Learning To Love Fantasty
By Christopher Sebela

When I’m writing a crime book, I will think about whether or not I’d be good at crime (Spoiler: I would be great at some crimes and terrible at other crimes) or if I’m tinkering with a dystopian sci-fi dirge in space, I remember me as a kid on my bedroom floor mapping out huge spaceships on grid paper. But when it comes to fantasy, our relationship is an obstacle course that I’m still learning how to navigate. Because I’ve been talking a lot of trash about it for years now. I’m one of those people who hates fantasy.

Or I thought I was.

The whole reason Godfell came into existence is the same reason a lot of my books are born: I want to figure something out about myself. In the last 10 years or so, I’d roll my eyes at fantasy whenever it came across my consciousness and in the era of Game of Thrones, it became easier and easier to do so. I’d be one of those insufferable people who took pains to point out they were into “urban fantasy” but not the regular variety.

But even as I was being a snarky jerk about it, fantasy was in my DNA. Some of my first favorite movies were BEASTMASTER (a man with amazing hair and the ability to talk to animals goes to war with an evil wizard) and KRULL (a man with an amazing weapon and some cool friends goes to rescue a princess from evil alien invaders). I can quote ZARDOZ from memory and I owned way more He-Man than I can even remember. When I wasn’t drawing spaceships, that grid paper was home to ornate diagrams of medieval labyrinths full of dungeons. I dumped at least 100 hours into playing Skyrim (RIP Paul Skyrim the cat warrior). What was the deal here?

So I gave myself a challenge to come up with a fantasy story I thought was cool. Put my gold coins where my big mouth is. One giant corpse later, I was on my way. And it’s lead me to reassess what I would’ve previously proudly declared as “hate” for fantasy into a more reasonable statement. I have big disagreements with fantasy. I love most of the toys in the chest, I just never quite enjoy how other kids play with them. Some of it also might be because my love for other genres meant I needed a scapegoat to heap abuse on so my preferred boats would rise higher. And that leads to me wondering what other genres I keep at arm’s length and why.

GODFELL has really torn the scales from my eyes and made me fall back in like with fantasy and what it allows me to do as a creator. I can build an entire worlds from top to bottom, populate it with whatever and whoever I like, birth entirely new species, write the rules from scratch or cobble together a bunch of the ones we have into some new weird hybrid that’s more pleasing or at least more honest. The only limits are the ones you choose. It’s maybe the most freeing of all genres and maybe that’s scarier to me than I’d like to admit.

I still have my favorite places to tell stories that I keep wrapped around my heart and fantasy isn’t there yet, but the same way Zanzi and Neth are journeying through the body of a dead god, I am making my way back to where the sight of a dragon or an army of knights doesn’t make me make a face and instead opens the door to stories about things great and small, light and dark, fantastic and all too human.

God’s Dead: Who’s Next?
One sunny day in the land of Kerethim, God falls dead from the sky. The impact sends out shockwaves that draw in royal families at war, shadowy creatures of the dark, and armies of the dispossessed, all coming to lay claim to parts of God’s body. Into this power struggle wanders Zanzi Vuiline, a soldier and berserker trying to get home from a years-long war. Forced to fight her way through the strange landscapes in and on God’s corpse, from the soles of its feet through the top of its head, Zanzi will acquire a mysterious traveling companion on her own pilgrimage.

Read an exclusive preview of Godfeel at AIPT below! Then tell your local shop you need a copy before the final order cutoff on 1/23!
In stores on 2/22!

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