Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Genre Overview: High Fantasy

High Fantasy is set in an alternate history or planet, set in the equivalent of the dark ages through the renaissance, with non-human intelligent races, monsters, and magic.  Lord of the Rings and everything that's ripped off Lord of the Rings.  It's different from Sword & Sorcery (Conan and stuff that rips off Conan), mainly in the amount of clothing worn on the book cover, but there are literary differences I'm not nuanced enough to explain.  It may be the same as Epic Fantasy, or Epic may just be a subset of High.

I should love this stuff.  I loved the Rankin Bass TV specials, and listened to the Hobbit storybook album obsessively.  I played D&D.  Hell, I even liked Willow.  But I could never stomach the fiction.  I read the Hobbit, but got to the first poem in Fellowship of the Ring before giving up.

This is purely a matter of my tastes, but these things seem to be hundreds of thousands of words of people walking from one place to another.  While the movies and video games are all hack & slash, the books seem to be G-rated.

Somewhere in the stretch between the paperback explosion of the 60s & 70s to self-publishing today, there must be something that suits my tastes.  Short (or at least reasonable), violent, gory, exploitive, and fun.  Tie-ins seem to be more readable, but tend towards the young adult side.

So, dear readers, please fill me in on what I'm missing.  And don't tell me about grimdark.  That's just High Fantasy with more dirt smudges.

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