Monday, October 18, 2010

Fantasy Freak Week: A Growing Love Affair

There are some people who can't get enough fantasy. They spend hours dissecting the difference between green magic and charm casting and comparing the mystical rules of imaginary realms. Mixed in with books encased by cover art of wizards and mid evil ladies, they display fan art and homemade wands. I've even heard arguments break out about whether Harry Potter is high fantasy or urban fantasy and listened as someone paralleled Frodo Baggins to Christ in a church sermon. And who doesn't have an idea for a fantasy novel shoved in a drawer or box somewhere?

The point is, people take their fantasy seriously.

Then you have readers like me. While I enjoy the occasional fantasy novel, I don't consume them unilaterally as I prefer reading contemporary novels. But because of the ridiculously high volume of reading I do, I still end up reading about a dozen fantasy novels a year, and with over 20 years or reading...well, you do the math. So while I know the genre well, I'm not emotional attached to is, allowing me to be slightly more objective in my views.

This week I plan to address several different topic of fantasy lit. To kick it all off, here are the definitions of several popular fantasy sub-genres as well as an example to start your own reading lists. Keep in mind that many fantasy books use multiple elements, which means authors can create new, imaginative stories to keep the genre alive. And because I'm a YA Lit junkie, all of these books are marketed for teen readers and have all been published in the past decade.

Contemporary/Urban Fantasy: An alternate world hidden within our own world in which magic exists

Fairy Tale Fantasy: Storyline relies on folklore or legends

High Fantasy: Depicts an epic struggle between good and evil with wars, quests and a plot-driven storyline
(Two more books to come in this series)

Historical Fantasy/Alternate History: Fantastical elements in a historical setting

Low Fantasy/Fantastical Fiction: Elements of fantasy without the fantastical being the driving point of the story

Mythic Fantasy: Draws upon the themes, symbols and archetypes of mythology

Paranormal Fantasy: Where the modern world meets the spirit world
(These two books are by the same author but are not part of a series)

Science/Futuristic Fantasy: Not to be confused with Sci-Fi or Dystopian fiction--an advanced society comes from fantastical rather than scientific means

Supernatural Fantasy: Seemingly ordinary characters find extraordinary powers
(The forth book comes out this fall)

Wuxia Fantasy: Probably the fastest growing and most under-represented sub-genre in fantasy fiction--an quest for truth using Asian martial arts and mythology
(The sequel comes out this fall)

No comments:

Post a Comment