Lots of people are thinking about epic fantasy, urban fantasy, gender and what makes a genre at the moment. And since I’m too tired to write something myself, here is a linkdump:
At the Guardian website, Damien G. Walter writes about women writing fantasy. Definitely a laudable article and yet very illustrative of what I described here down to the female writers being named.
Talking of gender and fantasy, everybody in the SFF community probably knows by now that the TV miniseries A Game of Thrones, based on the George R.R. Martin novel of the same title, will premiere this Monday on HBO in the US. I won’t be watching, until it hits our German screens, because my TV time is limited, there’s stuff I’d rather be watching and I have never been that big a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire anyway. Still, it’s interesting how much coverage and publicity George R.R. Martin gets pre-series premiere, compared to what the other bestselling fantasy author, whose novels became the basis for a HBO series, got. At any rate, George R.R. Martin gets a long profile in the New Yorker, another profile in The Guardian, though the show doesn’t even run in Britain yet, and an interview in the New York Times which I can’t find right now because of that damned paywall.
Now exactly how many interviews with Charlaine Harris did you see before True Blood started?
Meanwhile, Daniel Abraham’s post at the Orbit blog about the importance of war for the epic fantasy genre (which I linked to here) is also still making waves.
Personally, I’d they migrated to urban fantasy, which is a big grab bag of fantastic beings at the moment, whereas the big names in epic fantasy write about human dominated or human only worlds. And who could blame elves, fae, gargoyles, trolls, ogres, dwarves, etc… for migrating to urban fantasy? Indoor plumbing, TV and the internet are nice amenities to have, so why not leave the cod medieval worlds to humans?
I don’t quite agree with him, because I don’t see urban fantasy as much as a template genre as he does, because there is a lot more variety in urban fantasy these days, in spite of certain similarities, than there was in epic quest fantasy in the 1980s and 1990s and then there is in some romance and mystery subgenres. Besides, I also think that he overestimates the impact of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but then pretty much everybody does. However, I just typed out some long comments over there and since I don’t feel like repeating them here, just head on over and take a look.