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Is Fantasy really doomed to die?

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

  1. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I was in a Walmart Supercenter recently and for the first time in a few years walked through their book section. I saw multiple Western novels available, actually more Westerns than fantasies, I think. Which was something of a let-down, although I haven't bought a book from Walmart in well over a decade and had no intention to buy one. As a young kid and then a teenager in the '70's and '80's, living just outside a small town that didn't have a book store, supermarkets and Walmart were like heaven, for their book sections.
     
  2. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    This is interesting because for a long time publishers insisted that the western was dead. Then self-publishers came along and started writing the books they wanted to instead of the books publishers told them to, and proved that there is still a market for Westerns.

    Seriously, if anyone EVER tells you that a type of story is dead, just laugh in their face because they almost certainly have no real idea what kinds of books readers truly want.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't think Westerns have ever really gone out of style. They were on the shelves in Walmart, at least in the midwest, through the 90s and into the first decade of the 2000s. Particulary, authors like Ralph Cotton and L'amour still sell, and William Johnstone has been selling a lot of westerns traditionally from his start in the 1980s up until his death in the early to mid-2000s. His books sold so much that another author was chosen to carry on his various series.
     
  4. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Isn't the decline of westerns mostly a film phenomenon though?
     
  5. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    It is, though the literature side of it had a pretty big decline from its peak, too.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yeah, I think it dwindled from its peak but there are a handful of Western authors that have still sold a lot of books over the last two or three decades.
     
  7. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    I hope this is true. I love a well written western. I buy used stuff by Lamour all the time to read tight, razor sharp prose when I feel I am getting too wordy.

    I do know from my friends who write and work in the romance field that western romances sell pretty darned well.

    Loves the movies as well, but I think much of their day has passed.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Elmore Leonard wrote some good westerns, and both Ralph Cotton and William Johnstone are good reads.
     
    Russ likes this.
  9. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    The boom in popularity of comic book heroes and villains, though not exclusively in the fantasy camp, should dispel the notion that this type of content is dying.

    Maybe a particular style of fantasy storytelling is becoming less popular.
     
  10. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Fantasy stories will never die. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
     
  11. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

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    The premise that fantasy could die out strikes me as deeply flawed. Even something like rock music isn't dead yet, it's just going the way of jazz.
     
  12. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    I think Fantasy is stronger than its ever been, especially now that it's cooler for girls than it was 25 years ago.

    There are more younger people with buying power than there was 40 years ago, plus it's much simpler now to increase the frequency of sales because of on-line sales and the more popular use of credit cards.

    Wanna buy a song? Just throw it on the parents iTunes account. Same with Kindle.

    No more mowing lawns or working on a farm to earn the money to buy books or music anymore.

    The market just looks askew because of added consumers.

    A good example of this is some of the aging rock stars from the sixties. Some of the pioneers of rock were really heavy into meaningful lyrics that spoke about the troubles of the times.

    Those that are still living, often complain about the pop stars of today and how music has changed.

    I disagree. With easier access to songs and more time on their hands than adults, teens and younger kids are consuming more of the music that is fun for them. They are not facing the draft, or burning bras, they are watching cartoons and playing games.

    When this group of kids gets to be 5 to 10 years older, then they will start to explore other types of music and books. Fewer people buy entire albums now, but more songs are being purchased overall.

    It's kind of like Adam Sandler fans. They grow up and then realize he doesn't seem as funny as when they were 16.

    Western movies are a little bit different story because they appealed more to the baby boomers and television westerns were popular in the 50's and 60's when they were young.

    But soon Clint Eastwood and John Wayne will seem brand new to the younger crowd and they will learn to love westerns too.

    The hard part is getting people to see your work with all the digital noise crowding up the room.
     
  13. A.J.

    A.J. Dreamer

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    There's still a huge romance western market though.:rolleyes: Gravy.
     
  14. ScorpionWoman

    ScorpionWoman Dreamer

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    I agree, I do not think fantasy is dying. Some are simply putting too restrictive parameters around what they consider fantasy. It's become so broad they would have to actually look for what they wanted. As always something's are going to be more popular than others Twilight spot lighted Vampires and Wolves, didn't mean dragons and mermaids ceased.
    Even writers can be narrow minded.
     
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