Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction Writers => Writers' Corner => Topic started by: JMack on March 07, 2015, 02:24:15 PM

Title: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: JMack on March 07, 2015, 02:24:15 PM
This is a post for the writers among us:

What are the most important trends in Fantasy today of which a writer should be aware when trying to find an audience? This is not a question of which trends we might like or not, but of which are important in today's market?

A related question might be: What sub-genres or styles are "out", and if you want to write them, you need to bring something new or know you'll audience will be smaller?
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: DRMarvello on March 07, 2015, 02:42:52 PM
From what I've seen, dark is in, contemporary settings are in, kick-ass female heroines are in, fast pacing is in, and vengeance stories are in. I don't think that means you can't succeed without those elements, but your market might be limited for the time being if you choose to go in other directions.

These things change over time, though. I've decided to just write the kind of stories I like to read and hope there are other readers out there who like the same kind of thing. That way, I'll always have at least one fan. ;)
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: stevenpoore on March 07, 2015, 02:51:38 PM
maybe ask instead: what will be the next important trends? because whatever today's trends are, they were being sought & sourced by agents etc as far back as a couple of years ago. if you write with current markets as a target, you aren't going to get very far. better to focus on making your own work as professional, distinctive and marketable as you can, i reckon.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: JMack on March 07, 2015, 03:12:48 PM
maybe ask instead: what will be the next important trends? because whatever today's trends are, they were being sought & sourced by agents etc as far back as a couple of years ago. if you write with current markets as a target, you aren't going to get very far. better to focus on making your own work as professional, distinctive and marketable as you can, i reckon.
Interesting point. Care to venture some prophecies?
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: stevenpoore on March 07, 2015, 05:26:30 PM
heh. i'm neither agent nor publisher, i'm afraid. i can tell you that apparently nobody wants portal fantasies, which is why i'm writing one... :)
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Elfy on March 07, 2015, 11:53:30 PM
The problem with trends and publishers following them is that you wind up with a glut of one thing until someone comes up with something that catches the public's interest and forms the next trend until the business catches onto it and then floods the market again. I think it's why sequels and series are so popular, and this applies to the film industry as well, God forbid that they should have to have an original idea or try something a bit different.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: K.S. Crooks on March 08, 2015, 04:08:03 AM
To venture a guess on the future based on not much at all:
A switch from a female lead that is learning about the greater world in which she lives from a male love interest or mentor (Bella and Edward and Jacob, Katniss and Shamus, Clary and Jace, Tris and Four, etc.). To either the male being the one who needs to learn how the world really is from a female already involved in that greater world or some team fantasy stories, perhaps following the way the current superhero movies have trended towards. Maybe one of us can start the next trend and have other people to complain about it being over-done.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Elfy on March 08, 2015, 11:30:49 PM
heh. i'm neither agent nor publisher, i'm afraid. i can tell you that apparently nobody wants portal fantasies, which is why i'm writing one... :)
I've written one of those too, and I also heard this. I'm sure J. K Rowlings and all the copies of Harry Potter that she's sold beg to disagree with that particular belief.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Roxxsmom on March 09, 2015, 03:49:10 AM
What seems to be popular right now outside of urban (which I've heard is getting a bit glutted anyway) is YA fantasy (it seems to be where a lot of fantasy writers are migrating, especially female ones), grimdark (100% male from what I can tell), epic fantasy with a more contemporary storytelling/narrative style ala George RR Martin or Scott Lynch, gunpowder fantasy and so on.

It seems like stuff with elves and dwarves and many traditional old style HF tropes are less common now, though some writers (Sullivan comes to mind) still do well with them.

A number of agents seem to be saying that YA paranormal and dystopian are glutted right now, and some specifically say, "Please no vampires, zombies, or werewolves."

The problem with looking at what's jumping off the shelves right now (and tailoring your writing to that) is that, unless you're a very fast writer (and even then if you're currently unpublished), the process of writing, polishing and querying a novel takes years, and then it's usually at least another year or two after an agent signs you before the book would be on the shelves (assuming it doesn't need substantial revision work and sells quickly).

