Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guest Blog - Fantasy: Where are we Going?

I would like to take a moment to introduce you to a new friend and blogger; Jacob from his new blog called Drying_Ink. Please, stop by his blog and check out his reviews of fabulous Fantasy and Science Fiction books, by amazing authors like Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Guy Gavriel Kay, Raymond Feist, Robin Hobb, and many others.

Without further wait here is Jacobs' fabulous guest blog. Please leave a comment as we can all discuss and don't forget to stop over to Jacobs' blog to say hello...

The floor is all yours Jacob.

Fantasy: Where Are We Going?

It's easy enough to say fantasy's going somewhere - but where exactly are we going? Let's take a brief look, starting with one brief (if flawed) assumption:

We're moving away from the epic fantasy.

Which, admittedly, on the surface, is true - but we'll come back to our much-maligned epic later. It's evident that the genre as a whole is moving away from the serious, Tolkienesque-epic. Likewise, it's now rare that fantasy's heavyweight contenders use the generic races - you're not seeing Erikson re-enacted with dwarves, are you? (There are exceptions, of course.) In fact, we're moving towards predominantly human-based fantasy. Human conflicts, human wars - human morals. We've got books like Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen, which, although featuring many races, focuses around a human empire - the Malazan.

What else? We're certainly seeing more crossovers between fantasy and other genres - like Neil Stephenson's excellent Anathem (an eclectic blend of science, science fiction and the fantastic), and more fantasy-crime novels in the urban fantasy genre, like Jim Butcher's popular Dresden Files. Urban fantasy as a genre is growing, too. Then we've got another shift - towards moral relativism. We're moving away from the moral absolutes of yesteryear, and more towards our more solid fare: shades of grey and our complex moral conflict. I'll mention Abercrombie here, too - and much as I hate to succumb to fanboy-ism, I'll have to mention Erikson as well.

What else? Well, on the shelves now, you'll be seeing - in a month's time - The Gathering Storm, part of the continuation of Jordan's epic fantasy - and there'll most likely be a rise in similar books, too. The epic fantasy certainly isn't dead, either. It's merely adapted away from absolutes and our generic fantasy world. And the rest of the genre is diversifying, too - we've got classics with mythological monsters, we've got a boom in steampunk. Fantasy is diversifying, and fast - and it's continuing to grow faster than we can predict it. So that means by the time you've read this post - I'm wrong! So just take a look at your local bookstore instead, and see for yourself the changes.

Jacob - Drying_Ink


  1. I hope the epic fantasy doesn't disappear. I have to admit that I like this type the best. And historical fantasy...which could probably be classified under epic fantasy as well.

    Great post Jacob!

    Thanks Mel =o)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry that was me deleting that comment, pressed wrong button. Thanks for introducing Jacob, Melissa. Not normally my type of read but I enjoyed his post and will certainly visit him over at Drying Ink.

  4. Very cool post! I loved it, Jacob. Very thought- provoking :)

    I'll be sure to stop by your blog :)

  5. Thanks Jacob for this wonderful post.

    I am hoping the epic series are not over as well. I love following the series through. I just hope that they are new and exciting to keep me coming back and not repeating itself in each book. That is my worry, but other wise I love epic!

  6. I would love to thank everyone for commenting on this post and stopping over to say hello to Jacob. He really does have a wonderful blog going with great information to share on many awesome books. I hope to see you all over there from time to time.

  7. Interesting post. I'm now following Drying Ink.

  8. Hi Jessica! Great to see you stopped. Thanks for stopping by Jacobs Blog. Hope to see you around there.

  9. Interesting post. I've never really been a big fan of the epic fantasy series, but think there will always be a market for them. Think it's wonderful that fantasy is finally getting long overdue attention and is growing in so many different ways, shapes, and forms. Can't wait to see what the future holds either!

  10. Thanks, everyone! Again, I'm really grateful to Melissa for allowing me the opportunity to guest blog here. :) I feel exactly the same: fantasy's now getting the attention it deserves - maybe slowly, but it's getting there.




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