RaeLea and I write fantasy stories, specifically fantasy set in modern-day North Dakota.
How we define fantasy and the various subgenres therein is the subject of our latest FraeLea Conversations video.
Transcript for FraeLea Conversations #14:
R: Hi, welcome to FraeLea Conversations. I’m RaeLea and this is Frank. In the previous episode, we were talking about our brand, Genuine Modern Fantasy, but what exactly is fantasy? It’s a question that we’re going to answer today. Right, Frank?
F: Yes, we are.
R: Will you tell us about it?
F: It didn’t sound like you were reading that, or anything.
F: Sci-Fi and Fantasy often get lumped together. And, it’s interesting because they are both different genres, but they often get lumped together. When you do lump them together, they end up being the third biggest selling genre in the industry, behind romance and thrillers. So, that’s good and bad in that respect. The way I always think about it is that Sci-Fi ends up focusing more on technology. Like, why are things the way they are? How does it work? You know, how’s the technology behind it work. You know if it’s robots, AI, anything like that. Whereas Fantasy is magic. You know, fantasy kind of glosses over how things work, often times, and just the fact that it does. There is bleed over sometimes, like Star Wars has elements of both. They’re a great example of Space Fantasy, but everybody says, okay, it’s in space, so therefore it’s Sci-Fi. But, we’re not going to go into Sci-Fi so much right now, because we write Fantasy, and we’re going to talk about the sub-genres today.
F: I guess we’ll start with the biggest one, the one that we’re writing in, which is Urban Fantasy. Or, as we like to call it, Modern Fantasy, as our slogan says. And, Urban Fantasy, as it’s more popularly known, is basically Fantasy that happens in Modern Era, that generally tends to be in cities or modern settings. You have your wizards, or your vampires, or whatever it is that you have, in a modern setting. Everything is modern, except there’s magic in there. Because we write in North Dakota as our setting, that’s why we prefer to call it Modern Fantasy. Because, North Dakota is a pretty rural state, not an Urban State. So, that would be Urban Fantasy, or Modern Fantasy.
Probably the second biggest, or one of the next biggest ones, would be Epic Fantasy. The most popular ones would be Lord of the Rings. You know, J.R.R. Tolkin, The Hobbit. He’s kind of the Godfather of Epic Fantasy. And, he’s kind of the one you think of, he’s ubiquitous with it. Epic Fantasy is when they have an entire world created, a fictional world where the stories take place. And often, there’s definitely magic involved. There’s often more of a medieval flare to it with swords and that type of weapon. And Dragons are popular, obviously. I guess a more modern example would be George R. R. Martin with Game of Thrones. Or, his book series is called the Song of Ice and Fire. But, it’s more popular known as Game of Thrones. So, that’s an obvious one. That’s Epic Fantasy.
Another big one would be Paranormal Romance, which is kind of a hybrid between the most popular genre, which is romance, and fantasy. We don’t write that, but you do read a lot of that, too. That’s where you have vampires and werewolves and the other kinds of supernatural phenomena. But, with a romantic flare and a love story being kind of the central focus.
There are several other ones, but to touch briefly on Portal Fantasy, is another one. Probably a classic example of that would be Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis.
R: Wizard of Oz.
F: Wizard of Oz is a fantastic example, too. There’s other examples like that, too, but it’s where you start out in kind of a modern, non-magical world, and you’re transported through a portal, if you will, into this magic world. And that’s where those are good examples, I guess, of Portal Fantasy. I kind of bring that up because we’re planning on writing some of that eventually. It’s going to be kind of a spinoff series to what we’re currently writing. But, that’s down the road.
There’s other ones like Historical Fantasy, which would be like Knights of the Round Table, King Arthur, that kind of thing. There’s a bunch of other ones. That’s kind of the big fantasy sub-genres. I guess that’s kind of an overview right there.
R: Well, that was a pretty good overview.
F: Thank you.
R: Thank you.
F: We know what we’re talking about. A little bit.
R: A little bit. Alright, so what is your favorite genre of Fiction? What do you like to read? And, why? We would love to hear from you at frhurt.com. Thanks for watching.