Also, what established authors are selling may be different from what debut authors are selling.

So writing to today's market is probably not a great idea. The most common advice agents and editors seem to give at cons and workshops is write what you yourself would like to see more of, write it as well as you can, and hope for the best.

I'm querying a novel right now, and from the "wish lists" agents who accept fantasy have on their pages, I'm getting a vibe that while urban fantasy is still pretty popular (some agents seem to "only" take urban) secondary world settings have had a resurgence in popularity, and many agents are saying they want secondary world settings that aren't based on medieval Europe. A number specifically say they'd like to see more diversity and characters from underrepresented groups, including differences in gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability levels in fantasy too. Some say they're looking for books that blend or mix up genres in unexpected ways too.

I've also noticed that a couple of agents specifically said they're looking for "high" fantasy. I'm not sure if they're using this to simply mean "secondary world in pre-industrial settings," or if they're anticipating a return of the older style of "elevated tone" medievalish fantasy with elves and so on after all.

Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Ryan Mueller on March 09, 2015, 04:58:09 AM
I would interpret the calls for high fantasy to mean they're looking for fantasy with more magical elements. Something more along the lines of Brandon Sanderson than low fantasy like you see from someone like Joe Abercrombie, or even GRRM (to an extent).

Of course, I could be wildly wrong on this (or maybe hopeful, since all my fantasy tends to feature a more fantastic setting).
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Raptori on March 09, 2015, 05:34:32 AM
I would interpret the calls for high fantasy to mean they're looking for fantasy with more magical elements. Something more along the lines of Brandon Sanderson than low fantasy like you see from someone like Joe Abercrombie, or even GRRM (to an extent).

Of course, I could be wildly wrong on this (or maybe hopeful, since all my fantasy tends to feature a more fantastic setting).
Interesting interpretation of "high fantasy". I always took it to mean fantasy with an epic scope, so the likes of LOTR and most of Sanderson's work are firmly within that genre. According to that definition ASOIAF is supposedly a mixture of high fantasy and other genres, with the high fantasy more of a backdrop, but as I haven't read them I can't really say for sure  :P

As for what trends there are... for speculative fiction in general, dystopia has been a surprisingly resilient trend. Darker fantasy as well of course, which sucks for me because I generally don't enjoy it much. No idea what the future trends will be, but a move away from dark coupled with more atypical settings would be perfect for my tastes. It's what we're aiming for at least!
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Yora on March 09, 2015, 11:17:16 AM
I think  the traditional concept of High Fantasy is "not set in our world or including characters from our world". Both Lord of the Rings and Conan have little hints here and there that these worlds will eventually become our world, but they are clearly not historical fantasy.
The big problem with these categories is that there are always at least two or three definition that all contradict each other but have all been used so much that it's impossible to tell which is the real one. Some people consider Lord of the Rings Heroic Fantasy, even though I would say it's the opposite of it and Epic Fantasy. The worst one is Low Fantasy, which really has no meaning left at all.

The only category that has a useful definition is Sword & Sorcery, because Leiber invented the term to mean his own fantasy stories, Conan, and Elric with the specific intent of telling them apart from Lord of the Rings.  ;D
Still didn't stop people from calling Lord of the Rings Sword & Sorcery, but that's fortunately rare and you can prove to those people they are using the term wrong.

What I still see becoming a big thing in the future is short length ebooks with 10 to 30,000 words given away for peanuts. Mega Series with 5, 8, or 10 books with 400,000 words each are super popular now, but there are plenty of people who just won't bother with even attempting to read them. 20,000 words for 50 cent is no commitment and if you don't like it you neither wasted any real time or money on it. And as ebooks, you can sell them piece by piece instead of anthologies or magazines, so readers can get exactly the one they are looking for and not need to pay for anything else.
If a story is popular and the writer has fun doing it, they can easily be made into serials and it's not much of a problem to release one or two every month. Entry barriers are also very low as there are pretty much zero production cost and you can write these stories entirely as a hobby with no need to make a profit or break even. It's a format from a hundred years ago, but I think it's now becoming relevant again like it hasn't for fifty years.

