How much reality to do want in our fiction? Thought 1

I was at Queer Company this weekend, taking part in a panel with Alex Beecroft (who has already blogged about this) and Chris Quinton. I had several points to make, the first of which – in brief – is this:

When we open a book we often go into a parallel universe”. I mean, if Oxford really was as it’s depicted in the books of Colin Dexter, Peter Tickler, Dorothy L Sayers and the like, nobody would allow their children to attend the university there because it would be one of the murder capitals of Europe. And you’d never be able to afford life insurance premiums if you lived in Midsomer. We know that the real world isn’t like that, but we accept the disjoint because it’s part of genre expectations. In the same way as we accept that shifters will change come the night of the full moon even if that’s scientifically impossible, although if said shifter paid for a taxi with a £25 note readers would be up in arms.

We need to get the details of our parallel universe right so that we can get away with the ‘bigger lie’!

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