In many ways the fantasy genre of literature precedes the concept of literature itself. People looked at the world doing weird and wacky things and said, “Surely there’s a story that can explain why this happens.” From there you have gods, nymphs, warrior kings, sorcerers; oral traditions become written narratives become plays become films and comics and animations. Next thing you know, everyone has a Dungeons and Dragons podcast and John Constantine is having sexual relations with a shark man. That’s life. My thesis takes the form of a novel, tentatively titled Dark Lantern, and concerns the misadventures of Claudia Childs and her mentor, Meryl Bone, as they encounter an ancient and dangerous relic from the lost histories of their crumbling empire. It’s fantasy, it’s action, it’s horror, comedy, camp, inspired by subgenre’s galore, and you bet your breeches it’s gay. Dark Lantern is both an homage to the fantasy literature I loved reading as a child and an attempt to rehabilitate a genre that has, let’s say, alienated a significant portion of the population. By engaging with the genre through a creative text, Dark Lantern is an opportunity to illustrate not only my academic sensibilities, for which an essay would be sufficient, but also the creative capacity to produce my own work that effectively executes familiar fantasy expectations while also maneuvering the pitfalls that mar it.
creative writing, literature, fantasy, genre fiction, novel, Honors College
Mims, C. (2021). Dark lantern (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.