But of course publishers wouldn't know about that, as it completely circumvents their distribution system and doesn't really need them.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: sennydreadful on March 09, 2015, 12:04:42 PM
To be brutally honest, I feel that attempting to write a book to fit in with a certain trend is a bit of a dangerous game. As already mentioned in the replies above, the book you're writing and planning now won't be out for at least a year, and more likely 2 years - and that's if you get an agent and/or a publishing deal straight away. In that time, the current fashions can change a great deal, particularly if you have a certain book come along that changes the market for everyone in drastic ways.

I can't help thinking you're better off writing what you want to write, and what you want to read - that love for your subject matter will come through in your writing, and that's got a better chance of selling your book than what was fashionable two years ago. Agents and publishers do keep an eye on the market and what's popular, of course they do, but what they really want is an amazing book.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: CameronJohnston on March 09, 2015, 01:10:30 PM
To be brutally honest, I feel that attempting to write a book to fit in with a certain trend is a bit of a dangerous game. As already mentioned in the replies above, the book you're writing and planning now won't be out for at least a year, and more likely 2 years - and that's if you get an agent and/or a publishing deal straight away. In that time, the current fashions can change a great deal, particularly if you have a certain book come along that changes the market for everyone in drastic ways.

I can't help thinking you're better off writing what you want to write, and what you want to read - that love for your subject matter will come through in your writing, and that's got a better chance of selling your book than what was fashionable two years ago. Agents and publishers do keep an eye on the market and what's popular, of course they do, but what they really want is an amazing book.

Totally agree with this. Also if that book does somehow get picked up you might get stuck writing something for years when your heart is not in it, and it will show sooner or later. What I think might be more useful is ignoring the trend-of-the-week stuff (vampires, werewolves, angels, kids in deathmatches or whatever is super popular at the time) and try and identify longer term trends, things like:

- Swooning and useless princesses needing to be saved are out & women with agency are in.
- Heroes with whiter than white goody-goody moral codes are out & more realistic moralities and troubles are in (sign of the times). Which is not to say you can't write about good people, just be more realistic, have them make troubling choices and struggle to choose the right thing etc.

Of course, then is the counter-trend to consider. For example, Gritty and Grimdark this and that can be monotone in its bleakness, what better than a fun old-school adventure romp? Portal/D&D fantasies reached utter saturation in the 80s/90s and that subGenre seems to be a particularly hard sell, but so what, it might be against trend to write but if really well done it might be just what people are looking for as a change.

You could tie yourself in knots trying to work it all out. Better to just keep some long-term trends in mind and write what you want to write.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Yora on March 09, 2015, 01:41:26 PM
Looking at it from the opposite direction, it's probably quite useful to look at things that went out of fashion and spending some thought on why they are no longer popular. If you can identify some key elements that are problematic for current audiences,  you probably have a much better chance of reviving an outdated genre you like while avoiding the old mistakes.

I had some long discussions with other people about how one could possibly revive Star Trek as a TV show by recapturing the original essence while not repeating outdated concepts from decades earlier that just no longer fly with modern audiences. I think that was was ultimately made the last show fail and getting canceled. (Which was already 10 years ago!)
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Raptori on March 09, 2015, 01:55:49 PM
To be brutally honest, I feel that attempting to write a book to fit in with a certain trend is a bit of a dangerous game. As already mentioned in the replies above, the book you're writing and planning now won't be out for at least a year, and more likely 2 years - and that's if you get an agent and/or a publishing deal straight away. In that time, the current fashions can change a great deal, particularly if you have a certain book come along that changes the market for everyone in drastic ways.

