....not writing a fantasy novel? Am I the only person who finds the real world rich enough in life, emotion and circumstance to use as a setting for a story? Our world is home to backdrops both classically spectacular and, conversely, so reassuringly ordinary that they are beautiful. To me, a run down block of flats in the east end of London, stretching up into a malevolent sky, its washing lines thrashed and beaten by a November squall is far more evocative than a make-believe land of mountains which are home to dragons and trolls. And as humans, the constraints placed upon us both morally and physically serve as perfect parameters for drama and confilct. Circumventing these rules by providing protagonists with unusual powers and characteristics seems unnecessary. It's almost cheating. I know that not everyone who contributes to these pages is a sci fi/fantasy geek, but it does seem to be the dominant genre. I suppose the question I am posing to them is, what is the appeal of a fantasy story?