Supernatural beings in every form have been gracing our bookshelves for centuries. As readers we are so used to reading about ghosts, witches, vampires, shape-shifters and so many other beings. Has their popularity run out? Are people wanting more subtle forms of the supernatural? Not according to what is popular on the top twenty fiction lists. Vampires reign supreme at the moment with Stephenie Meyer and Charline Harris standing out as the incredibly popular. But what makes the supernatural being so very alluring?
Is it the unrequited yearning that is so obvious in these books that calls to our souls and pushes us to read the vampire’s story over and over? Is it the base animatistic primal instinct that has us running for more shapeshifter stories? The magic in stories of witches and parallel fantasy lands feeds our imagination and transports us to a magical place that is beyond the mundane capacity of our daily existence.
Yes, supernatural, paranormal and fantasy books are here to stay. They are obviously tapping into a universal need for magic, fantasy and imagination that we need in our reading. But what is to come next? Are there any other slants on the tried and tested stories that have been with us for generations? How many different ways can a vampire, witch or any mythical creature be portrait? That is what is wonderful about the world of fiction, the possibilities are boundless.
But are we becoming blaze about the nuances of the supernatural. It is everywhere in our popular culture, both fiction and non-fiction. I recently opened a non-fiction book about witches and pagans only to find it filled with pictures from the popular television series “Charmed”. This got me thinking, with all of the special effects in movies and tv and all of the graphic description now prevalent in books, what about the subtlety of real life magic.
Do all these effects and graphics take away from what is really practiced and achieved through real life pagans, witches and the like? Does it downplay the very real magic that is felt at a ritual or when magic happens in your life? Is the real life magic enough or is it an anticlimax against the fiction of today?
I dont know the answer, but I do think that we need to see the real miracle and magic that happens to us on a daily basis. And we need to encapsulate the emotion, culture, history and fun of the fantasy and paranormal fiction that is shaping our modern literature culture.