Monday, April 14, 2008

Cover Art!

So, what fills my bookshelves? They run heavy to the fantasy genre.

I love the idea of knights in shining armor, who rush off on a quest to rescue the damsel (who is, of course, under an evil spell), and save the world in the process.

Put that way, it sounds a bit like a romance novel, doesn't it?

I do enjoy those too, but the difference between fantasy and romance has a lot to do with the amount of time spent 1) developing the characters, and 2) in the bedroom.

Specifically, the fantasy books I read don't spend a lot of time in the bedroom, and they do spend a lot of time developing character.

Sure, sometimes there's romance, but it's usually on a more realistic level. You know: they meet, they have some sort of dilemma, they solve it, they get married and the story fades to black, and picks up the next morning. No long, drawn-out boudoir scenes.

Plus, the front cover generally doesn't depict a windblown man with long flowing hair, in a pirate shirt that has fallen open far enough to see his rippling abs and huge pecs. Nor do fantasy books generally show the woman in various states of undress, with cleavage out to there, and being held protectively by the man in the pirate shirt.

Maybe the truth is that I find fantasy novels just as much fun to look at as to read.

Two words: cover art. If you haven't seen cover art from the fantasy genre, it runs heavy to dragons, faeries, and swordsmen with blades bare, threatening some sort of horrible creature dripping goo. Sometimes there is even a magic user, an evil sorcerer or some such, throwing a bolt of lightning or something.

To me, part of the appeal of fantasy novels has to do with using your imagination, and seeing the action in your head. A really good author will draw you in, and you can see how the scene plays out, almost as if you're watching it. Some authors who are particularly good at this are David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist, and R.A. Salvatore.

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