Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
  1. #1
    Lord of the Frozen Wastes
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Posts
    134

    Fantasy authors of the last 10 years

    There's been many authors who have surfaced in the last 10 years who seem to be bringing something new to the board. Off the top of my head I know Patrick Rothfus, Joe Abercrombie, R. Scott Bakker and Scott Lynch.

    What's the opinion on these new authors, or others with which I am unfamiliar? Are there themes that tie any of them together or separate them from the old guard of fantasy authors?

    I have yet to read any of these authors (though I do own Name of the Wind and The Blade Itself), so I probably won't contribute much, but I am interested very much in reading others opinions on new authors, and how the fantasy genre has evolved in the last while.
    Last edited by CodanOfCanada; August 31st, 2012 at 08:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Barnes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Canada by way of England
    Posts
    44
    I was thinking about something similar to this just the other day, adding Peter Brett & Brandon Sanderson to those mentioned already, all who were first publisher around the same time frame 2006ish, and in my opinion are the best current fantasy authors, I can't think of anyone that stands out after that. There are other authors I enjoy but no one as exceptional as those 6.

  3. #3
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,442
    For the most part, my answer is no, they are not different from the "old guard" of fantasy authors. R. Scott Bakker did do something unusual though as he filled an entire series with antiheroes. I can say I don't think I've ever seen that before. There are a lot more fantasy authors -- thousands of them, and so it might seem like there's a particular wave going on. But for me, the lines of descent are quite straightforward, even in Bakker's case. They have a lot of interesting voices, though. I think Hal Duncan's Vellum and sequel Ink were the most dizzying, lyrical tightrope defying edifice that I have read so far of authors in the oughts. But like anyone else, I've only read a small corner of the authors out there.

  4. #4
    It depends on how you define the "new guard." Because if we're expanding this include J.K. Rowling or that awful Stephanie Meyer I'm not so optimistic. Now I thought the Harry Potter series was good for what it was, but I feel that Meyer utterly insulted vampire fiction with that abomination toward good taste. It was a step backward from the more believeable vampires of Anne Rice's novels who were more than a little disturbed by their situation. Now the only reason I have a bit of a pessimistic outlook on the results of Rowling's work is that I fear it may set off a trend of ripping her off. Granted the kid involved in supernatural situations is a trope as old as storytelling itself, it's the sort of rip off stream that could be coming that irks me.

    I also have a less than rosy look on the inheritance cycle too. To me it seemed that while it was not the absolute worst piece of fiction I ever found, it just seemed to be rehashing a thousand cliches I had seen before without making it feel fresh or offering an exciting new slant on them.It felt like an obsolete model compared to the works of those such as George R.R. Martin. Granted George has been writing since the time of the "old guard" but his style as shown in the ASOIF is more line with the "new guard" and the recent surge in the popularity of the series kind of makes him part of it in that way. I have more faith in those influenced by the likes of him.

    I've recently developed a sort of interest in Bakker's work which is more in line with the Martin vein. People like him who actually note the importance of culture in the realm of conflict and human interaction actually give me some sense of hope for the genre. In way his work resembles the sort of stories I would want to write.

    I can't say I'm ultra familiar with Abercrombie's work, but it seems to in a similar vein to the work of Bakker. Which if true could be quite promising. It seems to me that the new guard is actually more concerned and interested in culture than certain other authors in that respect which is something I always felt was lacking in the popular fantasy collective consciousness.

    I fear I do not know enough about Lynch's work to comment.

    So as the genre moves forward I have a sort of mixed outlook. So while I do have some sense of hope that we will see a more culturally conscious character driven future I also have a fear that we may not see the cliches made less so or left behind. Some works might actually take it a few steps back.

  5. #5
    Lord of the Frozen Wastes
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Posts
    134
    I was thinking more of traditional fantasy when I made the post. Not so much young adult fantasy or urban fantasy, but that is a good point anyway. In some ways I think that GRRM sort of started this new wave of fantasy. He predates, as do others, like Steven Erikson, but share much of the themes that are becoming moire prevalent in new fantasy works.

    Another newer author who springs to mind is David Keck. I had read his book In the Eye of Heaven shortly after it came out and enjoyed it quite a bit. It also, to me, feels different than something that could have been written say 20 years ago. He really tried to stay away from traditonal fantasy conventions, but still present an imaginative and epic tale. And I think that is what separates the newer authors from the last.

    Though I suppose this sort of thing happens every decade or two. Worn ideas grow old and new ones have to develope. Eventually these newer authors too will seem cliched.

  6. #6
    Published Novelist
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    26
    Does HP could as fantasy?

  7. #7
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    6,233
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth2 View Post
    Does HP could as fantasy?
    Harry Potter does indeed count as fantasy.

    Unless you mean HP Sauce, in which case it's very much a reality.

  8. #8
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    89
    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    Harry Potter does indeed count as fantasy.

    Unless you mean HP Sauce, in which case it's very much a reality.
    and a tasty one at that.

  9. #9
    Published Novelist
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    26
    LOL. What is HP sacuce

  10. #10
    We parley for nobody norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Newmarket, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    524
    Blog Entries
    1
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Sauce

    Glad I could make a educational contribution to this literary discussion.

  11. #11
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    89
    Quote Originally Posted by norm View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Sauce

    Glad I could make a educational contribution to this literary discussion.
    it's a wonderful story, too. a fine example of the success of capitalism.

  12. #12
    We parley for nobody norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Newmarket, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    524
    Blog Entries
    1
    And now for something a little more relevant to the discussion.

