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Subgenre Study: Mythic Fantasy

Ah, mythic fantasy, where Gods walk the Earth (or…not-Earth), where heroes are born, and where magic imbues the world around us. A simplistic definition is that mythic fantasy is fantasy that weaves mythology into the world.  Usually each story focuses on a single culture’s mythology, but nothing is ever a hard, fast rule in speculative […]

Subgenre Study: Comedic Fantasy

Like we talked about a few weeks ago, comedic fantasy is a subgenre that can be combined with other subgenres.  It defines the tone, not the setting, location, etc.  You can have comedic epic fantasy, comedic urban fantasy, or even comedic fantasy romance. The biggest defining trait of comedic fantasy is that its intent is […]

Subgenre Study: Quest Fantasy

I would argue that this is not a subgenre, but apparently in some circles it is considered one, so here we are.  I would say that the Quest is a plot point, not a subgenre, but I suppose it is one of the most common plots in fantasy, and you could lump all quest stories […]

Subgenre Study: Historical Fantasy

Hello?  Hello?  Hey, is this thing on?  If you have managed to stumble here on this, the most commercial of days, I hope that if you ventured outside into the consumerism that you met nice, friendly people full of holiday cheer but somehow I doubt that.  And if you stayed home, I hope you drank […]

Subgenre Study: Dying Earth

The Dying Earth subgenre is very similar to the apocalyptic fiction subgenre we explored earlier.  The key difference between the two is that apocalyptic fiction tends to deal with some major catastrophe that is threatening all life, whereas in Dying Earth things have more or less just faded over time until nothing is left and […]

Subgenre Study: Time Travel

Squiders, I am bringing this to you even though I have overdosed on candy and may die.  That’s how dedicated I am. Time Travel is generally considered a subgenre of science fiction, but there’s been some controversy lately.  You see, Einsteinian physics state that time travel is impossible.  No can do.  You’d have to destroy […]

Subgenre Study: Superhero Fiction

Up in the sky!  It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…well, it’s a Sky Shark, but we will ignore it for the time being and pretend it’s Superman to go along with today’s entry. Superhero fiction is somewhat unique among speculative fiction subgenres in that it exists almost exclusively in visual formats.  Comic books, movies, […]

Subgenre Study: Fairy Tale Fantasy

Once upon a time, there was a writer who wrote a writing/reading/scifi/fantasy blog, and she and her pet Landsquid and the Landsquid’s nemesis the Alpaca all decided to go to a coffee shop to get some peppermint mochas.  All seemed to be going according to plan until the Alpaca attempted to eat the pastry display […]

Subgenre Study: Military Science Fiction

A fairly major subgenre of science fiction is military science fiction.  I bet you can name at least one book or movie in this subgenre off the top of your head.  Starship Troopers.  Ender’s Game.  The Forever War.  Military SF, as the name implies, focuses on military conflicts. A lot of science fiction focuses on […]

Subgenre Study: High and Low Fantasy

Today we will be looking at High and Low Fantasy and the confusion surrounding the terminology.  It has nothing to do with how good the stories are (Eragon, for example, is high fantasy but most would argue not high quality) but, rather, which fantasy tropes they incorporate. High Fantasy, sometimes called Epic Fantasy, generally encompasses […]