Our World out of Context

R. B. Wood

Former technologist, world traveler, & storyteller.

IMAGINATIONIt’s a commonality to assume that fantasy and science fiction writers write in the genre they do because they wish to escape the current state of the world. As an avid fantasy and science fiction reader, I can attest to that notion. They are genres that take readers to far places to explore odd creatures, new cultures, and fresh ideas. Yet, because I am also a fantasy writer, I realize that many of the themes in fantasy and science fiction have a hidden context to the real world, be it religion, politics, historical commonalities, etc. This happens in my novels whether I intend it or not. Of course, the worlds I create must have some coherence to the real world in order to maintain their believability to readers, but looking back on my past novels, I also see that burried within my worlds is a reflection of current events and personal questions.

The truth of the matter is, although I write to escape into a different land with different people, I can’t help but address the here and now. Writing and reading is an outlet for me (as I’m sure for many others) to process events and reflect on personal issues and questions in a safe and somewhat removed way. Oftentimes, these musings are not evident to me while I’m writing—the realization comes later.

Essentially what I find many fantasy and science fiction writers doing is not pulling readers into newly formed and unfamiliar places, but showing readers our own world (or aspects of our own world), taken out of context. Current events, social and historical contexts, politics, and religion are inescapable. The beauty of fantasy and science fiction is their ability as genres to show us our current world through a skewed perspective. And what better way to reflect on our own reality than to take it out of context?





Nicole Persun is a 17 year old student who signed her first book contract at 16. Her novel, A Kingdom’s Possession, was recently named a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award at the American Library Association conference. In addition to writing, she loves to garden, cook, listen to music on high volume, practice photography, and spend time with her horse Goldie. Read more at NicoleJPersun.com and http://amzn.to/LSlF7s.