As a fantasy writer who has run the gauntlet of attending workshops, perused online advice, and collected my fair share of rejections from agents, with comments such as “no one reads portal fantasies anymore” I have to admit that particular observation surprised me.
Why? Because books such as Gabaldan’s The Outlander, Gaiman’s Neverwhere, William’s War of the Flowers are some of the more popular fantasy stories around.
I was told once that portal fantasy has been revived. When the climate of the world’s political theater is as dismal as it is today, people like you and I look for an escape. Vacationing in some luxurious island somewhere isn’t always affordable or practical, and with the growing threat of unrest in the world, could be dangerous. Mexico is on high alert, while Egypt, Haiti, and other exotic tourist destinations are on the traveler’s warning list. Places that American and European explorers thought little of visiting ten or twenty years ago, are red lighted today. Our dream land choices grow thin!
I think you can agree there is no safer escape but in a good book.
Never Never Land is just as attractive today as it was in Peter Pan’s time. The looking glass is just as alluring as it was when Lewis Carroll gained popularity. Stepping out of a war zone into Narnia is a pleasant time lapse. I’d be looking for more portal fantasy in the next few years. The mind can take us far beyond the two dimensions of today, and introduce us to worlds of the future, of the past, and to where no one has ever been.