content by

Katherine Langrish

Faerie-led: Thoughts on Writing Meaningful Fantasy

I had the good fortune recently to be able to attend the fourth annual Tolkien lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford, delivered by the inspiring writer, editor, artist, and my dear friend, Terri Windling. There can be few if any who are better read in fantasy literature both old and new, and her lecture, “Reflections on Fantasy Literature in the Post-Tolkien Era” developed into an eloquent and heartfelt plea for “slower, deeper, more numinous” fantasy.

Terri set a challenge to all those of us who write, read, review and love modern fantasy: Tolkien’s themes of epic conflict between forces of good and evil echoed the two great wars of the 20th century; his work was at the time both ground-breaking and relevant. Can we writing today find themes relevant to the problems our 21st-century world now faces, such as the ecological and social disasters triggered by climate change?

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