Where Is Fantasy Going next

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#21
Sneaky Burrito

Without looking up from what I know...
  1. Song of the Beast by Carol Berg (2003)
  2. Tigana by GGK (1990)
  3. The Lions of al-Rassan by GGK (1995)
  4. A Song for Arbonne by GGK (1992)
  5. Elantris by Sanderson (2005)
  6. Warbreaker by Sanderson (2009)
  7. The Barbed Coil by J.V. Jones (1997)
  8. Under Heaven by GGK (2010)
  9. Ysabel by GGK (2007)
  10. The Last Light of the Sun by GGK (2004)
  11. The Swordbearer by Glen Cook (1982)
  12. The Tower of Fear by Glen Cook (1989)
  13. Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler (2013)
  14. The Devil's Diadem by Sara Douglass (2011)
  15. Blackdog by K.V. Johansen (2011)
  16. The Company by K.J. Parker (2008)
  17. The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet (2011)
You got 11 =), though you take out GGK who doesn't know the word series or trilogy and you're down to 8 =) Good work
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#22
so over hearing the word gritty or grey.

Well developed character is what i want. I'm a person and i don't think i am gritty or grey, nor live a life or constant inner turmoil.

I also think long winded descriptions are a thing of the past .. thank you movies and tv and short attentions spans!!
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#23
The Farm boy is now out of fashion since people immediately shout out "derivative derivative".
The disappointing thing is that the farmboy archetype hasn't actually gone anywhere. He just starts off wearing a higher class of clothing now.
Sometimes not even higher class of clothing. I refer you too:




I haven't read many farmboy books to know any better. Maybe.
But, I love this book. I have read it in two days and I enjoyed every minute of it. The sequels? Not so much.
Maybe farmboy can still be done in a good way?
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#24
Sometimes not even higher class of clothing. I refer you too:




I haven't read many farmboy books to know any better. Maybe.
But, I love this book. I have read it in two days and I enjoyed every minute of it. The sequels? Not so much.
Maybe farmboy can still be done in a good way?
The cover you posted reminds me of another trend. I think 90% of fantasy novels in the future will have hooded men on the covers. Sometimes with swords.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#26

blitzburns4

Owns a Ring of Power
#28
There is a wide amount of possibilities for where Fantasy could go next. However, considering the simpleton nature of most of NYTimes bestselling books and authors, I personally feel Fantasy is going to push more into Romantic and Erotic areas.

Edit: Though it may not seem like it at times, I don't believe the traditional (Pre Martin) types of Fantasy novels are dead. I think that the two will likely supplement each other more in the upcoming years.
 

Hand of Fear

Journeyed there and back again
#29
The Thief/Assassin mix seems popular these days with Brent Weeks Night Angel trilogy, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and Douglas Hulicks Among Thieves. Are we going to see more of these books out in the near future, I wouldn't mind seeing more of these books.
 

Nighteyes

Listens to The Unbeliever whine about life
#30
The Thief/Assassin mix seems popular these days with Brent Weeks Night Angel trilogy, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and Douglas Hulicks Among Thieves. Are we going to see more of these books out in the near future, I wouldn't mind seeing more of these books.
I agree, I enjoy these types of stories. Also lets not forget the farseer trilogy.
 

Arya Stark

Philosophizes with Kellhus
#31
I'm not sure where fantasy is going but I think I know where it WON'T go.
f NYTimes bestselling books and authors, I personally feel Fantasy is going to push more into Romantic and Erotic areas.
I just can't picture Abercrombie and Brent Weeks and the likes jumping on the ALL FILLER train. I suppose some of the crossover authors may jump on that train and probably some of the authors that mainly write YA. Movies, TV, and games may be luring new fans to the fantasy side but I don't think they have enough pull to completely change the genre yet. Maybe in time, we will see a dramatic change but I think its going to happen gradually rather than with a break through.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#32
I don't see any pictures :(
Weird. They're embedded links to Amazon (like on the BFB site). They're working for me in the US on a Mac using Firefox. Don't know if there's something country- or browser-specific about it.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#33
Sometimes not even higher class of clothing. I refer you too:




I haven't read many farmboy books to know any better. Maybe.
But, I love this book. I have read it in two days and I enjoyed every minute of it. The sequels? Not so much.
Maybe farmboy can still be done in a good way?

