• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

blog World-building Historical Fantasy (or, of Unicorns and Icebergs)

Featured Author submitted a new blog post:

World-building Historical Fantasy (or, of Unicorns and Icebergs)
This article is by Assaph Mehr.


I was recently invited by a closed Facebook group (the Historical Fantasy Book Club, which I’d highly recommend) to do an "author takeover". I thought rather than talking about my usual topics (Romans, and their obsession with fantastical beasts and how to cook them), I'd try to create a broader discussion, one about the various shades of Historical fantasy – specifically how much and what type of "history" are addressed in books of this genre.

This turned into a lively and thought-provoking discussion, so I’ve expanded my short and fragmented musings there into an article about how Unicorns and Icebergs are related (or about defining and world-building historical fantasy, if you’d prefer).

Types of Historical Fantasy

First, let’s describe what historical fantasy is and exactly what makes a work fall under this heading. I see this as a scale (nothing in life is ever simply binary). On the one hand is a real, well-researched historical setting with just a touch of the paranormal. Certainly more than a simple "superstition" that could be explained away (like in The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Conan Doyle), but the occult references would be limited. Often a magical...
Continue reading the Original Blog Post.