I love Epic Fantasy. I have done since I discovered it when I was 16. I haven't always had a happy relationship with it. And for a while, I swore it off. That said, I've always wanted to have a lengthy discussion about how traditional Epic Fantasy handles the Good vs Evil thing and whether it's...well... ethical, frankly. Because I don't believe that it is.
I believe in little 'e' evil--that is, mundane evil. The evil of ordinary selfishness or a lack of empathy or perspective. Oh, and thoughtlessness...that deserves a little 'e' evil mention. Miserliness for sure gets my vote. It's why I have issues with people who are mean-spirited about government programs. All of those things are encountered in the every day world. It's why I loved Pratchett and Gaiman's Good Omens so much.
"There were people who called themselves Satanists who made Crowley squirm. It wasn't just the things they did, it was the way they blamed it all on Hell. They'd come up with some stomach-churning idea that no demon could have thought of in a thousand years, some dark and mindless unpleasantness that only a fully-functioning human brain could conceive, then shout "The Devil Made Me Do It" and get the sympathy of the court when the whole point was that the Devil hardly ever made anyone do anything. He didn't have to. That was what some humans found hard to understand. Hell wasn't a major reservoir of evil, any more than Heaven, in Crowley's opinion, was a fountain of goodness; they were just sides in the great cosmic chess game. Where you found the real McCoy, the real grace and the real heart-stopping evil, was right inside the human mind."
Humans are complex and subtle creatures--even the big 'E' Evil ones. Oh, sure. Big 'E' Evil exists, but we're more likely to run into little 'e' evil and Epic Fantasy as a genre doesn't handle little 'e' evil very well. And I suspect that the mindset predisposed to view the world in absolutes of Good vs Evil is far less likely to catch on when actual evil is being done--at least, that's how I view the current US political climate. So, does a simplistic view of Good versus Evil in SFF do readers a disservice? I'm starting to wonder. Maybe in order to spot evil with a little 'e' and stop it, we need to practice seeing it for what it is? Maybe? I don't know. I'm still thinking on it.
 There were the dark days of near constant white, straight male characters who find the sword/ring/gem and go forth into the forest to discover the thief/wizard/bard/sidekick du jour who then joins the party until a whole set is collected and then they fight the Dark Lord/Big Bad and win... and zero anything else. So, boring.
 That was one of the points I'd planned on getting around to with the Fey and the Fallen and never got the chance. [sigh] At the time, the main theme I was focused on revolved around vengeance.
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is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.