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Is Fantasy really doomed to die?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Amanita, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Edgemaker

    Edgemaker Scribe

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    I am with you there. If I write a fantasy novel, I am going to try my hardest to be original about it but I think that I will put together some parts of some fantasy that I like into it.
     
  2. epublishabook

    epublishabook Dreamer

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    That makes you a kidult :) the new term to describe adult who enjoy reading YA literature. This is a term that was born following Harry Potter success both with adults and the intended audience of YA. It is also a term that is widely used nowadays in the publishing world when describing target market. So you are not alone ... :p
     
  3. Aegle

    Aegle Minstrel

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    I just think the best writers aren't as marketable as those newer authors. I think true Fantasy fans will keep to their roots and genre though, no matter how mainstream more adolescent inclined writers take to mainstream. :)
     
  4. epublishabook

    epublishabook Dreamer

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    My book is about a rescue mission led by the two main characters, a young girl who believes in magic and legend and a quantum physics genius who explains every single avent through science. Now, it is not science fiction because it has elements of supernatural, nor is it fantasy, because it has science. Where does that leave me?
     
  5. Aegle

    Aegle Minstrel

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    Erm, perhaps what age of industry/invention the world has? I think genre in terms of industrial progress. I could be dead-wrong though! :p If you were referring to "Medieval" Fantasy, otherwise I believe Fantasy could apply to nearly anything with a magical foundation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  6. pskelding

    pskelding Troubadour

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    Thanks to Bookscan we now can safely say that fantasy is an evergreen genre. This means that fantasy always sells and will always sell. It will have the spikes and the dips like other evergreen genres mystery, military thrillers and horror. But it will always be bought by publishers and readers. So fantasy writers will always have a chance.

    I think the demise of sci-fi has been quicker because our society has advanced so rapidly. Nanotech was a dream in the 80s and now doctors are using it only 20 years later. Cyberpunk has basically died because most of it's underpinnings are common technology and culture now. The only successful scifi now is the space operas by Peter Hamilton and others or super hard scifi and only barely successful. I don't want you all to deride me for speaking the truth that is contained in the Bookscan numbers. I love me my scifi; Jon Scalzi, James SA Corey, Peter Hamilton, Sean Williams, and others but it just isn't selling as well as fantasy is save for the big scifi writers.

    People have been saying for 2 years that the urban fantasy genre was going to die out like the vampire boom in horror. It hasn't and probably won't because it's an offshoot of traditional fantasy. We can thank a big part of that on 2 Harry's - Potter and Dresden.

    I think we also can't forget about fantasy and sci-fi readers. They are generally more up on current technology and were the first to buy kindles and ebooks on their phones. They were leading the way for the industry and demanded that the sci-fi and fantasy publishers provide ebooks. When the new wave of epublishing hits, call it 2.0 with interactive books once again fantasy and sci-fi readers will lead the way demanding LOTR Interactive etc. Most of the authors playing around in interactive ebooks now are fantasy and sci-fi.

    There is a bright future indeed for fantasy and hopefully sci-fi.
     
  7. epublishabook

    epublishabook Dreamer

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    I just submitted my manuscript to MuseItUp Publishing. Wish me luck :)
     
    Ronald T. likes this.
  8. Vandroiy

    Vandroiy Dreamer

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    I think it is strange to use "young adult" as a counterpart to "Epic/High Fantasy".

    Quite frankly, I was always hoping to get (and now make) something that is both. My favorite styles of fantasy are epic world-driven fantasy like Wheel of Time, but also what some call Super Power of Shounen Manga that almost jump in your face.

    Now the latter is obviously "young adult", as that is the target audience. But I don't really see a contradiction here, a story can both have a large, well-designed world and flashy scenes and development suitable for a young adult audience. In fact, when I read one style, I often miss the other.

    If you ask me for two poles, I would name "world-driven story" as one, in which the inner logic of the world dominates how the story develops. I just watched the Game of Thrones TV series -- that is it, where the world's rules are ruthlessly applied unless it really hurts the story. Its counterpart would be "story-driven world", as in Harry Potter, where the rules bend to produce some desired outcome, even if it appears unlikely or leaves loopholes that just nobody in the story happened to see. I dislike the latter kind, its worlds survive only via ignorance of its own past features or repeated appearance of the Deus Ex Machina.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  9. Guy

    Guy Inkling

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    It may not be dying out, but for those of us who like high fantasy and don't like YA it's a bit of a wasteland right now. Going into the fantasy section of my local bookstores is an exercise in frustration. The last fantasy I read was the Transitions trilogy by R.A. Salvatore and it was a thundering disappointment.
     
  10. Emeria

    Emeria Scribe

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    Cookie-cutter is worse (and more prevalent) in romance novels.
     
  11. Mistresselysia

    Mistresselysia Scribe

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    Good luck!!

    R.A. Salvatore lost it a few years ago in my opinion - I used to really enjoy his stuff, but as time went on, his characters became more and more ridiculous until they became caricatures of themselves. Just look at poor Drizzt!

