Sunday, December 02, 2012

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Top Ten Fantasy Authors


Todd Mason said...

Hahahah ha. Ha. Oh, my, yes, quite amusing.

Not even remotely responsible, informed, nor even the top ten bestselling.

But someone did make a list, it's true.

Todd Mason said...

"The fantasy genre has gained a great deal of popularity in recent years due to the success of films such as Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies."

You have that a bit twisted...the always-popular field of fantasy fiction has grown even more popular and has been marketed with ever-greater "brand identity" over the last half century, when in the 1960s Tolkien, Robert Howard, and such horror-fiction (among other things) writers as Ira Levin started to achieve consistent bestseller status. The enormously popular novels by Tolkien and Rowling made the films possible, and the two media reinforce each other, as do such allied media as comics and television.

"It’s hard to believe that at one time the fantasy genre was considered a sub-genre of Science Fiction and didn’t really gain its own identity until the 70’s."

It's good it's hard to believe, since it isn't true. It is true that some fantasy has been marketed over the decades as sf, but that's because fantasy tagged fantasy often didn't sell as well as fantasy tagged as "fiction" or "literature" or "sf" or "mystery" or even, during the heyday of gothics in the '60s and early '70s, "gothic"--not altogether different from today's "paranormal romance" only usually with a Lifetime cable-movie flavor of paranoia and a tendency for any supernatural aspects to be explained away...the audience for fantasy, until Tolkien was marketed as such by Ballantine Books and its partners, didn't know they were the audience for fantasy. Horror fiction suffered a similar marketing hassle before the overwhelming success of Stephen King, and has suffered it again after the horror label didn't prove to be a consistent draw, but that didn't mean there weren't writers and readers who didn't know what horror fiction was when they were writing or reading it.

"Some literature purists will insist that fantasy novels shouldn’t even be published and lack any real contribution to the art of reading, but whether they like it or not Fantasy is here to stay and will continue to gain popularity."

You can safely ignore anyone making such a claim as an ignorant idiot. No literary "purist" can deny the fantasy thread woven throughout world literature, and throughout the history of's not as if Jonathan Swift or Jorge Luis Borges or Italo Calvino or Virginia Wolff or Mary Shelley or James Thurber didn't realize they were writing fantasy, when they did so.

Todd Mason said...

Surprise! This response to his preamble hasn't been Approved for posting.

Bill Crider said...