Thursday, March 30, 2006


I have a season when all I read are sleazy romance novels (in English, please) and nothing else. There really isn’t much of story content in books like that. They basically go along these lines: in the beginning, a girl falls out with the world, if she hasn’t already. In the middle, the girl starts to get a move on and finds a hunk in the process, whichever comes first. In the ending, they more or less get together, after sojourns of sex in between. I believe with all my heart and soul that romance novels like such only differ in narrations of how the hero and heroine copulate.

Why read them, then? They’re good stuff, after I’m saturated with science fiction and fantasy books. Books like the latter two deal with at least a modicum of reality; romance novels never do, although they may seem like it. While sci-fi and fantasy are based on some aspect of the real world, romance is too ‘telenovela-ish’ to be read with any degree of trust. They numb my mind. They make me cease any coherent thought processes. They make me feel like an idiot, without a spoiled watermelon bubblegum for the world.

Hence, the love books. The sci-fi I read are basically from the 50’s to the 70’s, an era of massive social upheavals. Most of those changes are reflected in the works of the best authors of sci-fi: Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson and Jerome Bixby, among others. On the other hand, my fantasy diet is from the 70’s onwards. I’ve met Ursula K. LeGuin, Madeleine L’Engle, and Lloyd Alexander even before I have even heard of JK Rowling and Harry Potter (duh). Believe me when I say that I believe a lot of what is written by the authors I have mentioned. They have good sands of philosophy for the sick oyster. Anyway, I believe them more than Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts, Luanne Rice and Belva Plain combined up to the 99th power.

The thing is, romance is too near the real that it distorts what we know should not be. They’re perfect vehicles of escapism, far better then Harry Potter’s Hogwarts or Taran’s Prydain or even Lucy’s Narnia.


Blogger marX said...

True. I never liked romance too. I don't trust Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts as well. I agree with you about how romance novels often distorts reality. Romance authors most of the times overstate things. I'd rather read a J.K.Rowling.
I love scifi with a flare of thriller-slash-mystery spice. I'm into Greg Iles and another, I forgot the name. hihi. Short-term memory loss.

3:57 PM  

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