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Fantasty genre dead?

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Books' started by breading1, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. dele

    dele New Member

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    The world would be a horrible place without stories! But it would be nice to read something a little more "outside the box". That's why I love all the old adventure novels written in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. The world was still such a mystery that anything was possible. It almost seems like we've run out of ideas today.
     
  2. Vellocet

    Vellocet New Member

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    I agree and I would like to elaborate on this point if I may:

    I hardly think the fantasy genre is dead. I think most fantasy is rather formulaic - the Dragonlance novels, Forgotten Realms novels, anything by Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Ed Greenwood or R.A. Salvatore, for example. These books are basically things that require no thought, they are purely entertainment with little to no intellectual stimulation. While formulaic is not entirely bad, it gets repetitive quickly. I think authors like Gene Wolfe, and Glen Cook are shining examples of the diversity that is capable in the fantasy method. I think fantasy is a lot like any other art. Drawing for example, pencil and paper, a simple form of art - just because the pencil and paper method haven't evolved much doesn't mean that drawing is dead. Basically, it's not the formula's fault or the method's fault that their are a lot of low quality fantasy books out there. It's up to the artist, the creator, to really make the fantasy shine - otherwise, it's just not creative.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for fantasy. Maybe there is a lull right now, I can't say because I have just started reading fantasy again after a long 19-20th century literature kick. But it's fantasy, anything is possible... how can it be dead?
     
  3. Mathius

    Mathius Member

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    It's hard not to have a lull right now. Robert Jordan's death obviously leaves us without a great fantasy writer. Terry Pratchett reportedly has alzheimers and if its being reported, you can bet there have been some noticeable episodes in his life.

    Goodkind just wrapped up a 13 book series, leaving him with a gap to fill, and Terry Brooks has taken the world of Shannara into a sci-fi realm, rather than strictly fantasy.

    Raymond E. Feist has seemingly run out of options with his books to the point where he's doing back stories on his original plot histories in his newest book.

    I see a lot of evidence of a lull right now, but there are also some exciting developments for the future.

    The author of Eragon released two interesting books (Eragon, and Elder) and I am awaiting at least a third to finish the trilogy. This Brandon Sanderson seems to be an interesting and talented writer, even if I do have issues with the way he operates. He certainly has a chance to make a name for himself by finishing RJ's last book.

    I know Weis and Hickman have at least 2 more Dragonlance books in the works, and their cartoon made for DVD movie was just released. Also, Salvadore is constantly releasing new books for those who like his writings.

    These are just a few authors, that I know of personally. There are constantly going to be new people writing, and that means chances for some fresh looks at old tales.

    Mathius
     
  4. Vellocet

    Vellocet New Member

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    Yeah I saw the Dragonlance DVD and thought it might be interesting to check out, but I can't really afford movies so much because of my voracious book appetite. I read a lot of the Dragonlance books when I was about 10, and I loved them, great literature they are not - I look at them like candy, quick entertaining reads. The same way I look at R.A. Salvatore (if you can get past all the editorial errors).

    I also heard that Gene Wolf has a few books in his series in the works. I'm not sure if they're really fantasy but I'm only on my third one. (In the book where it lists his works it is stated that at least 2 have yet to be released)

    Philip Pullman also has a few works forthcoming.

    Maybe their will be a bit of a fantasy vaccuum for awhile. In theory, some truly great books should come out of it.
     
  5. elena1m

    elena1m New Member

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    Not dead, just hard to find in the midst of sob much trash. Yes, I complain about the same. The plot is your basic heroic quest type deal. However, it is the story telling that brings fantasy to life. I recomend some of the books gueared towards young adults. Sometimes the story telling is more direct whithout so much fluff. My other complaint about fantasy is that a lot of authors write trilogies that should never be trilogies. Let them die already. Eq. Anita Blake vampire series, Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series. Let them end already. Is as if they become bored with their own material, and so the series go down the tubes. Let the stories end with some dignity. I am guilty of reading Carey's whole series, just because I need to see how it ends. I lost interest with the third book. Look my point is that you do not need to write a trilogy to be cosidered a good fantasy author.
     