    As I have said in another thread, the problem with High fantasy as I see it is that it has become so bloated and self-important over the years that it has become complacent. It seems to be dominated by a few big names, and the more they add to their massive opuses, the more self-indulgent they become to the point where they become parodies of themselves. I feel the genre is ripe for re-invention: it needs a leaner, more hungry set of writers to come and take it by the balls, so to speak; get rid of the fat and take it to new places... but whether a publisher would be willing to take the risk, given the reputation high fantasy has right now in the eyes of the general populace (that it is largely the domain of the basement dwelling nerd with no social skills and an obsession with elves in skimpy chainmail) is another matter entirely...

    Definitely - but that doesn't mean fantasy should be allowed to get away with it, just because other genres do it too. And I'm saying this as a dyed in the wool fantasy fan - a lot of fantasy IS cookie cutter stuff, and it is damaging the genre as a whole. Publishers are just as guilty of perpetuating this as anyone else (after all, they hold the keys to the castle), and it is up to writers and readers to demand something different. Problem is - who is going to take that risk? It's hard enough to get your foot into the door of the publishing world as it is; I can see exactly why so many writers play it safe.

    As for fantasy being doomed to die - as long as humans dream of something other than what goes on in this reality, then no, fantasy will not die. But it does have to evolve and move with the times. And it has to stop trying to re-write Lord of the Rings! (There is a wry joke in Industrial music circles that every single Industrial band is a Ministry side project - well, it sometimes feels that every single high fantasy novel is a Lord of the Rings side project. And as much as I love LotR, in order for the genre to survive, it's time to let Frodo go...)
     
  12. Guy

    Guy Inkling

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    Yeah, I started getting a little worried when he started having Drizzt do those damn monologues at the beginning of a section. I consider that to be a huge rule violation - you shouldn't need a monologue for the readers to get to know your character. It should be a natural occurance as they read the story.
     
  13. RedRidingHood

    RedRidingHood Dreamer

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    I don't think fantasy is dying, but it does need to start rapidly evolving. You can only create so many worlds, with so many powers. The challenge when writing is to think to yourself "huh does this feel familiar?" If it does, examine it and see how you can make it fresh and new, strange and less familiar. That's the only way to ensure any genre stays alive.
     
  14. Metalfist

    Metalfist Dreamer

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    Fantasy will never die, but the definition of what designates a piece of writing as fantasy will evolve. It's like the conversation batted around in gaming circles, "what defines an RPG?" You could take almost anything that is not written as non-fiction and call it fantasy. A western novel is as much a fantasy as a detective novel or the latest offering by Stephen King. Sure I'm stretching things a bit thin, but they're all fueled by someone sitting in front of a keyboard, intent on exercising a vivid imagination. High fantasy simply takes everything to the nth degree.
     
  15. mrmister

    mrmister Dreamer

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    I'm a new member. So it's fine.
     
  16. Leif GS Notae

    Leif GS Notae Closed Account

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    Fantasy will never really die out, it always goes through cycles. It always thrives as a way to escape from the reality of the world, but the same thing was said about the western novels before it. Any escapism will always draw readers.

    I hate to say it, but seeing the statistics of how many adults pick up a book after they graduate, it is a miracle any book sells at this point. There is a reason why YA thrives right now, it seems that this is the last most of them remember enjoying (opinion and personal research with friends only, your results may vary).

    Even though I get chided for this; the attention span for the long, plodding novel of yesteryear is shot. To write in that strain is a death sentence before you get started. If we (as writers) cannot evolve and change to meet our customer's demands and requirements, we will be doomed to fail. This is why flash fiction is growing, this is why the 1000 word story seems to be grabbing more attention since it is quick and easy but still satisfying to most readers.
     
  17. chrisw

    chrisw Acolyte

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    Anyone who says fantasy is doomed to die should consider how much revenue was generated by Harry Potter and Twilight alone over the last couple years. Fantasy is stronger than ever.
     
  18. Privid

    Privid Acolyte

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    I think fantasy will thrive, albeit in different forms and even mediums, such as games. Besides, I think the stressful fashion of our lives will promote more and more escapism over time and I think fantasy is perfect dor that.
     
  19. Konstanz

    Konstanz Minstrel

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    Fantasy is becoming more mainstream... It's no longer limited to dorky figures hiding in shadows with a stash of books and a laptop with WoW on it.

    Think about all the HBO series that are historical/fantasy that are being made!? Camelot, Spartacus, The Borgias, The Tudors etc. Yes most of that is historical, but historical leans very closely to the (low) fantasy genre. Also, I didn't mention the most important series of that yet:

    Game of Thrones.

    Game of Thrones is very popular right now and if you haven't heard of the series yet, you've been living under a rock for the past six months.
     
  20. Graham Irwin

    Graham Irwin Sage

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    Fantasy will die! It will bow it's head and to the evil lords of non-fiction!

    As the masses cry and bewail their literal, gray, boring lives, the evil fantasy lords will suck all imagination out of your pathetic human brains and humans will dream no more!

    Our time has come at last! When the bullies no longer let the D&D kids play in the corner of the schoolyard, when the Warcrafters of the world are all just dusty skeletons behind their computers, it will be our day!

    Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!

    *the previous was as ridiculous as thinking that fantasy story-telling would ever fall out of fashion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
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