What’s Wrong With Traditional Fantasy?

I’d just like to say that I started out reading a lot of horrors as a teen (after the usual Edin Blyton etc) and I still enjoy a good, spine-tingling story.

Once I got older, had kids, and fell into the trap of trying to play the part of ‘normality’, which is relative by the way and subjective to each individual, I started on Fantasy books as a way of escapism. For me, the dull chores of housework, which I rushed to get finished as soon as possible ended up with me being quite bored when the kids were napping. So, I went out to find something to read. I stumbled across David Gemmel as an author and my first foray into Fantasy was Dark Moon. I loved it so much I still read this book at least once a year. It’s got everything, humour, great characters and a well-paced story.  I like that David Gemmel would write a lot of standalone books, usually set in the same world, but at different times, and with a variety of characters, some new and a few re-ocurring favourites.

These days, there’s a lot of darker Fantasy and worlds that at times can be a bit grim. I don’t mind the darker aspects of these authors and their books.

However, I still gravitate towards more traditional Fantasy. I prefer these stories to the darker tones of newer generations of books and authors. I usually re-read the more traditional fantasy books over and over because they seem to draw me in a lot more.

What I’m getting at is there seems to be a trend, especially within the self-publishing community, of veering away from traditional/high Fantasy like it’s some sort of dangerous affliction. Blurbs can’t have the word, prophecy in there, or have the tell-tale signatures of heroes and heroines with quests and the odd dragon or demon…

There are a lot of Steampunk driven stories, which I do enjoy, but will this trend become over used as time goes on?

For me personally, I write Fantasy with elements of Steampunk/Gaslight traits. I like to show stronger female characters, but in no way follow a rigid code of new-age feminism or whatever. I like to show how life doesn’t always follow a straight line, sometimes the expectations of what will happen don’t live up to what actually happens. For me, David Gemmel often showed this in his own work.

What I really love is the escapism of reading. Dropping into a new world, new adventure, worrying about the characters, sharing their joy and their pain. Sometimes, I feel there is an overabundance of swearing in newer books, and while I’m not averse to a bit of cursing, I’m pretty sure not every single character in a book needs to have this niggling habit of swearing every other word.

I also like humour in books too as people often turn to humour, even in a bad situation. I enjoy diversity, but also prefer Fantasy books over anything else. That’s just me.

As I write this, I’m wondering whether or not I should post it…Everyone has a preference for pretty much everything…books, living, and everything in-between.

I’m just wondering what will happen to the more traditional Fantasy stories as this world becomes a harsher place to live and is reflected more and more in the books of this era?

Mainly because I’m finding it harder and harder to find new books to read…Or is that just me? I don’t know. Just felt like venting…and now…I’m done!


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