Fantastical Fields

I was down in the local bookstore the other day and browsing through my favourite section – the fantasy/science fiction section.  It didn’t take me long to notice something. Other than the fantasy section being crowded by Robert Jordan, Twilight and its sequels and J.R.R. Tolkien, the fantasy being sold the bookstore could be classified into three different types:

1. Epic Fantasies;

2. Vampires; and

3. Wizard schools

Fantasy is supposed to be the field where anything goes.  If you can dream it, you should be able to write it.  But it seems as though Fantasy has become bogged down by retelling the same stories again and again.

Vampires are big right now.  But when haven’t they been big?  Ever since Bram Stoker brought Count Dracula more than a hundred years ago (although I speak under correction).  Harry Potter brought the wizarding schools into the spotlight.  And J.R.R. and his buddy, C.S. Lewis really created the Epic Fantasy field.

What about those wide open areas in the Fantasy field?  It seems as though they’re only a myth.  Like the Fantasies people write about.


3 thoughts on “Fantastical Fields

  1. A lot of fantasy is more of the same but within most book stores you can usually find the odd title or two that defies expecatations. Even within the vampire/wizard/epic categories there are books that really have a different take on things. That isn’t to say we should be able to see more variety.

    1. I love fantasy and have ever since I read the Lord of the Rings but lately I’ve found myself frustrated that all of the work in fantasy seems to be so derivative. But then you should know after finding that site with the questions if your fantasy story is just a cliche.

      It’s like going out for a milkshake and the diner offers you three different options:
      1. A chocolate milkshake
      2. A chocolate milkshake with vanilla sprinkles; or
      3. A chocolate milkshake with a hint of coffee.
      No matter what you order you’re going to get a chocolate milkshake. Does that make sense?

      1. Although to be honest, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books which I have discovered this year have brought a brilliant sense of change. They’re epic fantasy but there’s no knights and dragons, no elves (can’t tell you how tired I am of finding fantasy novels with elves, dwarves and orcs) and an excellent magic system.

        I’ve only read the first two but have the third but want to wait before starting it. I want to make the enjoyment last a little longer I guess.

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