GAME OF THRONES
LORD OF THE RINGS done American-style with sex, betrayal, violence, sex, lies, political intrique, sex ... ah, you get the point.
But GAME OF THRONES got me thinking ...
The characters of Fantasy books are well known, even to those who never read the genre.
The heroes and villains, their stories and the lessons learned from them, are common knowledge. And the reason for this is that in the modern world, particularly in the West and the United States,
Fantasy has become our mythology.
a collection of fables, legends, and myths
that tell stories about the culture, about its values, and how the people living in that culture are supposed to act,
and what type of person they should strive to be.
Yet if Fantasy books make up much of our mythology,
then I also think that we, in America, have a problem.
The problem is that
most of our Fantasy isn't written by Americans about American culture and values.
Even American Fantasy writers write like they're British.
George R.R. Martin
is hailed as the American version of Tolkien,
yet his series takes place in a mythical world styled after medieval Europe, and has characters that usually seem pretty British to me.
When HBO went and turned his popular books into an even more popular TV show,
they filmed it mostly in Wales and Ireland, and used a cast of mostly British actors who all speak and look and talk like Brits.
American Fantasy authors don't write about America.
We don't have anyone writing stories set in the lush Mississippi delta, or the Rocky Mountains, or the forests on the East coast, or among the redwoods on the West coast.
There aren't Fantasy books discussing and questioning American social issues or our notions of heroism,
like our obsession with vigilantly justice so prevalent in our westerns and action films.
We don't have Fantasy characters that are symbols of what to strive for as Americans.
Well, there is that one nobody,
talking about a haunted jazz club in New Orleans
and its undead Texas Ranger owner,
contesting his brand of vigilante justice with the undead historical rulers of America ...
But more of that tomorrow.
What do you think? Are there any major American fantasy writers who have written famous stories set in America?