  6. harrypotterrox

    harrypotterrox New Member

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    I used to looove fantasy. Now i have kinda grown out of them. They like all have to do with dark and powerful forces, with time portals and all. Im more into a murder mystery or romance books.
     
  7. Migey

    Migey New Member

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    youve just summarised the belgariad,the inheritance cycle,and loads more

    your right....where tf is the originality?altho darren shans demonata isnt completly like that...2 and 3 are correct(3 is over correct,in the demonata there are millions of portals to different worlds),1 is wrong,the threat has always been around,barely contained..4 is wrong,not rly armies.....and 5 is DEFINATLY wrong,in the demonata,the only happy ending of the 7 books so far(3 more to come) is in the first book........so if you want something different try demonata
     
  8. Mulluane

    Mulluane New Member

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    I see what you are saying and understand how it can get old. Its like for awhile there Fantasy as all about quests, search for the Holy Grail type stuff. That got old. Now its the reluctant hero/heroine, pushed into things they never wanted to do but prevailing in the end, now thats getting old.

    But still, the happy ending thing points to a basic human desire, to believe that no matter how bad it gets, everything will work out. Especially now with a lot of people having a really rough time of things. I admit it, I fall in that set.

    Take The Black Magician Trilogy. That ending actually kinda upset me, I understood it, I admire the writer for not using a happily ever after ending, but it still upset me. I spent 3 books rooting for the poor heroine, I instinctively expected her to get everything she always wanted in the end....oops.
     
  9. Migey

    Migey New Member

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    whats wrong with the black magician trilogy,it wss OBVIOUS that
    akkarin had to die,anyway,they still had a son........i would have been severly dissapointed if akkarin had lived.........btw what do u think about cery+savara?do u think they'll get together?????and do u think im right about lorkin being named after akkarin and lorlen??
     
  10. Mulluane

    Mulluane New Member

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    LOL, well I THOUGHT (yes I know, at my age that can be fatal) the whole thing was being setup differently,
    I mean they never did use the power of the arena. Besides I said I wanted a happy ending, I think poor girl deserved one, and raising a child without its father doesn't qualify either.

    And don't spoil it for me, I haven't read anything on the new books, I can't afford to get excited about them yet<<<<broke atm :sad:
     
  11. Heteronym

    Heteronym New Member

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    You're obviously complaining about a pretty narrow aspect of fantasy; but since high fantasy is most of the fantasy that America consumes, it's no wonder you think it represents the entire genre.

    High fantasy has been dead to me ever since I figured Tolkien wasn't worth the time and effort I invested in his trilogy. He was nothing but a writer who launched a thousand bad imitations.

    But fantasy is a vibrant, inexhaustible genre. Have you ever read Bruce Holland Rogers, Rhys Hughes, Jerzy Kozinski, Jeff VanderMeer, Zoran Zivkovic, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Lord Dunsany? Why not give them a try?
     
  12. Migey

    Migey New Member

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    i havnt read them lol,they aint out,i just know a bit from trudis website...
     
  13. sparkchaser

    sparkchaser Administrator and Stuntman Staff Member

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    Ironic since you spoiled some of the story yourself.
     
  14. Mulluane

    Mulluane New Member

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    Yes in answering Migey I did and I apologize. I was careful to be general in my original post, but I guess I should not have responded to spoiler info given later.

    Won't happen again.
     
  15. julesh

    julesh New Member

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    I used to love reading mysteries. But I can summarise the plot of all mystery books I've ever read:

    1. Some crime (usually a murder) is committed.
    2. A detective (who is most often a member of a police force, but may be a private individual or some other authority) investigates the crime, following a chain of evidence to find more information.
    3. Sometimes other crimes are committed, providing the detective with more information.
    4. The detective uncovers a really useful piece of evidence that allows him to catch the criminal.
    5. Justice is done, life goes on.

    Does this mean the mystery genre is dead? Of course not.

    My point is this: it's easy to define an archetypical story in broad brush strokes like that. Some literary theorists tell us there are only 10 or 15 or whatever stories that have ever been written, and if you look at it broadly enough that's true. A genre is defined by books that are similar to one another, so you're bound to find common elements between books that are in the same genre. But the point behind telling the stories, what makes us want to read them, is in the details.
     

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