Making Fantasy a Reality

nonfiction pro Nate Aeseng pens a Tolkienesque trilogy

Rob Reid, photos by Andrea Paulseth

NOTHING COMPLEMENTS YOUR HOUSE PLANTS LIKE A GOOD FANTASY TRILOGY. Local author Nate Aeseng recently published The Five Realms.

If Nathan Aaseng isn’t the Chippewa Valley’s most prolific author ever, he certainly must be close to number one. Nate has published an astonishing 175 books with several established publishers including Enslow, Lerner, Millbrook, Lucent, Oliver Press, New Discovery Books, and Twenty-First Century Books.

Nate’s latest project is a self-published fantasy series titled The Five Realms. “It was always my dream to do something Tolkienesque, something similar to the works of C.S. Lewis,” he said. The Five Realms began a few decades back as a short story during Nate’s senior year in college. Over the years, it gradually took shape as the much larger work. Nate’s “reward” to himself was to work on the trilogy only if he put in a full day writing his other books. “This project was always fun,” he stated, “while the other books were often just work.”

Nate has his foot in two worlds. He has degrees in biology and also in English. He used both to develop the setting for The Five Realms. Nate provided the following description of the realms:

“The First Realm is so oppressively gloomy that the colors of the rainbow cannot penetrate it. The inhabitants are as dull as their surroundings. The Second Realm corresponds to our world. The Third Realm is the natural world, but more intense. Each people is blessed with a special ability. The Fourth Realm is a land of great empires, breath-taking magical powers, and noble beasts. The Fifth Realm is the spirit realm. It is far beyond our understanding and inhabited by immortal spirits with unspeakable powers. No creature can acquire powers greater than those that exist in his native realm. Nor can one retain powers beyond those of the realm he visits.”

One characteristic of fantasy is that it is an age-equalizing genre. Unlike other categories of literature, many of the great works of fantasy can be enjoyed as much by a child as by a senior citizen, and the ages in-between. Indeed, Nate has already gotten positive feedback from fans of this work, ranging from a 13 year-old to a 78-year-old man, as well as a young soldier in Iraq.

This was made by

Rob Reid  author

Rob Reid is a senior lecturer of education studies at UW-Eau Claire. In addition to writing Children’s Jukebox (ALA Editions 1995/2007), Reid has also written two more books about children’s music: Something Musical Happened at the Library (ALA Editions, 2007) and Shake and Shout: 16 Noisy, Lively S

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