A number of the national UK newspapers have reported on a particular blog post from Graeme Whiting, the head teacher of an independant school in Gloucestershire, called The Imagination of a Child. In this post, Whiting rails against the alleged tendency of modern parents to allow their children to read inappropriate fiction.
I will not go into detail on the irrelevance of his account of his own school life, which he mentions but fails to tie into his point. Nor will I explore the message he has about therapy and mental illness, being as I have no interest or expertise in it. I will only say that I very much doubt Whiting’s expertise on such subjects exceeds my own.
On what Whiting has to say about fantasy, however, I have a great deal to say in response.
Continue reading A response to Graeme Whiting, the fantasy-hating headteacher
One thing fantasy excels at is presenting incredible new worlds to the reader. The imagination of fantasy authors knows no bounds when worldbuilding is involved. So below I have picked out some of my favourite fantasy locations to celebrate and illustrate the variety and brilliance on offer.
The Mines of Moria
Tolkien’s Middle Earth contained such incredible places, from Hobbiton to the Lonely Mountain, the splendour of Gondor to the windswept plains of Rohan, or the dark cave of Shelob to the great troll-operated gates of Mordor, that picking just one location is a difficult task. Tolkien put so much into developing his world and its varied peoples that I could create a whole article series on memorable places in Middle Earth. I have picked Moria because of its size, its atmosphere and because of the contrast between Gimli’s expectations and the dark, frightening truth the Fellowship finds within. Continue reading Five great locations in fantasy