The Badly Behaved Wizards of Lev Grossman's The Magicians

Forget the snogging! This novel's hero prefers sex and recreational drug use.

Still, in a recent blog post, you wrote that there's a school of journalism that could be called the "What will these crazy nerds think of next?" school.

Well, there's a school of reporting that treats nerd culture as a freakish and hilarious aberration. This is the school that goes to the fantasy convention and takes pictures of all the cosplayers, then says, "Isn't it hilarious that somebody dresses up as a character from Sailor Moon?" It's incredible to me that there are still people who think that is amusing or weird . . . but there are.

Does fantasy get the respect it deserves among scholars?

Spells and drunken bears: Author Lev Grossman
Sam Lewis
Spells and drunken bears: Author Lev Grossman

I think the academy still regards fantasy as largely radioactive. With science fiction, they picked up on certain writers—William Gibson, Philip K. Dick—and decided, "Hey, these guys are all right," and let them into the club. Philip K. Dick is now in the Library of America. There's no fantasy in the Library of America. For some reason, it's just . . . they won't touch it. But they should.

Do you write fan fiction?

No, I never have. Unless you count The Magicians.

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