When it comes to psychic phenomena, I have a decidedly split personality. I have always been fascinated by the unexplained. From ghost stories, premonitions, reincarnation and mythology, to theories of the nature of reality and the origin of the universe, I have studied them all. The enormous popularity of Paranormal and Fantasy-themed books and movies is testament to the fact that many others are also drawn to the exploration of unexplained phenomena.
Just about everyone I’ve met has had a personal story of something that happened to them that defied logical explanation, such as:
Encounters with strange “energies”, apparitions or ghosts.
- Deceased loved ones who appeared in a dream or vision.
- Strong precognitive feelings about someone or something that came to pass, which they had no way of knowing of beforehand.
- Thinking of someone they had not seen in years, who then calls or contacts them on social media out of the blue.
Perhaps it is these encounters, these brushes with seemingly unexplainable forces is what makes Paranormal/Fantasy/Science Fiction novels, movies, and television shows so popular. It is entertaining to live in these other worlds vicariously, but sometimes it also provides an explanation for our unanswered questions. Never mind that vampires don’t really exist, that Hogwarts is not an actual school, or that zombies haven’t taken over Atlanta (yet). These stories offer a glimpse into an often over-the-top scenario of ‘what if they really did exist’?
As fascinating and entertaining as it is to read about psychic phenomena, alternate universes, and supernatural beings, in my heart I want proof. My Geek side wants an explanation! I can suspend disbelief as well as anyone while I am being entertained. But when the writer of a novel or screenplay provides a plausible explanation for the hijinks and other-worldly shenanigans going on in their story, then I am extra-thrilled. It makes the suspension of disbelief sweeter when I can imagine that it really might be possible. It shows the author paid attention to detail and has intimate knowledge of their story world. I don’t want to be distracted by glaring “that could never happen” thoughts.
What about you? Would a theory or explanation add to your enjoyment of a Paranormal or Fantasy novel? Or shall we leave that to the Science Fiction writers?