If fantasy is such a stumbling block to other people, perhaps I shouldn't be writing it. That was what went through my mind when I read that email. Then I thought about it again, and I remembered all the parables Jesus told to explain a truth. I remembered the book of Revelation in the Bible. I remembered the imagery that the Lord God used to explain to Job the wonders he could perform - the making of hail in storehouses and so on. I remembered the Psalm that speaks of God gathering the waters of the sea into jars... Many of these passages in the Bible contain things that are logically impossible - that would have to imply some kind of "magic" for them to work. Yet magic is not the point of these passages. It was never the point. The message that the dramatic illustration conveyed was the point.
This is why I write fantasy, because for me, the magic is not the point. However, by using a dramatic picture, image, or extended metaphor, I can make particular difficult facets of reality easier to understand - and this understanding includes both the intellect and the heart. I hope the reader can feel what I am talking about as well. I certainly can, because writing is a process of illumination for me too.
To demonstrate what I mean: in my first book, Rafen moves from slavery to service to the Phoenix. This might seem like he hasn't attained freedom at all. Yet the circumstances surrounding his commitment to the Phoenix make it perfectly clear that the ultimate freedom was gained in this action. Those three sentences above sound complicated. However, when readers have read the book and understood the story for themselves - including the supernatural elements that paint the full picture - they have been moved by the very message that I have just spoken of (which in fact was an allegory of my own salvation).
I wish people would get past the "magic" side of fantasy and look at the story for what it is before they judge it.
Such is life, I suppose.
Anyway, on the eve of The Fourth Runi's release, Melinda of the Tattered Copy website is helping me run an e-book giveaway for Rafen, book one of The Fledgling Account. So if you want to be unendurably corrupted, you can have a go entering.