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Transcript of Fantasy Presentation
by: Emily Wells
INLS 842: Genre Presentation
Definition of Fantasy
AUDIENCE and APPEAL
Characteristics of Fantasy
Past: Traditional Archetypes
Present: More Confusion
. . .
Hobbits . . .
Good vs. Evil
Discovery and Exploration
Coming of Age/Forging of Character
Reality with a Twist
History of Fantasy
Beginning of Fantasy Genre
Early (Pre-Tolkien) Fantasy
Fantasy Subgenres & Famous Authors
Fairy Tale/Mythology Retellings
Juvenile & YA Fantasy
More Genre Exploration
Adaptations & Popularity
TV & Film
Graphic Novel Adaptations
Tabletop Games & Video Games
"Black eyes are invariably Evil; brown eyes mean boldness and humour, but not necessarily goodness; green eyes always entail TALENT, usually for MAGIC but sometimes for MUSIC; hazel eyes are rare and seem to imply niceness; grey eyes mean POWER or healing abilities (see HEALERS) and will be reassuring unless they look silver (silver-eyed people are likely to enchant or hypnotize you for their own ends, though they are not always Evil); white eyes, usually blind ones, are for wisdom (never ignore anything a white-eyed person says); blue eyes are always GOOD, the bluer the more Good present. . . . People with violet eyes are often of Royal birth and, if not, always live uncomfortably interesting lives. People with golden eyes just live uncomfortably interesting lives, and most of them are rather fey into the bargain. . . . [Red eyes] are EVIL and surprisingly common.”
- from Pgs. 39-40 of Diana Wynne Jone's Tough Guide to Fantasyland
Some Additional Subgenres
fantasy of manners
sword & sorcery
Some Genre Overlaps
Sword & Sorcery
Audience: Male and female, young and old;
many lifelong fans
Appeal: Different for different fans,
though some common
For Librarians: Awards/Honors, Readers' Advisory Issues,
and Ways to Keep Current
Gaylactic Spectrum Award (sf & f & h: explore LGBT topics in positive way)
GCLS "Goldie" Awards (speculative fiction: lesbian themes)
Lambda LGBT SF/F/H Award (sf & f & h: explore/celebrate LGBT themes)
James Tiptree, Jr. Award (sf & f: expand/explore understanding of gender)
Andre Norton Award (sf & f: YA literature)
Rhysling Award (sf & f & h: long poem)
Hugo Awards (sf & f)
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (sf & f)
Locus Awards (sf & f)
Nebula Award (sf & f)
Crawford Award (f)
Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards (f)
World Fantasy Awards (f)
Readers' Advisory Challenges
Fantasy grouped with other genres (such as science fiction)
Many subgenres; overlapping subgenres; subgenres with muddy definitions
Wide age range of fantasy fans
Genre snobbery (some authors try to avoid the fantasy label)
Readers may be drawn to fantasy for very different reasons
How to Keep Current?
Locus (monthly sf & f )
Voice of Youth Advocates (yearly sf & f edition)
Fichtelberg, S. (2007). Encountering enchantment: A guide to speculative fiction for teens.
Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.
Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.
Herald, D. T., & Kunzel, B. (2008). Fluent in fantasy: The next generation. Westport,
Matthews, P. O. (2011). Fang-tastic fiction: Twenty-first century paranormal reads. Chicago:
Hobbit (1937) and "LOTR" (1950s)
Did not grow popular in the US until the late 60's
20s/30s: Pulp fantasy in fantasy magazines popular
By 1950, sword & sorcery had found a wide audience.
Key authors: Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian) and Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser)
1938: T. H. White's
The Sword in the Stone
1922: E. R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros
1949: First novel in C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia"
1977: Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannara and Stephen R. Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane
1983: Terry Pratchett's first "Discworld" novel
1986: first "Borderland" book
1990: Robert Jordan's first "Wheel of Time" novel
1996: George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones
1997: J. K. Rowling's first "Harry Potter" book
2005: Stephanie Meyer's Twilight
1485: Sir Thomas Mallory's Le Morte D'Arthur
1697: Charles Perrault's Tales of Stories of the Past with Morals (The Tales of Mother Goose)
1811: Friederich de la Motte Foque's Undine
1837: Sara Coleridge's Phantasmion (1st English language Fairy Tale)
Saricks states that fantasy, "appeals more to the emotions than the intellect...deals with otherness of time or place...takes a familiar story, legend, or myth and adds a twist...[with] the presence of magic." (Saricks, p. 37)
Magical spells and True Names
What's in a name?
Accio (Summoning Charm)
Summons an object to the caller's hand
Flammamurus (Fire spell)
Super-heats the ground below, and causes magma to burst forth from the ground
According to German and Scandinavian myths, knowing a person or mythical creature's true name means you can control or destroy them. Examples of this can be seen in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.
New languages develop cultures and histories of different races and classes within a story
Elvish - Sindarin and Quenya
I dropped my book on the path earlier.
I book path drop on earlier.
Ai pard fasar kae sobne suu.
Do you speak Elvish?
Literal: Do [familiar] you speak Elvish
Quartets or Quadrilogies
But mostly made of LONG, CONTINUING SERIES
Rarely stand-alones, though they do exist:
Common themes in fantasy novels sometimes stem from popular Greek, Norse, etc. mythologies:
Battle against a powerful monster or God
Journey for a magic object or weapon
Tragic love affair
Father or Mother is a powerful being or God
Fairy Tales are also commonly re-purposed or twisted to add elements to fantasy novels:
Lore about witches and magical forests
The power of one's True Name
Familial relationships (evil "step" family members)
Legends are also incredibly popular for fantasy stories:
The legends of King Arthur are incredibly popular within the fantasy realm and have created quite a few re-tellings within the fantasy genre such as The Mists of Avalon series by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
A lot of fantasy authors create their own myths and legends for a world. It helps expand the world and draws the reader further into the novel.
There has also been an increase in fantasy novels being published as additional stories to television series. An example would be the Supernatural TV series - there have been multiple novels published as side stories to the show's main plot.
Juvenile novelizations for books turned into movies are a very popular publishing trend.
Forgotten Realms Board Game
Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game
Game of Thrones Board Game
Final Fantasy Series
The Elder Scrolls Series
World of Warcraft
God of War
World Fantasy Convention 2013: http://www.wfc2013.org/
A few conventions:
Dragon*con 2013: http://www.dragoncon.org/
Comic-con International 2013: http://www.comic-con.org/
Panels : authors, artists, producers, actors in the fantasy industry
Meet like-minded fans
Costuming, themed parties, and parades
Lots of rare finds for fantasy paraphernalia
What did you read?
Title, Series (if applicable), and Author
What subgenre(s) would you categorize this in?
What aspects of this story do you think would appeal to fantasy readers?
1768: Voltaire's "The Princess of Babylon"
1774: Voltaire's "The White Bull"
1830s - 40s: Hans Christian Andersen publishes fairy tales
1854: William Makepeace Thackery's "The Rose and the Ring"
1872: George MacDonald's "The Princess and the Goblin"
1900: L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz"
1911: J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan"