Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fantasy Tuesdays: What is Fantasy?

If you are looking for Teaser Tuesdays, I've moved them to Surrounded by Books Reviews.


For our first Fantasy Tuesdays, I will talk about Fantasy as a genre. Later posts will go more in-depth.

So what is Fantasy?

According to Wikipedia, "Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from science fiction and horror by the expectation that it steers clear of (pseudo-)scientific and macabre themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three, all of which are subgenres of speculative fiction." As mentioned in the quote, sometimes the lines between fantasy and science fiction and horror are blurred, of course, but that's for another day's topic. Mythology and folklore are often found interspersed within fantasy as well.

I believe fantasy brings us closer to our childhoods. From a very early age, we grow up believing in magic, from Santa to the Tooth Fairy to the fae and dragons to mythologies from our own culture and others. Fantasy makes us open our eyes a bit wider. We sit up and pay attention. It helps us organize our every day life into something spectacular. This is why I enjoy writing fantasy.

The three series that shaped myself as a fantasy author are J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Mercedes Lackey.

What fantasy books do you enjoy reading?


Nicole Zoltack said...

I love fantasy! Not that you didn't already know that.

You already mentioned some of my favorite fantasy series. I also love the Chronicles of Narnia.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Mercedes Lackey, I do't think I've heard of this author.
Will have to investigate further as I got a book token for Christmas.

Sarah Allen said...

I'm going to have to check out Mercedes Lackey too. Great post!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

I agree. And I do like reading fantasy. It's fun.

J.L. Campbell said...

Gotta admit I haven't read a lot of fantasy, but I find worldbuilding fascinating.

Christine Rains said...

I love reading fantasy. You know the HP series is my favorite. Oh, if I could only live in that world as a witch!

Tanya Reimer said...

Oh man. I just live in one big fantasy. I like them all but I enjoy those that surprise me.

Misha Gericke said...

I wouldn't really say "shaped" but Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings had a serious impact on my desire to write fantasy.


Elana Johnson said...

I love Harry Potter, and I've never read LOTR. I've seen the movies, though. Does that count? And I've never read Mercedes Lackey either! Yikes, I need to get busy.

Anonymous said...

Tolkien is up there for me, along with Robert Jorden and George R R Martin:)

Krista said...

Oh so many great fantasy books! I could not list them all. Currently I am reading the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander.