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A minor holiday musing

Sunday, July 5th, 2009 | Posted by Theo

First, apologies for the two-week absence. I was wrapping up a non-fiction book that one can only hope will be of very little interest to the readers of Black Gate.

Second, the recent U.S. holiday got me to thinking about the general dearth of holidays one sees in fantasy fiction. Having spent an amount of time in parts of Europe where it seems there is a holiday practically every week in June and July that is the remnant from some forgotten medieval saint’s day, one would imagine that a quasi-medieval fantasy society would have more holidays than we presently do, not less. So, where are they and is this just another example of the ahistorical nature of most modern fantasy? Okay, not the most interesting of insights, but one possibly worth noting if you’re one of the many people writing fantasy these days. Considering how the Black Gate editors were all but buried under the weight of the recent submissions, one occasionally wonders if there is anyone reading Black Gate who isn’t also a writer of one sort or another.

2 Comments »

  1. The Chronicles of the Necromancer series by Gail Z. Martin has quite a few holidays in it, and its an excellent series.

    Comment by Glennmagus - July 6, 2009 5:08 pm

  2. I believe the REDWALL books had some holidays. Actually, I think science fiction is probably more deficient in that area than fantasy.

    Ken Follett’s PILLARS OF THE EARTH, an historical novel (non-fantasy) with a medieval setting, is an excellent introduction to medieval life, and come to think of it, I don’t recall a lot of mention of holidays in that story; I read it a long time ago, but what I remember most is how close many people were to starving to death.

    But I agree that what holidays people celebrate is a good clue to their culture.

    Comment by karen wester newton - July 7, 2009 9:10 am


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