the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog
intertext

  • Mood:

Bittercon: "I'm So Special"

For those on my flist not able to join oursin and brisingamen at Wiscon, or who did not go and have fun at Kalamazoo (or even those who did!) but who would like to participate in a Con panel, there is lively discussion at papersky, sartorias and katenepveu and others coordinated in the community bittercon. Here's my panel topic:

"I'm So Special" - Wish Fulfillment Fantasy and Science Fiction

From Harry Potter to Heroes, there's a whole sub-genre of SF in which the "outsider" suddenly discovers that he or she is not an outsider but a member of some elite class of beings (wizard, superhero, Herald). There is a sub-genre of this trope in which the person becomes special by being CHOSEN by some kind of sentient animal - think particularly of the works of Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey.

My question is not so much about the popularity of such a class of novels - I think the attraction is fairly obvious - but whether any of these authors, or others, have dealt with the notion of being the one NOT chosen. J K Rowling never really allows her characters to interact with "normal" Muggles, only the dreadful members of Harry's family - I'd love to read something from the perspective of such a character. There are several Pern novels in which some of the suspense is derived from the viewpoint character not being chosen by a dragon when expected to be so, but I believe that all of them end up with that character being chosen in the end.

I've often thought of writing something called "The Unchosen" from the perspective of someone in that position who feels, perhaps, bitter (hey - Bittercon!) and excluded. Do any works exist in which the main character is "normal" within a society such as I've described and comes to terms with it?

A related question is that these, with the possible exception of Harry Potter, seem to fall into the category of "guilty pleasure" reading - basically not terribly good books that are nevertheless fun escapism. Are there any "good" works, by which I mean books that you don't have to apologize for reading, that fall under this category? And if not, why not?
Tags: bittercon, fantasy, sf, wish-fulfillment
Subscribe

  • RIP Ray Bradbury

    I wanted to write something about Ray Bradbury

  • The Weakness in Me

    Robinson's death has hit me hard. Also, the general feeling of doglessness. I haven't been without a dog, except for when on holiday, for eighteen…

  • Profound Gifts

    My tribute to Robinson, blogged elsewhere.

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 59 comments
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →

  • RIP Ray Bradbury

    I wanted to write something about Ray Bradbury

  • The Weakness in Me

    Robinson's death has hit me hard. Also, the general feeling of doglessness. I haven't been without a dog, except for when on holiday, for eighteen…

  • Profound Gifts

    My tribute to Robinson, blogged elsewhere.