Monday, June 07, 2004

Epic fantasy

At s1ngularity::front, Gabe Chouinard looks at epic fantasy and questions why he and so many book buyers love it when so much of it is mediocre.

What is missing from epic fantasy is PERSONALITY. Too much of it is homogenized, steralized, devoid of life. Without personality, epic fantasy is just a string of redundant novels telling a single story over and over again. We all know the tropes, we all know the Hero's Journey, we all know the way things will work out in the end. So it becomes a matter of style and idiosyncracy... and such traits are sorely ignored in most epic fantasy, which is why writers like Gene Wolfe and Stephen R. Donaldson stand out so prominently in the field. When the tale is familiar, it's the telling that matters.

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