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bir
September 8th, 2002, 06:20 AM
can anybody tell me what a fantasy genre should contain?
tnx!
hm another question what if i receive a quote from lets say an email and i want to use that quote
d problem is i dont know who made that quote
do i have to write "..................." -anonymous?

Sidwynspider
September 8th, 2002, 08:17 AM
Somebody better informed may profer a better answer to this, which is a fairly weighty question (no, not the one about quoting). Nonetheless, seeing as no-one else has taken up the chalice yet I may as well give it a go.

The fantasy genre is one which is highly adaptible, but as it's name implies must carry some element of the fantastic. Generic fantasy stories are those spawned from Tolkien, they deal with other lands and strange races, like Elves called Fingolfin and Dwarves called Gortrud Ironhammer. Okay, sometimes the worlds won't be so cliche but I'm sure everyone knows sword and sorcery fantasy when they see it.

However, fantasy stories can also be set in this world. By way of example, Zimmerman Bradleys' 'Avalon' series. This is set in a medieval age and in that sense is akin to the works of Tolkien and his succesors. Yet I don't believe that this is strictly requisite to constitute a work of fantasy. Contemporary, or indeed futuristic, settings may also host fantasy writing by including an 'otherworldly' element; like magic or dragons.

I guess what I'm getting at is that fantasy writing has no prescribed requirements. It can contain anything you can concieve of, provided that there is some pure, unadulterated element of fantasy. In this sense it differs from science fiction, which feels compelled to justify the fantastic on the basis of scientific principles. Such a defintion though does encompass ghost stories and the like, which are often called Dark Fantasy. Thus Shelly's 'Frankenstein' is Dark Fantasy, not science fiction, because there are no real attempts to provide a sound scientific basis for ressurecting a dismembered corpse.

helenf
September 8th, 2002, 01:04 PM
This doesn't really tell you what the fantasy genre could contain but your question did prompt me to think about why fantasy is different to SF. I'm sure that this has been discussed before, but as I haven't been here long haven't seen it. sorry :)

Some people separate Fantasy from SF by defining Fantasy as having elements that could not exist in the real world. On the other hand SF is normally extrapolated from the real world - events discussed could happen one day.

However, I tend to disagree with this definition. A lot of science in SF is potentially possible - however, just as much of it isn't - or is unlikely to be e.g. faster than light travel. However the biggest element in fantasy that tends to make it 'unrealistic' is the magic - yet who are we to know that there doesn't exist a world where its people have powers that we would classify as 'magic'? And magic isn't always unexplained - some writers employ clearly defined magic systems that in a way work much like science, with rules etc, whereas other writers talk about science without knowing how it works at all (e.g. like me).

So, in a vain attempt to try and answer your query, the fantasy genre usually contains elements (magic, unusual species etc) that couldn't be explained by science - but as always this rule can be broken or ignored.

bir
September 8th, 2002, 03:04 PM
tnx!
btw wut is the genre of things such as knights and kings
sort of like A song of ice and fire without magic and the others?

Stor-All
September 8th, 2002, 03:38 PM
That may be classified as "historical fiction" Bir. Something that could in every aspect have happened, yet it didn't. Nothing is "fantastical" about it, all the rules of our world apply, etc. etc.

helenf
September 8th, 2002, 04:56 PM
Or perhaps 'alternate history' where events that occur quite clearly could not belong in our history.

But A Song of Ice and Fire is definitely fantasy IMO.


Helen

Holbrook
September 8th, 2002, 05:20 PM
Yes, it could be historical fantasy....

Like Bernard Cornwell's Harleqiun.

spoiler..............~~
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The characters are a mix of "real" Historical people like the Black Prince and the events, the battle Crecy and the hundred years war did happen. BUT the main character and his companions are make believe, so too is their quests. First to recapture the lance of St George and then to rescue the holy grail form evil forces....

choppy
September 8th, 2002, 07:02 PM
I'm sure everyone has a different personal definition of the fantasy genre. I've enjoyed reading the responses to this and I am curious to read those to come. I'll throw my own two cents into the pot, but first, I'll try to answer the second question.

Really this comes down to a question of due diligence. From a legal point of view what's important is that you identify the quote as someone else's words so that no one can sue you (or kick you out of school) for plagarism. The diligence is more of a professional standard - your readers will not respect you if you cannot associate the quote with its author when this is a reasonable task that you could have done.

But let's say you so some reasearch - you check for the quote through a number of search engines, you do a little reading and try to determine at least the time period it came from, or the context in which is was meant, but you still can't pinpoint an exact author. In this case it is accpetable to include the quote - but I would attribute it to "author unknown" and maybe include a footnote for anyone curious why. "Anonymous" can mean that you know the author, but for whatever reason he has chosen not to associate his identity with the words.

On to fantasy.

I use a very broad definition. To me fantasy is a story that includes some element of the extraordinary. Usually the theme of power is tied into the extraordinary element. The effects of this element and its associated power are then the basis for the speculative nature of the work.

People are facinated by that which they can't explain. Sometimes, its the very thing we cannot explain that helps us make sense of the world.

Forrest
September 9th, 2002, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by bir
can anybody tell me what a fantasy genre should contain?


Nudity, and lots of it!:D

Gagged Man
September 10th, 2002, 02:03 AM
I agree with Forrest, nudity always draws attention but sometimes for the wrong reason.
You could try alternative fantasy, sorta like "steampunk" (see Gibson & Sterling's The Difference Engine , though that's more SF than fantasy) where you got all these crazy inventions that are real. An example of what I'm saying is:

Da Vinci's ornithopter (flying thing) in a world full of magic, kings etc.

That kinda thing it pretty interesting but that's only my opinion so feel free to disregard.