I think it's done in a good way all the time. Instead of farm boy with a sword i think of it more like person rising above their social/race situation because of whatever power. That's in pretty much every book and mostly done well. Kaladin in Way of Kings, he has a ladder, Areln in those ^^ has wards, Kip in Lightbringer series has colours and so on and so forth.

ALSO! i picture Arlen to be hot in my head ... he looks like a stone man ... not impressed!
 

blitzburns4

Owns a Ring of Power
#34
I'm not sure where fantasy is going but I think I know where it WON'T go.

I just can't picture Abercrombie and Brent Weeks and the likes jumping on the ALL FILLER train. I suppose some of the crossover authors may jump on that train and probably some of the authors that mainly write YA. Movies, TV, and games may be luring new fans to the fantasy side but I don't think they have enough pull to completely change the genre yet. Maybe in time, we will see a dramatic change but I think its going to happen gradually rather than with a break through.
I wasn't referring specifically to the well-established authors, but talking about major publishing houses as a whole moving in that direction. The whole erotic publishing boom is simply something I see see making it's way into Fantasy more and more. Though, to give the bastard credit, I guess you could blame Martin for that in addition to the "Grey" or "Gritty" boom he also created within the Fantasy genre.
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#35
Just as Tolkien set the standard for fantasy for a generation, I wouldn't be surprised if Martin does the same for the next generation.

He's already done that. Lots and lots of authors are following in his wake.


I haven't actually read N.K. Jemisin, so I can't comment on her (although reading a bit of the summary of the first book doesn't make it sound particularly 'unique'), but otherwise, of those names, the only ones I can think of who might actually qualify for not following trends is China Mieville, and maybe Steven Erikson. And if Erikson qualifies, it's going to be more because of the Kharkanas thing he's doing (I've heard people say that it 'reads a lot like a play'), rather than Malazan.
Out of all the contemporary fantasy writers I've read the two that are going against trends the most are definitely N.K. Jemisin and China Mieville. If I'm mistaken I believe I said in my review of One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms that N.K. Jemisin is going backwards from any current trends. Her books look like they could have been written 30 or 50 years ago. As heavy as Steven Erikson is on dialogue and philosophical musings, it doesn't surprising me that people would say Kharkanas reads like a play. Malazan is very, very gritty, but he was writing the Malazan books before gritty got really popular. On a side I'm not sure when gritty got popular. My guess would be 10 years ago but I could be way off.


I'm not trying to question you in particular, but I don't want this post to become a mess of quotes and fragments, so I'm going to try to hit everything off of just that. Unless we are defining trends differently than I have always defined them, then authors are ABSOLUTELY following trends. An extrapolation or elaboration on something another author got big for doesn't mean someone is not following the mold, it just means they are using actual imagination to do it with. There's nothing necessarily original in KKC. Rothfuss is just presenting it extremely well. Brandon Sanderson's main claim to fame other than WoT isn't insanely original stories (although Mistborn is more creative than many), it's his cool magic systems, and the fact that the guy seems to almost literally never be not writing. And this is not hate for either of those guys. I would consider myself a fan of both.
I don't pay too much attention to trends so am not sure what other trends are out there other than gritty and magickafying everything (made up a word). Interesting and different magic systems is one such trends which hasn't been discussed in this thread thus far; a trend which both Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss are a part of. However, there's not really anything gritty about the work of either author as far as I can tell. The same stories are getting used over and over again so I don't really classify trends based on the type of story the author uses (unless a certain story arc is more popular than others but I don't this is the case today). Instead I classify trends based on the type of content of the book - gritty, magic heavy, light heartedness etc.


