Monday, October 18, 2010


I was checking out the NaNoWriMo forums (see my post below about NaNo), and one of the questions in the fantasy forum was about what kind of fantasy you write. I guess I didn't realize there were so many subgenres. Here's a list of just a few that I found on the SF website:


A genre not based in reality presupposing that magic and mythical/supernatural creatures exist.


Sweeping in scope, epic fantasy usually concerns a battle for rulership of a country, empire or entire world. Drawing heavily upon archetypal myths and the quintessential struggle between a few good people against overwhelming forces of evil, epic fantasy is best represented by author J. R. R. Tolkien's classic The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.


A major subcategory of epic fantasy in which the hero endures many hardships while retrieving an object of power that will defeat the enemy. The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is a classic quest fantasy. Eos's The Shadow Eater: Book II Of The Dominions Of Irth is a quest fantasy by Adam Lee.


A sub-genre in which historical events are given a fantasy treatment, or myths are given an historical treatment. Actual historical events are mixed with imaginary ones, bound together by magic. For example, Parke Godwin's The Last Rainbow is an historical fantasy based on the life of St. Patrick. Stephen R. Lawhead's bestselling Pendragon Cycle are Arthurian novels which make an attempt at historical accuracy combined with strong fantastical elements.


A sub-genre of fantasy which posts that magic exists in our modern-day world, and often wrestles with contemporary issues. Examples of contemporary fantasy include Eric S. Nylund's Dry Water, and Tim Powers's novels Last Call and Expiration Date.


A subcategory of contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy is set in a contemporary city. Often co-existing with the familiar city life is a hidden, magical aspect of the city frequently including magical creatures. Charles de Lint is one of the primary authors of urban fantasy. To some extent, Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale is an urban fantasy as well as Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.


A hybrid and subset of speculative fiction describing worlds in which either both magic and science work, science is so sophisticated it simulates magic, or characters possess psychic powers so strong they resemble magic.

I guess my original story is a cross between contemporary and epic fantasy.

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