Why do I write speculative fiction?
Because I love the challenge of creating my own worlds-from culture and language, maps and clothes, to food and history.
No one can tell me that what I have written is 'wrong' (unless I disobey the laws of physics) and even then 'magic' can rule supreme!
Because I am a hopeful romantic at heart.
Because I believe fantasy fills a need within us; it is the never-ending power of myth that has been with humankind ever since the first story was whispered around a cave-dweller's camp fire.
Fantasy allows the writer and the reader to live the magic of a quest, to face the perils of a troll or dragon, to become the starship captain and save the universe, or shapeshift into a glorious being who seeks his or her soul-mate.
Fantasy can also explore the human condition through the perceptions of a non-human life-form. A vampire might be outwardly human, but inside he/she is a creature of the night whose desires are not entirely human, and certainly not under control.
In these days of turmoil and violence, how refreshing it is to journey in lands where the only danger might be a wizard's spell, or an orc's trap-danger has a name and it can be faced head on, with a counter-spell or the thrust of a sword.
Fantasy allows us to mingle with creatures who have not rejected the beliefs of personal honour and loyalty, of accountability, of seeking a one true love while battling against insurmountable odds to save one's home or world or people; to believe that justice will triumph against tyranny.
And perhaps the greatest fantasy of all, from which many of the most powerful stories have emerged is King Arthur.
The story in all its divergence remains, for me, the most evocative and inspirational tradition of humankind.
© Dorothy Boyd
The Fabled Towers
Many men who walk the earth,
Scorn to think a soul has worth.
Facts and figures rule their day,
Reality is king, they say.
Poor fools they are, who lack a dream,
To whom the towers of Camelot may seem
An aberration of the weak
And not the truth a heart may seek.
The banners fly from hoary walls
And o'er the leas a trumpet calls
To summon home the gallant knights
To Camelot, ablaze with lights.
A youthful Arthur rules with pride,
His golden queen close by is side.
The flower of chivalry serves his will
On surging seas and misty hill.
From Merlin comes the magic strength
That holds the land for all its length
Beneath the rule, so wise and true,
Of Camelot, that none may rue.
The fabled towers are crowned in glory,
Theme of many a song and story.
Great Camelot stands tall and strong
A dream come true for hearts that long
For truth and beauty, praised in song.
Alas, as Eden fell at last,
Camelot's glory now is past.
Yet still her legend spans the years
To bring us hope amidst our tears.
Merlin's magic yet holds sway.
In our hearts she lives today:
Symbol of truth that never dies,
Courage that a man may prize,
Belief in what we know is right,
Though solitary we seek that Light.
Love and beauty made her glory,
Myth and legend told her story,
Man's quest for both will never die
While the towers of Camelot soar on high.
This poem is reproduced with permission of the author and may NOT be used without permission from D. Boyd.