Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Adult Fantasy

I don’t like that the word “adult” has become synonymous with “explicit” or “vulgar,” as found in terms like “adult bookstore” or “adult language”. Though “adult fantasy” does not directly label a story as being explicit or obscene, this classification does indicate that such a story might contain explicit or obscene content.

Adult fantasy should simply categorize fantasy written primarily for adults. The vocabulary should be advanced, perhaps including archaic words. The subject matter may include political commentaries or focus on situations that occur in adult lives rather than in the lives of adolescents or children. There might be darker themes or really complicated characters, and the reader may need to do a bit more thinking and contemplating because the concepts might be difficult to grasp or challenge the reader’s imagination or worldview.

Some people might argue that in order to write a story for adults, the author must be allowed to use explicit content, but I don’t think we need all of the details accompanying such openness. For example, perhaps a story has a plotline involving rape. I would argue that readers don’t need to read the details of such a vile act to grasp the concept of the crime.

I do want to make one additional point very clear: I don’t have a problem if people want to write or read fantasy stories with explicit content. I just don’t want such stories to be labeled as “adult fantasy”.

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