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Author Topic: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"  (Read 8044 times)

Offline Lady Ty

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"The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« on: April 05, 2015, 07:19:56 AM »
This may be of interest when either the chocolate high or the long weekend doze wear off but it  left me wanting to kick the journalist and write rude comments to the Guardian.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/apr/03/george-rr-martin-game-of-thrones-and-the-triumph-of-fantasy-fiction

What annoyed me was the condescension of the article and the implicit assumption that we, as readers, or fantasy authors in general would actually care or consider it an honour to be accepted in the so called "literary mainstream", just because ASoIAF is a raging success? No lack of respect to GRR Martin, but come on- is that the best they can do to acclaim fantasy?

Quite apart from the fact that myth, legend and the glorious stuff of fantasy has been around as mainstream entertainment for centuries, long before Piers Plowman or Chaucer,  it seems that this literary critic, like others who grovel over Booker short lists, are actually trying to climb on the coat tails of one successful and highly commercialised author. He throws in other well known fantasy references but still drags GRRM in at every turn, tries to imply we might compare him with Scott,  and for some obscure reason thinks Wilkie Collins would admire his cliff hangers........

Does it read like that to you or have I missed the point while having my tantrum?

OK, I said I don't usually rant, clearly a blatant lie, but this is the only place I can discuss fantasy with people who know what I'm talking about, so you are all the victims today. >:(

« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 10:23:20 AM by Lady Ty »
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2015, 09:21:34 AM »
Oh you are absolutely right!
What a load of patronising tosh!!! >:(

This sounds like it was written by someone who never even comes close to the SFF section a bookshop and only wrote this article because of a TV series and the death of an author. Yes, he read Lord of the Rings, but apparently so did everybody of his age.
His mentions of 'what fantasy normally is' shows his absolutely lack of real knowledge, and is based on the stereotypes that have 'plagued' this genre for decades.
We don't need him or others like him.
(sorry for the rant - I've been seeing articles like this since series 1 of GoT)
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Offline sennydreadful

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2015, 10:14:31 AM »
It's interesting to see fantasy written about in such depth in a newspaper like the Guardian. However, aside from some references to J K Rowling, the author seems to have managed to forget about ALL the significant female authors of fantasy.

As I commented on twitter, if your article on how awesome fantasy is doesn't talk about Robin Hobb and others like her, then it's pretty much worthless. Elspeth Cooper wrote a post about it outlining exactly how ridiculous this is.

http://elspethcooper.com/blog/archives/2204

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2015, 10:20:40 AM »
ScarletBea,  glad you agree. The journo's ignorance did show through and as you say only very stereotyped references. Good to see you rant as well 8) 8).

When I posted there were only a couple of comments, but I have looked since and now  there are over 400 giving him hell in general, it seems true fantasy fans have come out in force and the comments are much more fun than the article, ;D ;D

@sennydreadful your reply has just come, and thank you for posting that link about Women Writing Fantasy. I saw it on Twitter but forgot where and it is a great article to have here on the Forum.
Sorry you missed Bristol and hope you are OK now.Was going to ask you about the Pratchett murals, but Overlord has put great pics on the main site.  :)
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
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Offline sennydreadful

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2015, 10:25:03 AM »
ScarletBea,  glad you agree. The journo's ignorance did show through and as you say only very stereotyped references. Good to see you rant as well 8) 8).

When I posted there were only a couple of comments, but I have looked since and now  there are over 400 giving him hell in general, it seems true fantasy fans have come out in force and the comments are much more fun than the article, ;D ;D

@sennydreadful your reply has just come, and thank you for posting that link about Women Writing Fantasy. I saw it on Twitter but forgot where and it is a great article to have here on the Forum.
Sorry you missed Bristol and hope you are OK now.Was going to ask you about the Pratchett murals, but Overlord has put great pics on the main site.  :)

Thank you! Those Pratchett murals are amazing - people can do some lovely things, sometimes.

Now I might go and read the comments on that article...  ;)
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Offline Rostum

Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2015, 03:07:43 PM »
Typical fluff piece not aimed at anyone who actually reads SFF. I got as far as "finally taken it's place in the literary mainstream" before thinking Pratchett was always very proud of being the most shoplifted author in the UK. I am so glad Guardian readers will finally hear his name along with those of all those other unknowns who always seem to have a SSF book in the top ten bestsellers.

Can anyone spot a genre author in Amazons current authour popularity list.

 http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/



Offline xiagan

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2015, 03:18:24 PM »
I didn't read the article. Your rants provided me with all the information I needed to know. ;)

Can anyone spot a genre author in Amazons current authour popularity list.

 http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/
What kind of list is that? I read one of the top 10, have heard the names of two more and have no idea of the other seven. I can't remember having seen their books in bookshops and I'm usually good at things like that.
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Offline JMack

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2015, 03:35:07 PM »
I didn't read the article. Your rants provided me with all the information I needed to know. ;)

Can anyone spot a genre author in Amazons current authour popularity list.

 http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/
What kind of list is that? I read one of the top 10, have heard the names of two more and have no idea of the other seven. I can't remember having seen their books in bookshops and I'm usually good at things like that.
It actually makes mostly complete sense to me. But OrestbStelmach? Who the heck is that? Sejal Baldani?

