Back in 2016, I emailed members of VIP Readers’ Club to ask what genre they’d like to see me write. The overwhelmingly response was an epic fantasy series and my Fabled Quest Chronicles series was born–with the release of Through Titan’s Trail (Book 1) in May 2018. What was supposed to be a trilogy turned into a six-book series with a prequel. The series will be coming to an end with Book 6, The Kingdom at Titan’s End, but there will be at least two sequels.
The fantasy genre has many sub-genres and some overlap with shared common elements. My Fabled Quest Chronicles combines more than a few of these fantasy sub-genres. (Source article and excerpt HERE)
- High or epic fantasy. Set in a magical environment that has its own rules and physical laws, this subgenre’s plots and themes have a grand scale and typically center on a single, well-developed hero or a band of heroes, such as Frodo Baggins and his cohorts in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1954).
- Sword and sorcery. A subset of high fantasy, it focuses on sword-wielding heroes, such as the titular barbarian in Robert E. Howard’s Conan pulp fiction stories, as well as magic or witchcraft.
- Dark fantasy. Combining elements of fantasy and horror, its aim is to unnerve and frighten readers, like the gargantuan, otherworldly monsters in H. P. Lovecraft’s universe.
- Fables. Using personified animals and the supernatural, fables impart moral lessons, like the stories in Aesop’s Fables and Arabian Nights.
- Fairy tales. Intended for children, these fairy tales and folk tales are typically set in distant magical worlds (with beginnings like “Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…”) where trolls, dragons, witches, and other supernatural characters are an accepted truth, as in the Brothers Grimm’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812).
And here are two more:
- Quest Fantasy. The quest story has a long tradition with which all readers are familiar. Quests are a satisfying story for readers because the hero is working towards a specific goal that will test the hero, but it is an inspiring story. Despite the obstacles a hero encounters on the journey, the hero will overcome them, or recover and keep on trekking. Thus, the arc of the hero is very satisfying, readers will feel all the tension and emotion that quests are fraught with—readers will become invested—and there will be that moment of catharsis. The goal is important, but it’s just an object looming at the end of story—the journey, what’s in between, is what makes the story.
- Science Fantasy. Fantasy that’s combined with Science Fiction elements. Often, Science Fantasies take place far into the future where advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The landscapes may be completely unidentifiable from our own.
Here’s my question for you:
Which Is Your Favorite?
Austin Dragon is the author of over 30 books in science fiction, fantasy, and classic horror. His works include the sci-fi detective LIQUID COOL series, the epic fantasy FABLED QUEST CHRONICLES, the international futuristic epic AFTER EDEN Series, the classic SLEEPY HOLLOW HORRORS, and new military sci-fi PLANET TAMERS series. He is a native New Yorker but has called Los Angeles, California home for more than twenty years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army, English teacher, one-time resident of Paris, ex-political junkie, movie buff, Fortune 500 corporate recruiter, renaissance man, futurist, and dreamer.
Dark fantasy is my favorite.
It’s hard to choose! Sword & sorcery! Epic fairy tales