I can't help thinking you're better off writing what you want to write, and what you want to read - that love for your subject matter will come through in your writing, and that's got a better chance of selling your book than what was fashionable two years ago. Agents and publishers do keep an eye on the market and what's popular, of course they do, but what they really want is an amazing book.
I kinda assumed that this was all a given, but I guess it's good to point it out! Aiming to write books that capitalise on trends is the last thing you should do. I think it's still useful to analyse and try to extrapolate trends just to see how the collective tastes of the reading public are progressing over time, even if it shouldn't be a significant factor in choosing what to write :)
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: DRMarvello on March 09, 2015, 05:57:35 PM
Many fantasy authors are writing to current trends and doing fabulously at it. Of course, most of them are self-published and produce several titles a year, so they have the necessary agility.

I don't write that fast, and I'm not a fan of the current trends anyway, so I'm happy to plod along and write the kind of stories I like to read. Fortunately, I don't have to earn a living at this.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Yora on March 09, 2015, 06:30:38 PM
The huge successes are always those writers who write something unusual that starts a new trend.  :D
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Elfy on March 09, 2015, 10:56:53 PM
The other thing about writing something you like and would want to read is that you enjoy it, and that makes the writing flow better and actually shows through. I once heard a publisher's representative actively encourage aspiring authors to do that, because the odds are that if you like it then someone else will, and once you get someone to champion your work, the job is made that much easier.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Roxxsmom on March 13, 2015, 03:12:17 AM

Interesting interpretation of "high fantasy". I always took it to mean fantasy with an epic scope, so the likes of LOTR and most of Sanderson's work are firmly within that genre. According to that definition ASOIAF is supposedly a mixture of high fantasy and other genres, with the high fantasy more of a backdrop, but as I haven't read them I can't really say for sure  :P



Now my take on "high fantasy" is fantasy with central themes related to good versus evil, a somewhat elevated narrative tone (no modern profanity, for instance), sympathetic characters generally noble in character, and stakes taht are higher than just personal (though not necessarily epic). And at least some of the "traditional" fantasy elements are also present, whether it be dragons, elves, magic, knights, quasi-medieval setting and so on.A novel can be both high fantasy and epic fantasy, but it was my understanding that the two terms are not interchangeable.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: jefGoelz on March 13, 2015, 04:39:53 AM
there are probably multiple definitions, but Wiki's is pretty good, imo:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_fantasy
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Shadowhand on March 13, 2015, 05:07:11 AM
I'd echo the mantra "write what you like," as I've heard it numerous times from authors (Paul Kemp, R.A. Salvatore,  to name a couple off the top of my head). I did recently read a blog from Kristin Nelson, a literary agent who does accept fantasy, and she recommended being able to show an awareness of where your novel fit in the current market when you query agents:
Read the full blog (http://nelsonagency.com/2015/03/nlaquerytip-3/) for more explanation and reasons why this is a good idea.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Raptori on March 13, 2015, 06:53:47 AM
Now my take on "high fantasy" is fantasy with central themes related to good versus evil, a somewhat elevated narrative tone (no modern profanity, for instance), sympathetic characters generally noble in character, and stakes taht are higher than just personal (though not necessarily epic). And at least some of the "traditional" fantasy elements are also present, whether it be dragons, elves, magic, knights, quasi-medieval setting and so on.A novel can be both high fantasy and epic fantasy, but it was my understanding that the two terms are not interchangeable.
Yeah that sounds pretty similar to what I was thinking. Especially high and epic being different categories that can sometimes be combined, which makes it confusing when people use the terms interchangeably.  ???

