fantasy and science fiction book reviewsSo, I don’t know if you’ve noticed here in the states (for those of you who are in the states), but there’s this thing going on called the World Cup, which is basically just a month long journey of concentrated awesomeness. I’ve been watching the World Cup, and after straining my throat yelling at the game this morning, from my nice office on an entirely separate continent and hemisphere from the actual action, I wondered why my emotional involvement in this distant event was considered normal. There were so many people watching the game at work today that the walls actually shook from the screaming and jumping up and down when Landon Donovan scored his goal in stoppage time.  My husband, a thoroughly heterosexual man, texted me and said, “I want to have Donovan’s baby.” And for some reason this lunacy is considered normal.

And then I remembered.

The times I have yelled at a character. “Seriously, you’re going to play games with the big mysterious magical artifact now? Deep in the evil overlord’s palace? Really?”

The book that has been thrown across the room hard enough to break its spine. Not to put the book out of its misery, but to end my misery from reading it.

The tears shed as a beloved character has died. The shock of grief. The denial.  The turning the last page looking for the story to continue and your friend to be miraculously saved, only to be greeted by the author’s biography on the dustcover.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsAnd I realized that for an audience, the emotional connection to an event is the same for a reader and a good book, as for a vuvuzela wielding, flag waving, face painted fanatic jumping up and down in a stadium on a foreign continent.

So ‘fess up, dear readers: What’s the strongest emotional reaction you’ve ever had reading a book?

The reader who comments with the best story of (true) emotional craziness in your reading history will win a hardcover copy of The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass, or a different book from our ever-deepening stacks.


  • Ruth Arnell

    RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

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