So, sub-genres were created by publishers and some smaller writing communities to form a specific niche for their audiences. Fantasy is known for having several sub-genres of varying popularity. When writing, do you have a specific sub-genre in mind? Or do you just write and worry about all that later? I think being aware of sub-genres can help a lot when navigating where you want your work published. Some markets will even specifically say what sub-genres they don't want (I see urban fantasy listed a lot for some reason.) Below I've listed several popular sub-genres in fantasy. Do you feel like your fantasy stories fit in amongst these categories? I can almost 99 percent guarantee your WIP at least partially fits into one of these sub-genres if not several of them. Most of the results paraphrased from Wikipedia. 1. Comic fantasy-typically involves a comedic aspect or can be more light-hearted. a. Terry Pratchett b. Robert Aspirin c. Piers Anthony d. Monty Python e. The Order of the Stick web comic 2. Dark fantasy-a broad genre that usually includes elements of the horror genre in a fantasy story a. The Dark Tower series b. Clive Barker c. Karl Edward Wagner d. Anne Rice 3. Contemporary fantasy-a sub-genre that usually includes a real world setting that includes elements of fantasy, such as magic or creatures, or uses alternate worlds a. The Borrowers b. Mary Poppins c. Philip Pullman d. Terry Brooks e. Night Watch f. Harry Potter 4. Heroic fantasy-a story in which a hero is put forth on a journey that he may or may not want to go on, in order to save the day/world a. Lord of the Rings b. C.S. Lewis c. T.H. White d. E.R. Eddison e. William Morris f. Evangeline Walton 5. Magic realism-a style of story in which magic is presented as being a real life, normal thing and not something out of the ordinary, usually used in real world scenarios a. Gabriel Garcia Marquez b. Toni Morrison c. Franz Kafka d. Laura Esquivel 6. Mythic fantasy-a style of fiction that draws from tropes, themes, symbolism, mythology folklore and fairy tales a. Peter S. Beagle b. Charles de Lint c. Neil Gaiman's Anasi Boys d. Susanna Clarke 7. Paranormal fantasy-usually fantasy that deals with paranormal phenomenon such as ghosts, vampires, time-travel, and psychics a. The X-Files b. Supernatural c. The Exorcist d. Stephanie Meyer 8. Sword and Sorcery-fantasy that usually deals with heavy action in addition to a warrior type character battling malevolent forces, usually wizards, warlocks, or demons a. Robert E. Howard b. Michael Moorcock c. Fritz Lieber d. Charles Saunders e. David Gemmel g. C.L. Moore 9. Epic/High Fantasy-usually these two terms are interchangeable, but this style of fantasy relies on a "secondary world" meaning a world separate from our own where the rules of physics may be different due to magic or some other aspect, also tends to be fiction that has world-wide ramifications (save the world, unite a kingdom, etc.) a. J.R.R. Tolkien b. C.S. Lewis c. Robert Jordan d. Brandon Sanderson e. David Eddings f. R.A. Salvatore g. Terry Brooks h. Terry Goodkind i. Ursula K. Le Guin j. Raymond E. Feist k. Christopher Paolini l. George R.R. Martin m. Steven Erikson 10. Low fantasy-tends to take place in the primary world (our world) and deals with magic as something that is not commonplace, tends toward realism, can be similar to contemporary fantasy a. The Green Mile b. Pippi Longstocking c. Tuck Everlasting 11. Historical fantasy-uses elements of real history to tell a fantasy story a. One Thousand and One Nights b. James Stephens c. Evangeline Walton d. Katherine Kurtz e. Percy Jackson and the Olympians f. Steampunk-uses steam technology based in worlds similar to Victorian and Edwardian periods g. Wuxia-martial arts blended with fantasy such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon h. Medieval fantasy-fantasy based in the Medieval period j. Pre-historic fantasy-fantasy based in pre-historic times such as the Earth's Children series 12. Urban fantasy-fantasy that takes place in a city or urban setting a. Laurell K. Hamilton b. Jim Butcher c. Jennifer Rardin d. Kim Harrison 13. Dying Earth-a genre in which the world is on the verge of extinction, can be SF or fantasy a. Jack Vance b. Greg Bear c. Gene Wolfe d. Brian Aldiss 14. Weird fiction-weird fiction is named such because it was around before genres became popular so it encompasses most of what was published in the pulps of the 19th and 20th Century a. H.P. Lovecraft b. Lord Dunsany c. Arthur Machen d. M.R. James e. Algernon Blackwood f. Robert E. Howard g. Shirley Jackson h. Thomas Ligotti 15. New Weird/Slipstream-a type of fiction where several different genres seem to cross over together to form a blend of each genre a. China Mieville b. Jeff VanderMeer c. Ann VanderMeer 16. Gritty fantasy-not really a defined genre, but generally has more "down and dirty" type characters and plots, can usually be combined with other genres, no characters are safe, such as life a. Glen Cook b. George R.R. Martin c. Joe Abercrombie d. Scott Lynch e. Richard K. Morgan So... Where do you fit in? Multiple places? None? Thoughts?