Sunday, 28 February 2016

'F' is for Fantasy

(...That's it, I'm resigning.)

Are you kidding? Fairies, dragons, portals to whole new worlds...what's not to like?

(How about the fact that this is BROADER THAN ENEMIES. AND YOU ACTUALLY WENT WITH IT.)

Okay, I'll give you that. Fantasy is, after all, an umbrella term for any genre that incorporates the impossible. Magic, myth, walking down a street without a flyer being shoved in your face - these are all things you'll find in fantasy. It would take millenia to go through every sub-genre of fantasy, so we're going to stick to four of the major ones.

Urban Fantasy is fantasy set in our world. Witches roam the streets of London, Chicago and Brooklyn. Werewolves prowl through Minnesota. Fairies flit around the English countryside. Usually, the impossibility is hand-waved by the fact that we, the readers, are made blind to the magical world by some kind of powerful magic.

Urban Fantasy books include -

High Fantasy is what we call stories set in other worlds. In these, the world-building tends to be very in-depth and absorbing. Human is not necessarily the only species, with fairies, elves, orcs, trolls, dwarves, gods, pixies, selkies and merfolk all popping up from time to time. There's also usually a prophecy.

(Who do you think you're kidding? There's always a prophecy.)

Almost always. But that's how I like them.

High Fantasy books include -

   Portal Fantasy is a sub-genre of high fantasy which takes characters from our world and drops them into the other world. These characters tend to act as audience surrogates.

Portal Fantasy books include -

Mythological Fantasy is fantasy which incorporates gods, monsters and stories from one (or many) mythologies. Classical, Norse, Celtic, anything is fair game. Sometimes, this crosses over with Urban Fantasy.

Mythological Fantasy books include -

Historical Fantasy is fantasy set in the past. Obviously, it isn't entirely accurate. Vikings did not keep dragons as pets, Elizabeth I was not a witch, and Henry VIII was not possessed by Zeus (as far as we know). Sometimes crosses over with Mythological Fantasy.

Historical Fantasy books include -

Of course, there are many many more sub-genres of fantasy, but these are four of the most common. 

What's your favourite genre of fantasy? 

(What's the best fantasy novel you've ever read?)

Blasphemy! There can never be only one!

And, finally, we're having a fantasy-creature smack-down! *Takes a deep breath* Dragons vs fairies vs elves vs orcs vs dwarves vs selkies vs merfolk vs pixies vs trolls vs ghosts. Which would win? And which do you love the most?
(Now who's the blasphemer?)