Can there be such a thing as too much fantasy?
Is the fantasy world over-populated? It’s a valid question and one that keeps raising its ugly head in the current era of ‘Lord of the Authors: The Fellowship of the Fantasy’.
Without battling out the topic of Indie vs Traditional, I want to take a moment and talk about fantasy worlds. A simple blog post can’t cover every single fantasy tome to have ever graced a book shelf (or a digital market place like Amazon, for all you e-publishing gurus), but we can highlight a few.
J.R.R. Tolkien with his elves, and his dwarves, his hobbits with their hairy feet, and his trolls. Ringwraiths, a dark lord, and a powerful artefact that is a curse to all those who bear it.
George R.R. Martin with his thrones, and his games, the squabbles of men, and the treachery, futility and thick-fast plots (oh, and if you’ve watched the tv adaptation, there’s a fair share of boobage, too).
Peter V Brett – demons galore! How ‘man’ (and woman!) can overcome their fears for what they believe is right.
Mark Lawrence explores the moral depravity of a Prince who won’t let anything – or anyone – stand in his way, even if that involves burning the world just to keep warm.
Michael J Sullivan brings bromance to the fold (Webster’s unofficial definition of bromance: bro-mance, a combination of brother and romance, meaning ‘a brotherly romance’ between two males. Often seen sharing large quantities of bruises, beauties, and beatings) with a healthy dose of death-defying escapades and swashbuckling adventures.
John Gwynne breaths fresh life into the folklore and legend side of fantasy, giving Giants, Wyrms and even Angels a gritty new lease with a Nordic/Celtic feel.
Brent Weeks forefronts assassins in one, and mages in another, but above all else they struggle with their own powers for further means.
Brandon Sanderson…magic, need I say more? But then again, his world-building is second to none.
Joe Abercrombie touts more knives than any sane man should ever need, but lucky for us not all of his characters can be deemed sane enough to count or care for that matter. But when all is said and done, it’s down to being what you’re meant to be, and (as he often states by way of infamous barbarian Logen NineFingers) once you've got a task to do, it's better to do it than live with the fear of it.
I’ve barely even touched the surface here. I could go on for hours. James Barclay, David Gemmell (big daddy of British heroic-fantasy), Robert E Howard, Patrick Rothfuss, Robert Jordan, David Dalglish, Mazarkis Williams, Moses Sirergar III, Ben Galley, Steven Erikson, Christopher Paolini…ok, ok – I’ll stop.
So, fantasy is a busy world(s). But each and every one of them is different. Yes, a lot of them share themes or creatures (elves, dragons, hobbits, dwarves, damsels in distress…hobbits, or other creatures with hairy feet?), but would you really say: ‘No more’! Heck, I’m sure if you asked a lot of these authors they’d admit to being inspired by one another. Of course they would.
Ok, let’s imagine if someone said ‘No more’ to Robert Jordan. Would we have the Peter V Brett’s, and Christopher Paolini’s of today? ‘Put that pen down’ David Gemmell…and voila, no John Gwynne’s or James Barclay. How many would we lose if Robert E. Howard had run out of ink on the first page, and Conan had been lost to an unfinished sentence?
IMAGINE THE CHAOS if someone told J.R.R. Tolkien to shave his hobbit and write a romcom. Think of the children, pray for their futures!
Publishing is an ever changing industry, and fantasy is an ever changing realm of possibilities. If you’re Indie or Traditional, reader or writer…could you really say NO to one last fantasy? And before you start culling dwarves, shaving hobbit feet, or cashing in dragon fangs for the last copy of ’50 Shades of Grey’ from Amazon…just remember:
A Fantasy author isn’t just for Christmas. They’re for life.
(And even then, they’ll think of a way to come back and haunt you from the afterlife – they’re fantasy authors after all).
D. E. M. Emrys. Author. Soldier by day, Soldier by night - Writer in between. Knows war to write war.
David Emrys, known as D to his friends, is a serving soldier and author. He has clearance to know more than he should, but not the sense to know better. Leaving education with no more than a fifteen year olds understanding of English Literature, D’s storytelling craft is self-taught.
Growing up with the heroic tales written by authors such as David Gemmell and James Barclay, D was inspired to write stories of his own. After joining the army D used his free time to focus on his dream of sharing shelf-space with his idols.
D testifies to the fact that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword – but swords make for better letter-openers. He lives where the army send him, but home is in Chelmsford with his girlfriend. They say that behind every great man there is a woman pulling the strings, but she lets him dance to his own song whilst being the perfect partner in step. D claims that his books would not have been written without her.
David Emrys is not his real name.
Nor is D.
Thanks so much for that, David! You guys should be sure to check out David's books; the links are below for you. And be on the lookout for a review of Emrys's From Man to Man later this week.
'From Man to Man'
'It Began With Ashes'