    I never used to read fantasy; I had always presumed that the standard fantasy novel read like the Wheel of Time: Creatures and villains that are evil for the sake of being evil, magic that seemed ill-defined, the field of battle glorified into a place where legends are born and blah blah blah. I tread very carefully to avoid those novels, and for the most part I've avoided stepping in ****. For the most part.

    A couple of years ago I got curious about what was out there so I followed the buzz. Two names came up frequently: Rothfuss and Abercrombie. I started with Abercrombie's Best Served Cold and was blown away; it wasn't any of the things I thought defined the average fantasy novel. It was gritty, at times ugly, cynical, twisted, the violence was never sugar coated, the characters always felt like they were in real danger despite being vital to the storyline. And it had all the things I wanted: snappy dialogue, fast pace, intricate detail, dark humour.

    Rothfuss deals with some familiar fantasy themes( fae realms, wizardry and such things) but displays it all through the eyes of a very complex, very real main character (Kvothe.) Despite being larger than life, Kvothe still feels like a human being, not some mysterious wizard or some omnimpotent knight. The way he comes about the extraordinary situations in his life still feel plausible.

    I think a lot of people in this day and age (myself included) want their fantasy to be realistic, as contradictory as that sounds. It's almost as if it's easier to escape into a fantasy that we can believe and relate to, rather than one that is so far gone from reality that the connection to it is lost. I think some people want the line between fantasy and reality to be blurred, and I think there are a few authors out there right now who do this pretty well. I'm sure there are probably more than a few exceptions, but I was always of the impression that the "old guard" of fantasy authors kept their fantasy seperate from reality.

    Anyway, my two cents.

  13. #13
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    89
    Quote Originally Posted by norm View Post
    I think a lot of people in this day and age (myself included) want their fantasy to be realistic, as contradictory as that sounds. It's almost as if it's easier to escape into a fantasy that we can believe and relate to, rather than one that is so far gone from reality that the connection to it is lost. I think some people want the line between fantasy and reality to be blurred, and I think there are a few authors out there right now who do this pretty well. I'm sure there are probably more than a few exceptions, but I was always of the impression that the "old guard" of fantasy authors kept their fantasy seperate from reality.

    Anyway, my two cents.
    i feel fantasy is slowly heading back to what it was prior to the mid-80s in that regard. heroes used to think nothing of cutting down armies of enemies with a single swipe of a big sword. then the 80s and more so the 90s brought the kind of hero who got all emo about everything, and just wanted to "talk".

    i mean, your average hero would whine all the way to the ultimate evil badguy, "oh, i don't want to hurt anyone" and be using the pommel of his sword more than the pointy end. the final scene the bad guy will pretty much just leap onto the surprised hero's sword, solving all moral issues by proving evil is dumb.

    i'd argue the violence is creeping back into it as anti-heroes start making their return. for me, i miss the sword and sorcery days where the heroes wandered around for no real reason other than to thwack things with a big ol' axe. abercrombie is a fine example of that. he brings back the darkness and the blurred line between good and evil. you go back, even into the days of conan, and it's really hard to see a "good" vs "evil" as much as "this guy" vs "that guy."

    i still blame tolkien.

  14. #14
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,442
    Quote Originally Posted by CodanOfCanada View Post
    I was thinking more of traditional fantasy when I made the post. Not so much young adult fantasy or urban fantasy, but that is a good point anyway. In some ways I think that GRRM sort of started this new wave of fantasy. He predates, as do others, like Steven Erikson, but share much of the themes that are becoming moire prevalent in new fantasy works.
    C.J. Cherryh, Gene Wolfe, Guy Gavriel Kay, Stephen Donaldson, Michael Moorcock, Fritz Lieber, Glen Cook, Richard Matherson, Brian Lumley, Avram Davidson, Sheri Tepper, Poul Anderson, Robert Silverberg, Michael Swanwick, Stephen Brust, David Gemmell, Jack Vance, Robert Holdstock, Tanith Lee, Roger Zelazny, Theodore Sturgeon, Elizabeth Moon.

    It's not more prevalent. Urban fantasy did not spring into existence in 1995. Gritty secondary world fantasy did not begin in 1996 when Martin published Song. Steve Erikson worships Glen Cook. Scott Lynch willingly bows to Fritz Lieber. One of the reasons -- though certainly not the only one -- that I have become so fond of Joe Abercrombie's works is that they remind me of so many novels that I grew up with.

    Yes, there was Feist (who was often considered gritty,) Terry Brooks (who did some series considered gritty,) David Eddings, etc. And the D&D tie-in books which were a very small part of fantasy fiction, mostly in the 1980's. But there was also Donaldson, who made phenomenal sales records for fantasy with his cranky, rapist leper. There were so many Elric imitators, it was funny. (But wait, no, Elric was a happy elf who had no impact on epic fantasy whatsoever -- with his bloody sword of soul sucking.) The world of fantasy did not take a major thematic and tonal shift just because there was Google and Facebook.

    So could anyone come up with something that you like about these people that is not utterly historically inaccurate? How about growing internationalism? The shift from trilogies to longer series? The increase in fantasy stories that focus tightly on military units, in the tradition of Glen Cook and David Gemmell?

    And next time, Codan, when you want to talk about secondary world fantasy instead of the whole of fantasy fiction, could you make that clear at the beginning?

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    56
    What I like about Erikson and Bakker is how their careers in Ethnology/Archeology and Philosophy respectively, have informed their fantasy. The amount of depth this has created in their work is tremendous.

    Apart from Tolkien, I canít say that Iíve noticed this from other fantasy authors.

    On Topic. Tom Lloyd, Lois McMaster Bujold and J. Gregory Keys (first three books) are another 3 naughties that I enjoyed.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •