If you’re anything like me, the lure of other worlds is strong. My earliest years were ever punctuated by a belief, almost a faith, in other worlds–an understanding that this world, with all its limitations and problems, was just one of many possibilities. Getting to that other world, or worlds, just meant being at the right place at the right time, or, of course, imagining it into being.
And for many of us, writers and readers a like, the call of another world has never really ceased. As much as writers of science fiction and fantasy can differ, they are all working with the same idea. We retain a certain amount of familiarity in these other worlds, of course, but there are decidedly different elements: magic, technology, religion, society. We make the changes, alter the cards, to varying degrees. Whether we’re talking about reinvisioning, like alternate history, or completely rewriting, making worlds means playing god and storyteller (each, I think, essentially mean the same thing).
The question that led to this post was posited to myself. Yes, occasionally I ask myself questions, as any writer (or person, for that matter) ought to do. I was wondering why it wasn’t I couldn’t just be happy with my own world, and write in that one. Though I certainly draw from history and religion here, I’ve never wanted to write something that takes place here, in the here in now, in a normal, usual life.
I don’t know what that says about me, or why my brain leans that way. Maybe I should try again with something rooted here on Earth–I’ve tried before, to tremendous failure. It just feels too strange, like I’m trying to write from someone else’s brain.
When I was eight, I truly believed that, if I tried hard enough, I could get to Narnia. Not sure where I’m trying to get these days, but… I think I’m still trying to find it.