Some days refuse blogging. Others demand it. Today is not one of the latter, but I still have 25 minutes left until my thrilling Geology class (today: Mass Movements, as in rock slides, avalanches, etc.) with little else to do except read Supremacy by Stealth subtitled “Ten Rules for Managing the World,” in the Atlantic Monthly. But I really know all that stuff already, being Queen of the World and all, so I thought that I would do a blog instead.
I am wondering: why does it seem like so many fantasy books are set in medieval times? There is this allure, this far-off gleam of romanticism imbedded in our minds that associates Middle Ages and Magic. Perhaps we can more readily grant an author credibility when they set their impossibilities in a long passed time. There may also be an aspect to this in which we know the Middle Ages were fairly primitive (even compared to their predecessors, the Romans (for instance), due to various factors, the Black Plague not least among them) so we can also more easily accept the fact that magic happened then whereas now – and the future – belong more to the realm of science fiction. There are, of course, several notable exceptions. Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality are set in present day, and Mythago Wood, by Robert Holdstock, is set just post-WW II. Still, when you consider the preponderance of medieval-set fantasy stories you have to wonder what about that time period allows people to accept the impossibilities of fantasy more easily than in other settings. Any thoughts?