"In fact, the fantastical worlds that are depicted in these books are not fantasies in a psychological sense, where you can have whatever you want. These are worlds where the problems are very real and you’re encountering problems that are recognizable from the real world in a transfigured form." He added that Westeros, for example, is not a place you’d want to escape into. Here Naomi Novik jumped in to add that, "They can be used to give you distance from where you actually are, from the topic that you want to slip in there for your readers." That distance, Grossman concluded, can give you "traction on real issues and real problems."

Yes and yes and yes.