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Your Preferred Sub-Genre

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Philip Overby, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Wulvaine

    Wulvaine Dreamer

    While it's entirely possible that Terry Pratchett simply isn't for you, just let me say that I'm a huge fan and The Colour of Magic sucks. Early Pratchett is all parody, and most of it is honestly pretty bad. It's well before Pratchett found his feet in the setting or defined his own voice, the characters are still very flat, and the humor is less character-based, somehow simultaneously less good-natured and less cutting, and not really in the vein of what he does best. In my opinion, he didn't really settle into the Pratchett I love until about 1991 with Reaper Man. The books before have their moments, but from that point on the kind of genius that has firmly set him in place as one of my favorite authors in any genre started to blossom. It's around the turn of the decade that he figured out how to do truly clever satire in concert with great storytelling rather than weak parody for its own sake. My personal favorite sub-series is the City Watch line. If you should ever decide to give Pratchett one last chance, I'd recommend reading Night Watch. Chronologically, it takes place fairly late in the City Watch line but stands alone pretty well, and is in my opinion his finest work period.

    As for my writing, I don't really think of it in terms of genre while writing. I have a strong tendency towards epic fantasy, though. My novel-in-progress is pretty squarely in the Sanderson camp of epic fantasy.
  2. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I have a similar feeling about The Colour of Magic. I really want to like it, but have had trouble with it. I think I like the idea of Pratchett's writing because I'd like to read more comic fantasy. So thanks for saying something because I may try some of these books you've mentioned.
  3. rockman

    rockman Acolyte

    I'm mostly in the heroic, mythic, sword+sorcery, and epic/high fantasy genres.

    That being said, I am a huge fan of Lovecraft and Howard, so I would like to do weird fantasy.
  4. ...I really liked Colour of Magic. I got a lot less interested in the world after he stopped writing Rincewind.

  5. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    I am #14 [weird fiction] so much it hurts. I love Shirley Jackson and Lord Dunsany, and have been meaning to read Lovecraft and Machen for much too long. Heck, I had a small fanirl attack seeing their names on here!
    I definetly have a #6 [mythic fantasy] edge to go with it, though. I always have, even when I played with barbies when I was little.

    As for my own tastes my favourites are #3 and #6[contemporary and mythic]. I'm very picky with #4 and #9[heroic and epic fantasy]; I avoid #12 and #8 [urban fantasy and sword and sorcery] at all costs. Urban fantasy's plagued with sex, and sword and sorcery all sounds the same to me more often than not.
  6. mjmonarch

    mjmonarch Dreamer

    #9 Like having character last as well, though not necessarily indestructible. Love action, action and more action. Let's put Michael Bay to shame.
  7. ZoeBrooks

    ZoeBrooks New Member

    5 and 6 are my favourites. I like some realism in my fiction.

    But I do like Pratchett - Weird Sisters, Hatful of Sky, Eric/Faust. Good Omens which he co-wrote with Gaiman is wonderful.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  8. Well, as a reader, I'll read any of the list. In fact, I have read and enjoyed at least something from all of those lists!

    Writing wise? My main series right now blends elements of contemporary and dark. Think Buffy TV series meets Harry Dresden and you'll have an idea where I am aiming, thematically. ;)

    I also write some things which combine elements of heroic, mythic, and epic fantasy as they are described above. I tend to often write about things that aren't world shattering, though. So, not about stopping the end of the world, but more about a specific happening that is of vital importance to those characters, but not necessarily of importance to people thousands of miles away from them, if you get my meaning.
  9. Varamyrr

    Varamyrr Minstrel

    Well if I should categorize myself then put me in the #8,9,14 group.
    Although A Song of Ice and Fire is hyped right now, I have to say that I've read very few books that can keep me entertained like GoT did. I also like GRRM's approach on his POV-characters. It allows you to see a lot of the world in a very short time. Most importantly, it is very well paced. A charateristic that I liked in 'Blood of Elves' (written by Sapkowski). Oh and let's not forget that heads should roll. :)
  10. hyluvian

    hyluvian Dreamer

    Wow... I had no idea the fantasy genre was broken down quite so much.