I'd echo the mantra "write what you like," as I've heard it numerous times from authors (Paul Kemp, R.A. Salvatore,  to name a couple off the top of my head). I did recently read a blog from Kristin Nelson, a literary agent who does accept fantasy, and she recommended being able to show an awareness of where your novel fit in the current market when you query agents:
  • List other titles that would be comparable to yours.
  • Add a line that readers who enjoyed X title, Y title, and Z title would also like your story.
  • Clearly designate your novel’s correct genre or type of work.
Read the full blog (http://nelsonagency.com/2015/03/nlaquerytip-3/) for more explanation and reasons why this is a good idea.
Slight problem with the first two bullet points is that if your premise is very unusual (or a unique mix of more common tropes) then the comparable titles thing could be a bit misleading. I guess you could list novels with similar tone, but even that could be misleading as well. Defining the correct genre is clearly important though  :)
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Elfy on March 13, 2015, 11:44:39 PM
I don't totally agree with comparing your work to other successful published work, in fact I've seen agents request that people don't compare their work with well known concepts as it sets a false expectation. On the other hand you do need to know what the genre is. Not much point in sending a steampunk to an agent that generally handles high fantasy. Being able to correctly define the genre also helps when it comes time to market the work.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Shadowhand on March 14, 2015, 03:20:39 AM
As Kristin Nelson explained in her blog, there are two different ways to compare your novel to another published work. One is to say the writing is of the same quality as (or better than) [insert well-known author]. This is a quick path to rejection.

The other is to demonstrate a knowledge of what is currently in the marketplace and how the setting, conflict, themes, or characters of your novel might compare or contrast. For example, you might mention how your high fantasy novel features violent political intrigue in the same vein as Song of Fire and Ice.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Ryan Mueller on March 14, 2015, 03:57:00 AM
For my current novel I'm querying, I simply say that it should appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson and Brent Weeks. I'm not making any claims that I'm as good as they are, just that I think readers who enjoy their stuff have a good chance of enjoying mine as well.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: jefGoelz on March 15, 2015, 12:43:22 AM
For my current novel I'm querying, I simply say that it should appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson and Brent Weeks.
I'm wondering what you see similar in Sanderson and Weeks.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Ryan Mueller on March 16, 2015, 12:30:45 AM
Have you read Weeks's Lightbringer series? It's very much like a Sanderson story, just grittier. There's a big focus on the magic of the world, with a well-defined magic system, which is one of the major characteristics of the novel I'm querying. Even the Night Angel trilogy, despite its grittier nature, has a general plot that reminds me of Sanderson.

Sanderson and Weeks both tell action-packed, high-magic stories with epic plots where the fate of the world is often at stake. And they both do it with characters who tend toward the heroic, though they can still be deeply flawed.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: silvijanus on March 18, 2015, 01:22:35 PM
Recent years we have all these financial crisis and issues, analytics are like superstar sharing their wisdom and predictions about loans, debts etc.  So... can "Financial fantasy" be the next big thing? :D
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: JMack on March 18, 2015, 01:58:45 PM
Recent years we have all these financial crisis and issues, analytics are like superstar sharing their wisdom and predictions about loans, debts etc.  So... can "Financial fantasy" be the next big thing? :D
You mean "Trickledown economics"?  ;D
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: silvijanus on March 18, 2015, 02:49:25 PM
We could argue that our real life economy system is partly pure fantasy :D But no, I mean real fantasy story with swords and magic and whatever... where characters main quest would be to save bankrupt country and defeat loaners... making gold coins with secret alchemy formula could be fantasy version of Quantitative easing, and etc.

I'm mostly kidding of course, but those topics are more or less actual today.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Doctor_Chill on March 18, 2015, 03:12:30 PM
Placing bets on trends for the future: Gritty is here to stay, same as Dystopia for the rest of the decade at least. Grimdark is slowly going to meld into Viking Fantasy, yes. Show me a stereotypical Grimdark that doesn't have some semblance of a barbarian.

Flintlock Fantasy will continue to under perform, but like Steampunk, it will find a niche eventually. New Weird will continue to flourish, though maybe not at the rate it did with the early China Mieville, Mark Charan Newton, and Jeff Vandermeer. There's still Kameron Hurley and Mark T Barnes to champion the movement.

Fantasy Noir will continue to fly under the radar as a subset of UF, shelling out two or three major works a year one day. I think we're seeing our first this year with Dark Star by Oliver Langmead and The Dragons of Heaven by Alyc Helms.

