I'm an escapist. The less my fiction resembles reality, the more I tend to enjoy it, at least as a general matter of principle. That's why I'm such a big fan of sci-fi: when was the last time you terraformed a planet or took a spaceship to work? Sci-fi is often futuristic. I know where we've been, and I know where we are, but I'm most excited to see where we'll go. Dystopian fiction? Forget it. I want to believe we have a bright future ahead of us, or at least a future where our prosperity and advancement have introduced a whole new set of conflicts unlike any we've previously dealt with.
Fantasy? Fantasy lives in the past. Medieval England. Old folklore. Rehashes of Tolkien. Fantasy is hung up on that which cannot be explained. Magic. Ancient curses. Elements that do not hold writers accountable to any standards of logic or continuity. Fantasy is gimmicky; something familiar with something unfamiliar slapped on top of it. ("These aren't any horses! They're magical horses.") Fantasy has the potential to be a realm of pure imagination that bears only a passing resemblance to reality. What I want out of the genre is the whimsical creativity of Roald Dahl, the built-from-scratch feel of the Golden Sun universe, and the utterly foreign lifestyle and culture of Conan the Barbarian. What I most often see and think of is, "WHOA! Dirty peasants, filthy hovels...and a dragon!!!"
And elves. Always with the elves.
Anybody got any suggestions that might win me over?