I don't want to turn this into a battlefield where we stake out territory over our favorite authors, and defend their endeavors against all assaults, so I'm not going to get hella into it. But gritty fantasy is the current trend. You can call it original if you want, and it can be, but that doesn't mean that it isn't at this point becoming something of the status quo in fantasy literature. Subpar authors are making subpar stories and they are becoming disproportionately popular for their actual worth. Concepts of hero and villain, and deconstructions of character and 'traditional fantasy story' may be original at a certain point, but they stop being that way when you have how many people doing them. This doesn't mean the stories can't still be entertaining, but in this case it's giving too much credit to things that you like, confusing (purposely or otherwise) minor fluctuations for groundbreaking new ideas. It's not something you'd even consider allowing the sort of fantasy you hate to get away with. 'Farm boy with a magic sword' isn't even nearly as common a concept among professional authors as would be suggested by the amount of times we mention it.
I agree with you here. However, just because there's lots of gritty fantasy out there doesn't mean it's a norm or there isn't a lot of non grittiness in epic fantasy too. I read Lamentations by Ken Schles for book club recently and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there's nothing gritty about that book and I can also tell you that this author was likely heavily influenced by George R.R. Martin. I would argue with you on that last point if I could. It also depends on how you define gritty. The world has to be very dark, bleak, and horrifying for me to admit it's gritty. Then novels that are really, really gritty might have vivid rape and frequent deaths of important characters. This doesn't have to be a battlefield. I'm not defending anyone or attacking specific authors right now.

As for where it goes next, based on the trends, it's going to go from gritty, to gritty with a very tongue in cheek sense of humor (is Abercrombie already doing this? I read a few pages of BSC and it seemed that way a little), a lot of self-referential jokes and lampshade hanging, and irony. I'm guessing this because it's where movies have gone. From here I imagine it will start to go beyond simply 'gritty' and into 'outright horrifying and terrible.' Gritty fantasy already functions in some capacity as a challenge to readers to imagine just how horrible a world can be, and maybe there's some kind of catharsis in that for us ("at least we aren't going to get eaten alive forever like people in _____ " ). If that's the case, the natural evolution would just be to take it further and further until we either hit a wall of 'it can't get any worse,' or until people become so tired of it that cheerful heroic fantasy starts to look appealing again. And then we get to do the whole thing over.
So far I've enjoyed gritty fantasy so I'm hoping it doesn't revert backwards. I don't think guys like Raymond E. Feist or David Eddings were writing with an adult audience in mind. That's not to say that gritty fantasy equates maturity because with the amount of bad writers out there, it clearly doesn't, but I think a lot of current avid fantasy readers expect graphic violence in one form or another (as long as it's not overdone).


And I was curious about that as well, Nighteyes. I can't tell if moonspawn means science fantasy, or just, like, steampunk-y sort of fantasy. Essentially Final Fantasy VII, VIII, XIII, etc. as books or something.
That's exactly what I'm saying. Never read any steampunk though. I think I need to do that.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#36

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#37
I've read the two that are going against trends the most are definitely N.K. Jemisin and China Mieville.
I disagree. I don't think these two are even in the same league. Jemisin didn't impress me at all. I read one book from Mieville and I was in awe.


Don't know if there's something country- or browser-specific about it.
Probably! I used US proxy and it worked. And I can tell you I see what you are talking about :D Enough with the shadows in the titles too, I agree!
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#39
I disagree. I don't think these two are even in the same league. Jemisin didn't impress me at all. I read one book from Mieville and I was in awe.
No, you don't disagree with me. They certainly aren't in the same league. China Mieville pushes forward and N.K. reverts backwards. Therefore both are going against trends but in completely different ways. That's how I see it.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#40
No, you don't disagree with me.
Well that was a bit brazen of you lol.

I don't think we have the same opinion, in fact I think we have opposite. I think you like her enough to sing praises of her, but for me Jemisin is a mediocre writer at her best. Mieville on other hand is my literary prince charming. I revel in his creations when I read them, or after I read them. After finishing Perdido, I couldn't stop thinking about it (Danica made a good thread about book hangover). Well, it wasn't just a hangover, I was drunk on his books and I wanted more.
In comparison, Jemisin made me cringe with her god awful writing style, complete lack of character development and total failure of making me give a damn. The only thing I cared about is finishing her damn book, and after I did I was glad that was over soon.