Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fantasy Sub-genres

This post is an excerpt from this week's Spellbinders feature article. Spellbinders is a newsletter and blog designed to help teachers and librarians build life-long readers. To read the entire article go to the Spellbinders blog.

This interview is a continuation of my discussion with bookseller Elizabeth Anker about fantasy sub-genres. She is the owner of Alamosa Books here in Albuquerque, NM. To read her thoughts on Science Fiction vs. Fantasy see the October Feature Article.

I asked Elizabeth about dystopian fantasy and said she believes dystopian looks at the future as an examination of political structures. In utopia everything is perfect. Dystopia turns everything on its head. Usually a totalitarian and authoritarian government is involved and the story is set in a future that is often post apocalyptic. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the most popular example of dystopian fiction.

Elizabeth said she was personally tired of the genre because as it continues and people write more of it there is far less explanation of why the future described in the book is happening and how the events affect our world at large. These weaker stories tend to focus on a few teens struggling to survive and rely on super powers to explain things.

In discussing other sub genres of fantasy, Elizabeth pointed out that just about any magical creature you can think of has its own series: vampires, werewolves, and even angels.

Scott Westerfeld, author of the Leviathan series, explores zombies, vampires, and classic fantasy creatures by explaining their biology and origin in scientific terms. He tends to fall in her science fiction shelves. For an interesting discussion of the difference between fantasy and science fiction, see our October Feature Article.

To read the rest of this article go to my Spellbinders post on Fantasy Sub-genres.

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