and deliberating about whether this is a good idea and how far to go with it.

So this morning I woke late (maybe 5:30) and before getting up I decided that my whole life is a factasy, and that my whole web should be this same factasy. And in a few minutes I dressed that all up with clothes that would take me an enormous amount of time to put into words. If only I had a bit of magic that would just dump out my thoughts into HTML!

Anyway, the upshot is that I am thinking of turning this whole thing into Roger's Living Factasy, which really is a life struggling for the good against dark forces and trying to discover the magic incantations which are the key to a new world. Watch this space.

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