Art And Culture

Works of Fantasy, Fiction Ignored

Unlike the global scenario, works of fantasy and fiction are overshadowed by realistic novels locally
Trophies and commendation plaques of the  fourth Fiction Contest 'Legends'Trophies and commendation plaques of the  fourth Fiction Contest 'Legends'

The best of fantasy, horror and science fiction genres were awarded at the closing ceremony of the fourth Fiction Contest 'Legends' held at Tehran's Andisheh Cultural Center on Tuesday, August 23.

The festival secretariat received more works at this year's edition compared to the previous rounds, and a total of 362 works by 224 authors were submitted, IBNA reported.

As the festival secretary Solmaz Qanbari said, the submissions comprised of 313 long novels and 49 short stories. After the initial evaluations, 52 works reached the finals including 30 fantasy, 11 science fiction and 11 horror stories.

"Fantasy literature is on the rise in the world," Qanbari said noting that there is a new wave of interest in writing fantasy novels in Iran and more authors are including it in their work "as readers find it trendy."

Shahram Eqbalzadeh, 62, veteran children's author and translator, pointed to the negligence of fantasy literature in the country and said that unlike the global scenario, works of fantasy and fiction are overshadowed by realistic novels locally.

He said followers of realism "humiliate fantasy works believing they are juvenile and have no link with the real life of people." On the other hand, fantasy lovers criticize non-fiction literature for being "free of imagination and thus not perdurable."

This is while there is wealth of non-fiction as well as fantasy masterpieces in the world, Eqbalzadeh added.

"It is not right to compare the two genres. Stories are manifestations of what goes on in the authors' mind. What differentiates between fantasy and real works is that in a fantasy piece, a non-existent world is created; all the literary elements (plot, theme, character and tone) are purely imaginary," he explained.

  Award Winners

In the fantasy genre, the short story 'The Light That Faded' written by Mohammad Faezifar and the long novel 'The Community of the Asleep 2' by Puria Shojaee were titled the best.

The seven-member jury, in the horror genre, presented the top awards to the short story 'Freedom of the Imprisoned Demon' by Majid Dehqan Nasiri and the long novel 'Shovuman' (name of a fictional village) by Nazanin Judat.

In the science fiction genre, the short story 'Tehran 9413' by Mahsa Takapumanesh Baqaee and the long novel 'Two Unique Ones' by Majid Dehqan Nasiri received the festival trophies.

'Percy Jackson' written by Rick Riordan, translated by Maryam Heidary and published by Behnam Publication was selected as the 'Legend of the Year' and Parian Publishers was titled the best publication of legendary works.

The jury also appreciated the attempts in writing fictional stories by Iranian writers and said in a statement that "creativity and innovation in the plots, themes, characters which have turned the ancient legends into modern stories and novels have been appealing."