Father of Fantasy

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Allyssa
Posts: 1657

Father of Fantasy

Post#1 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Why do we have hybrid genres?

Would the primary fantasy genre be one that contains all the elements of classic fantasy (wizards, elves, dwarves, half-lings, humans, goblins, trolls, multiple gods, magic, quests and talismans just to name a few basics) with nothing else?

No romance, no politics, no social commentary, no science-fiction, no crime, no mysteries, no horror, no gothic and no suspense-thrills?

You dont seem to like these hybrids or combinations. To write pure fantasy would be an enjoyable exercise, but not very interesting reading, I think. We have all read (and for the most part enjoyed!) formula fantasy, but doesn't it get a bit predictable? Consider Terry Brooks' Shannara series. Do you think there is a reason their popularity is declining?

Publishers these days are looking for fantasy that takes an original approach, or has content that is new and different from what has gone before. They believe that these types of "hybrid genre" books will sell plenty of copies.

As for a new genre all together? Something that has yet to be used at all? I think a possiblity lies in man's exploration of the universe. If we were to discover new dimensions, with different laws of science and new life forms, social structures and technologies that are bound to these laws, and excluding Man's intrusion into these dimensions, maybe that would enable us to imagine something wholly different and separate from what we are using now? We shall have to wait and see.
"May the Angels Guide"

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PlasticSquirrel
Posts: 3577

Father of Fantasy

Post#2 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Not a chance, there is a finite amount of good ideas out there. While it may be possible to invent a new genre, it would inevitably be crap. For example, the post-punk apocalyptic scribblings of Kathy Acker, a true nutcase. None of it made any sense, but it was truly original, and pretty sick, but not derivative of anything else. Or you could try Bob Dylan's Tarantula, also complete bo***cks and acid-induced raving.
It's just that there's only so much people can come up with that other people can endure, and after 500 years or so of the "great literary tradition" started by Chaucer, and centuries of folk-tales from before then, it's getting a little thin on the ground.
http://www.plasticsquirrel.co.uk for all your bizarre music and musings needs

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TomBombadillo
Posts: 2746

Father of Fantasy

Post#3 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Fantasy is just fantasy, why make it more complicated?
Look:

Fantasy = fantasy
Science Fiction = Science Fiction

It's easy, innit? :wink:
Denial is not a river in Africa.

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Father of Fantasy

Post#4 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

All I can say is cool; it sounds like a gift, use it well. :cool: :)
'Share and enjoy'

swampfaye
Posts: 390

Father of Fantasy

Post#5 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I don't begrudge Tolkien his title as the "father of fantasy" - but he didn't really create the genre - he just gave it a quasi "intellectual" seal of approval (being a language professor and all). There were lots of great fantasy writers before him, and plenty who (I feel) surpass him in the field today. It was important that he, an *Oxford* professor - gave Fantasy the credibility it needed to move from obsurity and "cult" following into mainstream. Tolkien made it acceptable to be a fantasy fan if you were over 21 and out of college (even though he found his success in American colleges in the totally loopy 70's). For that I thank him.

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gnampie
Posts: 275

Father of Fantasy

Post#6 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Hey Faye, I am glad to see you around here again!
Welcome back!

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Allyssa
Posts: 1657

Father of Fantasy

Post#7 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Spyderbyte, when Tolkien was talking about being the "recorder" for events in ME, he was not alluding to some kind of mental disorder, he was refering to a concept of creative writing.

All good (and great) writers claim that their bolckbuster novel "wrote iteself". What they mean is, that once setting and character's are established, for the talented writer like Tolkien, they seem to take on a life of their own, because they know their characters so well, that they can immediatley know how that character will react to any given situation. They may or may not be consious of the fact that they have made highly detailed decisions about their characters, right down to their favourite colour, hobbies and pets they had as children and so on, but when they think about a certain aspect, they realise that they have made that decision and it seems as if the character has a life of their own.

Teachers of creative writing tell us that when we feel that we are no longer making up the story, and that it seems to be writing itself, we are creating something that really works. It does not mean for one minute that we believe that our story is real. It is just a manner of speach or literary concept. I suspect that when Tolkien made the statement about "recording" ME, he thought he was talking to other writers.
"May the Angels Guide"

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Allyssa
Posts: 1657

Father of Fantasy

Post#8 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Hi Swampfaye! Great to see you again! :D

You are right about Tolkien, fantasy was not his invention, he just popularised it. Fantasy fiction dates back to c.2000 BC.

I believe Tolkien did invent the term "eucatastrophe" refering to the fantasy story's need for an ending with healing or restoration of something. At least that is something!

Maybe Tolkien is the Uncle of modern fantasy? :)
"May the Angels Guide"

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Snape
Posts: 1294

Father of Fantasy

Post#9 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Who said Tolkien didn't create fantasy? - Yes he did!

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Father of Fantasy

Post#10 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Tolkien was outdated by William Morris' The Wood beyond the World (Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1894) and The Well at the World's End (2 vols. London, New York, and Bombay: Longmans, Green, 1896). :deal:

I say JRR Tolkien was 'The Father of Modern Fantasy.' There were others who wrote fantasy before him; however, he made reading fantasy respectable, and his writing instilled a desire in the hearts of we his readers for even more. Thus he was responsible for the development of a mass market for the older works of fantasy as well as the newer. :cool:

Note: The above to stories are good fantasy, but are not epics, and the latter took me a chapter or three to get my ear tuned to its archaic/stilted language. :read:
'Share and enjoy'

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