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Lady Esther
04-14-2007, 11:17 PM
It seems that most fantasy authors write about Medieval society. Is this because Medieval fantasy sells more than any other fantasy? I'm just wondering. My WIP is set in prehistoric times and I'm feeling a bit lonley in this century by myself.

Is their any other authors out their writing about prehistoric times?

Judg
04-14-2007, 11:53 PM
Well, mine is set in the future, strictly speaking, but the world is more at a Renaissance stage of development. In a Middle Eastern geographical location with an English culture. :D And yes, there is a reason for each of those things.

Michael Dracon
04-15-2007, 12:21 AM
I blame Tolkien. He's one of the people responsible for a lot of the cliche Fantasy settings many people take for granted nowadays. Medieval setting, elves, dwarves and trolls are prime examples.

MattW
04-15-2007, 01:16 AM
Fantasy relies a lot on magic, and many primary sources or earliest exant ones about fantastic elements are from the middle ages or late antiquity.

There's also a romanticism about castles and mounted warriors. After long centuries of increasing violence due to firearms and mass weapons, the simle man vs man combat has some throwback merit to escapists.

Cathy C
04-15-2007, 01:56 AM
Violence is on a more personal level at the time. It's one-on-one combat, which is ideal for both physical encounters and magical ones in text. Also, life was generally harder, which creates dramatic tension. Let's face it, it's not nearly as interesting to read about turning on a faucet, as go draw water from the stream to drink, or gather wood to roast something on a spit versus pulling out the old camp stove. Contemporary fantasies have to work that much harder to turn the mundane into creative endeavors. :)

Michael Dracon
04-15-2007, 02:31 AM
I agree with Cathy. In the minds of many people Fantasy is most often synonymous to 'something different'. The more different, the easier it is seen as Fantasy. Putting something into a medieval setting accomplishes that much faster than staying in a modern world.

So why a medieval and not a prehistoric setting? Well, there is also something as too different. If there are too little amount of connections with the real world people will often dismiss it because it just simply does not compute in their brains. They'll just end up thinking 'what the hell is this all about?'. The brain needs reference points. Things that very clearly state: See, this is where it's different from the normal world.

So that's one more reason why a medieval setting is an easy way to go. It's our immediate past. Many people know about it from museums and things we see still standing in our neighborhood or on vacation. We've got many references to it being our society, but different.


PS: There is always a few that have similar mindsets as the original creator of the setting. They'll understand, but the less people do so the less likely you'll sell your creation. It's the same as with art.

Claudia Gray
04-15-2007, 02:42 AM
For what it's worth, I think that the market for non-medieval fantasy is growing all the time. The explosion in "urban fantasy" is a part of that, but I expect we'll see more innovative settings and worldbuilding in future, and possibly fewer princesses and bards and castles.

And although I obviously cannot judge without seeing your work, if anybody tells you "prehistoric" means "non-commercial," just remember that somebody probably told Jean Auel that, too.

The Grift
04-15-2007, 05:17 AM
IMHO, I don't think that it is necessarily medieval. To an unknowledgeable reader, using the technology of Chinese culture from several millenia ago might look very similar to 1200's Europe. Very rarely do I see a fantasy set in an alternate world where all of the tecnology and architecture would have been confined to one period here on earth. The settings of LoTR looked like ancient vikings, mideastern nomads, feudal European society, and even ancient chinese or late European with the gunpowder and whatnot. If anything, we should just say that the technology and settings of most fantasy encompass post-stone and pre-industrial, which encompasses thousands and thousands of years.

Lady Esther
04-15-2007, 07:34 AM
For what it's worth, I think that the market for non-medieval fantasy is growing all the time. The explosion in "urban fantasy" is a part of that, but I expect we'll see more innovative settings and worldbuilding in future, and possibly fewer princesses and bards and castles.

And although I obviously cannot judge without seeing your work, if anybody tells you "prehistoric" means "non-commercial," just remember that somebody probably told Jean Auel that, too.

Thanks, I feel a litttle better now :)

zornhau
04-15-2007, 07:46 PM
First and foremost, I like to play with the knowledge and experience I have; I'm a medievalist by academic background, and also know what a plate melee feels like.

However, from a literary point of view, the quasi Medieval world is familiar to readers, and more than adequate for telling tales of overt personal power/responsibility and hands on violence. Why create another just for that?

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-15-2007, 08:02 PM
Because it was the ragged beginning of Science, with well-funded alchemists running around & poisoning themselves with mercury & such. It was the beginning of the "rationalisation" of ritual -- or at least that's how it's been romanticised.

I've studied the herbal knowledge of various indigenous tribes. To say that those people were "preliterate" is (far as I'm concerned) a mortal insult. They experimented, they observed, they made detailed notes -- the fact that these notes weren't written down doesn't make them any less scientific than the Court Astrologer, just because the latter had access to parchment & quill.

