Posts Tagged: Michael J. Sullivan

Theft of Swords by Michael J. SullivanSome ideas have great power, and in fantastic literature, one of the mightiest of these is the idea of The Hero. The Hero is a very particular sort of creature: it (quite often “he”) is the protagonist of many stories and serves as paragon, savior, and metaphoric proponent/enactor of ideology. The Hero reflects aspirations and serves as inspiration both in the story and to the reader. This can be a useful, evocative device to employ in a story. The problem is, some of The Hero’s admirers use this device to constrain the idea of fantasy and limit the boundaries of imagination that writers and readers use in their engagement with fantasy literature.

Author Michael J. Sullivan discussed “Fantasy as Fantasy” on his blog recently, and after reading his opinion, I wanted to respond not as a proponent of “the other side” that he establishes, but as a critical reader of fantastika. I was perturbed not by his defense of The Hero, but by his assumption that his position encompassed all of “fantasy” and that fantasy should ideally be Just One Thing. This idea extended not only to the literary genre, but to the very notion of what “fantasy” means. I think that there is far more potential in both of these ideas when we open them up rather than try to set limits upon them.
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Theft of Swords by Michael J. SullivanHello,

My name is Michael J. Sullivan and I’m the author of the Riyria Revelations. This series has been picked up by Orbit Books for a fall release and I’ll be back after Aidan’s honeymoon to tell you more about that. In the meantime, he asked if I would do a guest blog so that you all have something to read so you don’t go into withdrawls. I have a morning ritual that involves coffee and reading articles on my ipad. The day after the George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire debuted on HBO, I read a few reviews that really got my blood boiling. I wrote a blog boast entitled “Song of Bias and Prejudice”, but since I’m still a relatively new, and unknown author I don’t think many people saw it. In any case I think it is appopriate for the audience so I though I’d take this opportunity to share. I hope you enjoy. Here goes…

When I was in eighth grade I was caught with a copy of Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring in shop class, by another kid. This “kid” who I will refer to as “Richard,” because that was his name, had been my best friend in sixth grade. Richard had just moved to the area that year and didn’t know anyone, and I adopted him when he was shunned by everyone else. After settling in however, Richard traded me for a better, cooler, best friend the following year. One of the ways he endeared himself to his new circle was by using what he knew, from our best-friend-years, to belittle and humiliate me, which always plays well to a group of twelve-year-olds trying to establish themselves as superior to anything. So when he found me reading a book, his eyes lit up with new potential.
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