But in terms of genre, absolutely!

Harlan Coben writes super mystery/thrillers.
Diana Gabaldon, we know her, yes? Outlander is actually pretty well written. And the new TV series is fun.
James Patterson and David Baldacci, huge mystery-thriller writers
Hawkins is new. girl of the train is a big hit right now, and I'd like to read it
Melissa Olson is clearly genre - sort UF/Romance? based on covers, maybe YA too?

What this list does say is that Romance and Thrillers sell.



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Offline Eclipse

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2015, 03:46:09 PM »
I didn't read the article. Your rants provided me with all the information I needed to know. ;)

Can anyone spot a genre author in Amazons current authour popularity list.

 http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/
What kind of list is that? I read one of the top 10, have heard the names of two more and have no idea of the other seven. I can't remember having seen their books in bookshops and I'm usually good at things like that.
It actually makes mostly complete sense to me. But OrestbStelmach? Who the heck is that? Sejal Baldani?

But in terms of genre, absolutely!

Harlan Coben writes super mystery/thrillers.
Diana Gabaldon, we know her, yes? Outlander is actually pretty well written. And the new TV series is fun.
James Patterson and David Baldacci, huge mystery-thriller writers
Hawkins is new. girl of the train is a big hit right now, and I'd like to read it
Melissa Olson is clearly genre - sort UF/Romance? based on covers, maybe YA too?

What this list does say is that Romance and Thrillers sell.

Where's Lee Child?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 03:54:54 PM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline Eclipse

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2015, 03:48:25 PM »
Oh his on the second page with GRRM  :) and umm J.R.Ward and Abbie Zanders have you seen those covers my eyes hurt  ;D

 
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 03:52:33 PM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2015, 04:27:58 PM »
I tried finding that page for Amazon.co.uk but it doesn't exist.
I think we still have a huge difference between books sold in the US and those sold in the UK...
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Offline Rostum

Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2015, 04:35:21 PM »
Quote
What kind of list is that? I read one of the top 10, have heard the names of two more and have no idea of the other seven. I can't remember having seen their books in bookshops and I'm usually good at things like that.

Sorry for clarification The list is the most popular Authors by sales worldwide on Amazon. It is updated hourly.
So when say Winds of Winter is released George will probably move up to the number one spot and drift back down when equally well known authours have books released. There will always be SFF authors in the top 10 or 20. People need to escape into tales that take them to other worlds.
Remember that over half the worlds population live in India and China (although I know nothing of Amazons of Amazons sales penetration in Asia) so it is a straw guide to whats selling if not whats being read.

The point being John Mullens assertion that SFF could become mainstream is incorrect. It always was and only the pidgeon holing of books into lots of different catogories would have caused someone who hadn't a clue not to understand that, say the Harry potter and discworld books were good examples of fantasy from best selling authors whether they were labled as young adult or comedy or not.

Online ScarletBea

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2015, 04:39:40 PM »
The list is the most popular Authors by sales worldwide on Amazon.

I doubt it's worldwide, it only says 'sales on Amazon.com' (the specific US site). If people from other countries buy there, fine, but Europe has got specific Amazon sites all of their own that aren't included in the list (off the top of my head I can think of individual sites for the UK, Germany, France and Spain).
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Offline Raptori

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2015, 04:46:43 PM »
The list is the most popular Authors by sales worldwide on Amazon.

I doubt it's worldwide, it only says 'sales on Amazon.com' (the specific US site). If people from other countries buy there, fine, but Europe has got specific Amazon sites all of their own that aren't included in the list (off the top of my head I can think of individual sites for the UK, Germany, France and Spain).
Plus you can order from any of the European ones from any other European country - we've bought stuff from .co.uk and .de to be delivered to Finland in the past. Finland's probably too small a market to warrant its own Amazon site  :-\
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Offline JMack

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Re: "The Triumph of Fantasy Fiction?"
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2015, 04:51:29 PM »
The list is the most popular Authors by sales worldwide on Amazon.

I doubt it's worldwide, it only says 'sales on Amazon.com' (the specific US site). If people from other countries buy there, fine, but Europe has got specific Amazon sites all of their own that aren't included in the list (off the top of my head I can think of individual sites for the UK, Germany, France and Spain).
Plus you can order from any of the European ones from any other European country - we've bought stuff from .co.uk and .de to be delivered to Finland in the past. Finland's probably too small a market to warrant its own Amazon site  :-\
No, wait. U.S. = worldwide, didn't you know?  ;)
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