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What qualifies a series or film as "fantasy?"

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by Black Dragon, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    Helicopters and Motorbikes?? That sounds dreadful, and completely goes against the spirit of the original Warcraft games. Was there any sort of backlash from the fans?

    The flying carpets sound cool, though.

    I suppose that when most of us are using the term "fantasy," we are really referring to one of the subgenres?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2011
  2. Vita Numinous

    Vita Numinous Scribe

    Usually we are, I guess. But there is plenty of bleedover with those subgeneres, and I swear that it sometimes seems arbitrary where things end up. Some books could just as easily be in more than one subgenre, which is what makes the discussion tricky. Is there scary enough action to move it into horror? Is the romantic plot strong enough to move it into romance? Does the magical technology you thought up for your world move your book into sci-fi, even though the plot is a strong fantasy-based hero tale? Sadly, I suspect that the last say is going to be to put a book where the publisher thinks it will sell best, and not always particularly in the section that is the strongest fit for a work.

    I like and pretty much agree with what Orson Scott Card says in "How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy";

    "...Science fiction and fantasy are merely labels for [1] an arbitrary, viselike publishing category, [2] a fluid, evolving community of readers and writers, and [3] a ghetto in which you can do almost anything you like once you learn what others have already done.."

    He goes more into it in the book, and it's fun to read.

    In the end, it's debatable enough that I still don't know if I should label most of my books horror or dark fantasy. They could go either way.
  3. Behelit

    Behelit Troubadour

    There have been many appropriate ideas conveyed, I agree with the aspect of perspective.

    I actually tend not to label a film as Fantasy. I would, however, describe a particular movie's setting, themes, characters therein to be of a Fantasy sort.

    Unreality playing a basis in Fantasy is a general concept, but overall most accurate. With that said, unreality should not be confused with a fabricated reality. If I were to be more specific as to what the word Fantasy conjures in my mind, I would have to align with a stereotypical sword and sorcery, medieval atmosphere and setting, mystical creatures, magical incantations and the like.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  4. Legerdemain

    Legerdemain Troubadour

    That's an important distinction that you bring up there. Remember, the ideas of racism and other twisted views of reality are not fantasy, just fabricated reality, so while a story about a African-American President in the Romantic period of the 1850's would have seemed like pure fantasy, it was a very unfortunate view of reality. That said, Verne wrote several plausible "fantasy" stories, which I would argue are almost realistic in expectation, but possibly only in hindsight.

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