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A little more on portal fantasy refugees

In the last entry, [personal profile] osprey_archer, [personal profile] sovay, and I got to talking (thread here) about the background premise of Every Heart a Doorway--namely, that there could be some kind of special school for young people who can't readjust to life in our world after having an adventure in another world. I realized I had some questions that go beyond that particular novella.

(1) Where does the notion that a portal adventure leaves you messed up come from? Is it all down to the fact of not being able to return to the magical world? What examples of this are there from portal fantasies themselves--excluding portal fantasies that are written as responses to other portal fantasies precisely to explore this point?

(2) In cases where the protagonists lose the ability to get back to the magical world, what elements make that most hard to deal with? To me, arbitrary limitations (like age-based ones) are more distressing than plot exigency ones (the latter being things like having to return to our world after your task in the other one is complete). Y/N? Random inexplicability is also troubling (thinking of people in folklore who have one taste of faery and then spend the rest of their lives trying to find a way to get another taste).

(3) Supposing a bunch of people who've traveled to other worlds did come together for mutual support, what kind of story would you imagine arising for them in that context?

This entry was originally posted at https://asakiyume.dreamwidth.org/873885.html. Comments are welcome at either location.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2018 08:46 am (UTC)
For an interesting (and Victorian) take on PPTS (post portal traumatic syndrome :-) ), see H.G. Wells' The Door in the Wall.

Edited at 2018-01-09 11:47 am (UTC)
Jan. 9th, 2018 11:31 am (UTC)
I love that term! That's great. Okay, will do on the H.G. Wells.
Jan. 9th, 2018 02:43 pm (UTC)
Have you read Jo Walton's short story "Relentlessly Mundane"? In case you haven't, here's the link.

It was in reaction to the never being able to go back idea that I made sure that in my own portal fantasy series, it was possible to come and go and time ran the same in both worlds. None of this spending decades in the magical world and returning as a child.
Jan. 9th, 2018 06:07 pm (UTC)
I think as a child the thought of living a full life (or a large portion of one) and then coming back to your childhood self didn't seem so offputting to me--hey! two lives to live! But as an adult, knowing what I've learned and experienced as an adult, and knowing how much agency I have as an adult, the notion of going back to my childhood body and having to live all over again is creepy.

Thanks for the link; I think I *may* have read it but I'll refresh my memory.
Jan. 10th, 2018 02:13 am (UTC)
interesting ideas
Jan. 11th, 2018 01:04 am (UTC)
It's great to get people talking on things like this--so much interesting stuff comes up.
Jan. 11th, 2018 03:43 pm (UTC)
i hear you
maybe the fear of getting messed up comes from those who are uncomfortable in their real world as well, so the unknown worries them even more.. in which case gaming is a safe way to explore other avenues.

do you game with others, like online groups?

Jan. 11th, 2018 05:47 pm (UTC)
Re: i hear you
I don't, but my kids do--they've found great communities that way. I suppose my equivalent to that was finding LJ/DW.
Jan. 11th, 2018 07:40 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: i hear you
i can relate, my son build video games, but i blog on LJ

same time different place )))
Jan. 11th, 2018 12:00 pm (UTC)
Oh wait; this book exists? My partner has been playing with the idea of writing a book like that for a long time. All the children who are taken to some other reality and become heroes don't know what to do with themselves in a lot of ways when they're back on Earth. They find each other on the internet, get together at conventions of sorts...I love the idea.
Jan. 11th, 2018 12:18 pm (UTC)
A number of people have played with this idea, but it doesn't mean that your girlfriend can't too--she should! The novella that prompted all this is called Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. I gather there are sequels, too.

ETA: Oops lol, yeah, I'm repeating myself with the title and all * _*;

Edited at 2018-01-11 03:19 pm (UTC)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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