    Like a lot of people here I can't place myself really into any single genre. A lot of what I write tends to spill out all over the place, and I think that gives the whole story a better feel - more 3 dimensional if you will. Items that usually find their way into my writing however, tend to include:

    Dark (sometimes, though not that often)
    Magic Reality
    Mythic Reality
    Epic/High fantasy
    Gritty (since all things are portrayed as just being the norm I can get into the 'realism' of my own little world)
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    I don't know. I read a fair amount of it and I don't find that to be the case. Thinking of more recent reads, The Dresden Files, Sandman Slim, some of Neil Gaiman, Simon Green, Kat Richardson, Emma Bull, Tanya Huff, Charles de Lint, and so on. Not much plaguing by sex in those. Sure, there are the urban fantasies that really flow over into paranormal romance that have a lot of sex into them, but the entire genre can't be so broadly characterized, in my view.
    Weaver likes this.
  12. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Love Sapkowski. Not sure why he doesn't get mentioned more amongst great writers. His writing style isn't too flashy (which I appreciate), but he makes up for it with cool characters with interesting and engaging plots.
  13. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    I don't really have a preferred for reading. I enjoy them all. One of the great elements of fantasy is the variety offered by the genre.

    For writing I tend to prefer:
    Dark & Gritty combined with either Low or Urban (at least for now).
  14. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    I just think of most female written urban fantasy.. like Kim Harrison, Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, P.C. Cast... not saying there aren't good writers in the genre. I don't even think of Gaiman as urban, honestly, not American Gods. I think of him as more mythic, as I do of Emma Bull [namely War for the Oaks].

    So many of the plots sound the same to me, the formulas aren't elaborated on; the cover art is terrible, and overall it feels more like tacky wish fulfillment than anything. Not saying they're all like that.... there's just quite a few of them I wouldn't exactly grieve for if their fingers walked right off their hands one night >_>

    Oh, and there's also James Patterson... Maximum Ride, Wizard & Witch.. *cringes*
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator


    I've seen arguments made for Gaiman both ways, but I think Emma Bulls' War for the Oaks (great book) is firmly entrenched as urban fantasy. I've even seen her given credit for starting the subgenre of urban fantasy with that book. In any event, I think there is a lot of bad urban fantasy out there, and also some good stuff :)
    Weaver likes this.
  16. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    It's true, they're not all bad.. I'm just tormented by the bad and am careful where I tread in the genre because of it. :p
  17. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    I don't mind the first three Maximum Ride books, though I think he kinda jumped the shark with the fourth one. The whole "save the earth" focus came right the heck out of nowhere, not to mention the spontaneous development of new powers for everyone.
  18. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Inkling

    What's your sub genre?

    I've seen a lot of new ideas floating around from writers both budding and experienced. Recently I also read an article concerning all the different rising sub genres - not counting picking a word and sticking -punk on the end.

    So, at a push, what SUB genre would you put your current/most recent work into? And, to make it worthwhile, why?

    Can be existing or make up a new one - start a trend!

    EDIT -

    Sorry, forgot to lead by example.

    For my main work at the moment, the closest existing sub-genre is Dark Fantasy. However, its not really dark as in evil, haunting yes, but not evil. It is more bittersweet. So will have to go out on a limb and say Fantasy Tragedy (Tragic Fantasy sounds too defeatist).
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  19. Ghost

    Ghost Inkling

    My everything of mine is dark fantasy when it's not horror. Some of my stories have mythic elements drawn from folk song, folklore, and fairy tales. The rest have weird elements; the characters are more well-rounded, the tone more emotional. They tend to be more graphic than the mythic stories.

    I'd like to bridge the gap between the two or at least put them in the same neighborhood. The story I wrote for the second Chopped challenge comes close to doing that. I hope I can find my voice so the styles are less disparate.

    For reading, most of the subgenres are fine, but I avoid heroic and and humorous fantasy. I haven't read much (any?) sword & sorcery or dying earth type stuff.
  20. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    I usually read, I think at least, Low Fantasy but I've never really put much effort to fit my reading into any particular genre.
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