Speaking of China influenced Fantasy, I'm still placing half my chips on Silk Road Fantasy. It's doing about as well as Flintlock I'd say, but there's actually a well of untapped potential to actually flourish. I dunno. Stuff like this (examining trends in literature) has always fascinated me. Love to speculate on how we got here and perhaps where we'll be headed next, though some weirdo could come and blow that train off its tracks any day.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Yora on March 18, 2015, 04:52:44 PM
Speaking of China influenced Fantasy, I'm still placing half my chips on Silk Road Fantasy. It's doing about as well as Flintlock I'd say, but there's actually a well of untapped potential to actually flourish. I dunno. Stuff like this (examining trends in literature) has always fascinated me. Love to speculate on how we got here and perhaps where we'll be headed next, though some weirdo could come and blow that train off its tracks any day.
Oh yes, I can see that having a lot of potential with the geopolitical order of the coming decades.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: silvijanus on March 18, 2015, 05:08:08 PM
On two topics we agreed we would love to see asian inspired fantasy. Question to speculate: can we get it from native author? In one billion Chinese + billion in India, at least one has to be good (fantasy) writer. Right? Or maybe not? I dont know :-\
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Eclipse on March 18, 2015, 05:12:41 PM
Recent years we have all these financial crisis and issues, analytics are like superstar sharing their wisdom and predictions about loans, debts etc.  So... can "Financial fantasy" be the next big thing? :D
You mean "Trickledown economics"?  ;D

You should check out the The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Yora on March 18, 2015, 05:17:33 PM
On two topics we agreed we would love to see asian inspired fantasy. Question to speculate: can we get it from native author? In one billion Chinese + billion in India, at least one has to be good (fantasy) writer. Right? Or maybe not? I dont know :-\
A while ago I read an article about there being a huge ebook market in China, which is heavily dominated by fantasy. They are just not getting translated and published in English.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Nyki Blatchley on March 18, 2015, 05:57:43 PM
Recent years we have all these financial crisis and issues, analytics are like superstar sharing their wisdom and predictions about loans, debts etc.  So... can "Financial fantasy" be the next big thing? :D
I thought finance was fantasy in any case. Just not as fun as most kinds.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Raptori on March 18, 2015, 06:01:35 PM
On two topics we agreed we would love to see asian inspired fantasy. Question to speculate: can we get it from native author? In one billion Chinese + billion in India, at least one has to be good (fantasy) writer. Right? Or maybe not? I dont know :-\
A while ago I read an article about there being a huge ebook market in China, which is heavily dominated by fantasy. They are just not getting translated and published in English.
Yeah I heard that too. There was one novel translated with quite a bit of fanfare recently, but I can't remember what it was  :-\
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Ryan Mueller on March 18, 2015, 06:35:12 PM
Recent years we have all these financial crisis and issues, analytics are like superstar sharing their wisdom and predictions about loans, debts etc.  So... can "Financial fantasy" be the next big thing? :D

Daniel Abraham's doing pretty well with his Dagger and Coin series. Banking plays a central role in the story and the world.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: silvijanus on March 18, 2015, 08:07:34 PM
I wasn't aware of these books. Might check it out ;)
About asian authors... I don't really care from which country or part of the world author is. Author -> reader, only relation important in this case. What's bogging my mind lately... I know there are good authors there (must be), talent equal to Rofthuss, Sanderson, maybe even titans like Martin and Tolkien. Small chance they will get translated or even published. That's sad. As a reader and someone who loves fantasy - I want them :P I'm sure all of you agree. 
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Elfy on March 18, 2015, 09:58:05 PM
Recent years we have all these financial crisis and issues, analytics are like superstar sharing their wisdom and predictions about loans, debts etc.  So... can "Financial fantasy" be the next big thing? :D

