Avoiding reality… and why it’s so popular

From Game of Thrones to the trend of vampire novels, post-apocaliptic stories, hard sci-fi, cyberpunk, steampunk and all other genres, we’ve fast become addicted to science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Why such a departure from what “normal” looks like?

Maybe because normal kinda sucks?

Maybe because almost every specie on this planet dreams for the purpose of avoiding reality? Of filtering the stress dealt to its central nervous system during the day?

Maybe we want to escape normal…

Maybe we all secretly(or not so) wish to live in an entirely different world than the one we live in.


Maybe we hate the rules that keep this universe in place and wish to live in one ruled by different laws.

Or maybe we want to be different.

Super heroes.

We wish for greatness…

Eternal life?

Super human speed, strength, endurance?

What else?

A simpler world?

One without all this technology and stuff?


The world after the end of the world resembles the one at the very beginning in a lot of ways.

Art is all about wishes.

Of course, wishing for something does not make it so.

But that never stopped us anyway.

5 thoughts on “Avoiding reality… and why it’s so popular

  1. All very true, but escapism isn’t only about different worlds and different times, it’s also (maybe) about finding something we lack in the day-to-day. I think a lot of the allure of fiction is in the characters.. when they exhibit qualities that we value – honesty, bravery, honour, love, humour, determination, etc. – it’s usually in a form that’s easily recognisable and essentially pure. Even the ‘bad guys’ can be relatable because we gain more insight into their motivation. Not only that, but when something we dislike happens in a fictional world, we have the option to put it away, to ignore it, with little consequence to ourselves. Not so easy in the ‘real world’.

  2. You’ve raised such an important point Christian 🙂
    Each one of us possesses a unique reality, and we all wish to escape our state of being in some manner. Be it through science fiction movies, books or even through our routine activities that keep us busy. But the truth is, no matter which state we are in, we will always be seeking, seeking for more. If we attain the perfect simple world, or a world governed by different laws, there will be a time when we will wish to change that as well. Change is the only constant 🙂

  3. I hear you with the surge of fantasy/sci-fi/horror over the last few years. I’ve never been able to agree with the idea of escapism, though. It may be we’re more prone to want to read stories set in places that are less recognizable than we used to, but these stories are still stories. They really aren’t that different from fiction — is it escapist to read a story about a captain going down with his ship if it’s a spaceship instead of an ocean liner? People used to think this way about fiction in general, with the mainstream including GOT and Star Wars I think this notion will also disappear around genre fiction.

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