My brother makes fun of me for reading fantasy novels. I’ll gasp after a page turn and he’ll say, “What, did a one-eyed elf use the magic sword of Fordmotoria to wipe his ass?”
Let him mock, I say. I have thought about this a great deal, and I have come to the conclusion that nerds read fantasy as a form of wish fulfillment. For us it’s all about the wizards. The wizards are always physically weak, highly intelligent loners whom nobody else likes or trusts. And of course so are the nerds.
But the crucial difference is here: In this world, when we are abused for being different there is nothing we can do. We are impotent.
In the world of fantasy novels, we can call down fire from the heavens and burn our enemies alive.
The problem is that the book always ends. Somebody always looks off into the distance to watch the dragons fly away or pulls the hood over his head as he steps into the shadow of the woods or sits back down from stoking the fire and picks his pipe up again, whereas we have to go to school the next day. I don’t see how Columbine and Virginia Tech were a surprise to anybody.