Daniel Abraham's doing pretty well with his Dagger and Coin series. Banking plays a central role in the story and the world.
Also formed a fair part of Feist's Rise of a Merchant Prince, and elements of The Lies of Locke Lamora.
Someone mentioned Asian fantasy. They are few and far between, but I can't go past Barry Hughart's Master Li and Number Ten Ox stories about an ancient China that never was, but should have been. Unfortunately there were only 3 of them. The first one, The Bridge of Birds, came out in 1984 (won the World Fantasy Award in 1985) and the last one, The Eight Skilled Gentlemen, came out in 1990. Hughart reportedly became rather disillusioned with the world of publishing after that and The Eight Skilled Gentlemen was the last book he had published.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Justan Henner on March 25, 2015, 01:45:03 AM
I wasn't aware of these books. Might check it out ;)
About asian authors... I don't really care from which country or part of the world author is. Author -> reader, only relation important in this case. What's bogging my mind lately... I know there are good authors there (must be), talent equal to Rofthuss, Sanderson, maybe even titans like Martin and Tolkien.

There likely is, though I read an article fairly recently (maybe within the last six months) which said the Chinese market was geared toward quantity rather than quality, with authors who might write up to 10k words a day (as part of a serial), and then post it immediately without a whole lot of editing. I'm sure there's some there, but I find it difficult to believe that such an environment fosters a lot of high quality work.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Justan Henner on March 25, 2015, 01:46:54 AM
I like to double post.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: Elfy on March 25, 2015, 02:24:25 AM
I wasn't aware of these books. Might check it out ;)
About asian authors... I don't really care from which country or part of the world author is. Author -> reader, only relation important in this case. What's bogging my mind lately... I know there are good authors there (must be), talent equal to Rofthuss, Sanderson, maybe even titans like Martin and Tolkien.

There likely is, though I read an article fairly recently (maybe within the last six months) which said the Chinese market was geared toward quantity rather than quality, with authors who might write up to 10k words a day (as part of a serial), and then post it immediately without a whole lot of editing. I'm sure there's some there, but I find it difficult to believe that such an environment fosters a lot of high quality work.
Sounds a little like the Bollywood film industry.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: JMack on March 25, 2015, 10:31:51 AM
I wasn't aware of these books. Might check it out ;)
About asian authors... I don't really care from which country or part of the world author is. Author -> reader, only relation important in this case. What's bogging my mind lately... I know there are good authors there (must be), talent equal to Rofthuss, Sanderson, maybe even titans like Martin and Tolkien.

There likely is, though I read an article fairly recently (maybe within the last six months) which said the Chinese market was geared toward quantity rather than quality, with authors who might write up to 10k words a day (as part of a serial), and then post it immediately without a whole lot of editing. I'm sure there's some there, but I find it difficult to believe that such an environment fosters a lot of high quality work.
Sounds a little like the Bollywood film industry.
I've had some great fun watching the Bollywood cheese fest. Chennai Express as ine example is amazingly bad and entertaining. The female lead is breathtaking, and a lovely singer, stuck in the funniest crap script ever. It's almost take off on itself.
Title: Re: Trends in Contemporary Fantasy
Post by: wakarimasen on March 25, 2015, 12:50:04 PM
It was a thread like this on another board which spawned the bit of writing Jmacyk kindly critiqued for me.

My thoughts were that, given the pendulum swing of all things, people might like something lighter than Grimdark stuff soon. I doubt we'll return to a world where we don't have grey morality though, that's here to stay. I also reckoned we hadn't seen much in the way of heist stuff (plenty of detective fantasy out there) so that might make an appearance, as well as renewed interest in traditional fantasy tropes ('cos people love 'em).
Historical stuff might be popular as well.. lots of Abercrombie's has an almost historical feel to it (could be the well rounded characters I suppose, or the military detail).

With that in mind I penned the first few chapters of what I decided should be  called #Grimlite (let's be clear, as I'm new hereabouts - I'm taking the piss a bit. This was all very tongue in cheek).

There was a great quote  here about "Don't marry for money. Go where the money is and marry for love."
I see nothing wrong with that but I for one find it hard to write about something I'm not interested in.
Sounds like we should try and predict trends we like then write in that, sort of the best of both worlds. Do what you feel but keep an eye on it's potential market.

After all... it's fine to have you head in the clouds as long as you have your feet on the ground.