Saw this quote the other day on Laini Taylor’s blog and loved it. I just started reading Robin Hobb and love her stuff, so it’s fun for me to read her thoughts on why fantasy means what it does to her. Sometimes I tell people I’m writing a fantasy novel and they look at me with this indulgent look like “oh, isn’t that sweet that you have this little nerdy side to you.” And I want to slam an awesome fantasy book in their face and be like ka-pow! Cuz, you know, fantasy books are big and they would hurt to have shoved in your face. Anyway, enjoy this sliver of awesomeness explaining why fantasy novels are rad. Take it away, Robin Hobb!
Fantasy allows us to drop all our baggage and look at the big questions in the world with no preconceived loyalties. If I invent a world with two battling religions and neither one is yours or your friend’s, you can look at the conflict and think about it in an unbiased way. If we look at slavery in a way that has nothing to do with race or racial guilt or U.S. history, I think we can perceive more about what it does to both a slave and the ‘owner’ of the slave and the world it creates. Sweep the stage clear and set out the conflict anew, and you may end up surprised with who you are rooting for. Sort of like taking two football teams, and stealing all their jerseys and team equipment, and sending them out to play against each other as unidentified teams. Imagine a big bowl game in which you didn’t know who was playing or who you would normally root for. That’s what fantasy does to life.
Full interview that quote is pulled from here.