China had a much better courtly life, dating back past the point they were discovering written language in Uruk or Egypt. However, setting it in the Middle or Dark Ages allows for great laziness & churning the muck of King Arthur & Robin Hood & Wagner, as well as making it easier to pretend that the world has always been made up of fairskinned civilised folk, except for some of those uncouth dusky others scattered here & there.

Higgins
04-15-2007, 08:11 PM
...., setting it in the Middle or Dark Ages allows for great laziness & churning the muck of King Arthur & Robin Hood & Wagner, as well as making it easier to pretend that the world has always been made up of fairskinned civilised folk, except for some of those uncouth dusky others scattered here & there.

Yes...the setting in a "Medieval" world allows one to dodge a lot of issues about how actual history really happens...for that matter the "Medieval-ness" of "Medieval Fantasy" is itself a fantasy. There's really not much of a Medieval nature (or any other historical nature) in most of it.

Teraphim
04-15-2007, 08:57 PM
Hm... I think the "medieval" nature of stories has more to do with the historical tradition of literary romances like "Silence" and "Le Morte de Arthur".

However, beginning about the time of Conan and Tolkein, things tended to become all a series of events that exist in a time beyond time, and a place beyond place.

Medieval military tech and tactics may be the norm, but Conan is not describable as "Medieval" any more than Earthsea.

I think the signs of manhood carried over from the medieval romances. Iron tech became a convenient artistic shorthand and the visceral style of combat was right against the edge of modern warfare - thus, tactics were still pretty close to what was familiar.

But, I don't think it's actually "Medieval". I think it's just a set of convenient symbols. Really, each fantasy novel is the modern world with different signposts, and different technological influences. If anything, it's science fiction with swords instead of lasers and elves instead of aliens.

If everyone says - and we do - that SF is just fantasy, the reverse is also true.

Darkedge
04-15-2007, 11:46 PM
Hmm... prehistoric times might actually be a cool place for fantasy, but in my opinion the main reason it's set in medieval times is because most "fantasy" stories set in the future are often classed as "science fiction" despite some of the obvious differences. Also, current fantasy does have a pretty large collection (such as Harry Potter I guess...), but often magic and guns, or computers, don't mesh that well, but I have seen people pull it off. That leaves the past, and mythology and stories, such as King Arthur (as has been mentioned), have the most "fantastic" environments.

zornhau
04-16-2007, 01:14 PM
Four good reasons for using an ersatz Western Medieval world:

1. You are more interested in story than setting.
Like a Wild West setting, the Middle Ages requires little or no explanation, so you can get on and tell your tale of politics and violence. Example: George RR Martin Song of Ice and Fire.

2. You need a familiar reference point in the face of something weirder
We - in the West at least - find it easy to identify with our Medieval ancestors. Thus, if you are featuring one very different culture, it makes sense to use an Ersatz Medieval culture to provide contrast and viewpoint characters. Example: Raymond E Feist's Magician series.

3. You want to explore Western cultural or historical themes
Many of our cultural assumptions came into being or were overt during the the Middle Ages. This makes the milieu a good playground for thought experiments. Example: Much of the work of Guy Gavriel Kay.

4. You are steeped in the Medieval world and want to have fun with it
"Write about what you know." Think of this as Medievalist fanfic. Example: Mary Gentle, Ash.

MattW
04-16-2007, 03:15 PM
I've added examples to each of your reasons:

Four good reasons for using an ersatz Western Medieval world:

1. You are more interested in story than setting.
Like a Wild West setting, the Middle Ages requires little or no explanation, so you can get on and tell your tale of politics and violence. Example: George RR Martin Song of Ice and Fire.R Scott Bakker Prince of Nothing revolves around a great religious crusade that borrows heavily from the actual Crusades. But it really is about people and how they act in situations.


2. You need a familiar reference point in the face of something weirder
We - in the West at least - find it easy to identify with our Medieval ancestors. Thus, if you are featuring one very different culture, it makes sense to use an Ersatz Medieval culture to provide contrast and viewpoint characters. Example: Raymond E Feist's Magician series.Almost anything that involves a farm boy orphan or innocent goes this way - to introduce the odd through the eyes of an blank character.


3. You want to explore Western cultural or historical themes
Many of our cultural assumptions came into being or were overt during the the Middle Ages. This makes the milieu a good playground for thought experiments. Example: Much of the work of Guy Gavriel Kay.Dont' know if I've got one for this...Maybe Kurtz' Deryni and the persecution of the different.


4. You are steeped in the Medieval world and want to have fun with it
"Write about what you know." Think of this as Medievalist fanfic. Example: Mary Gentle, Ash.Jo Walton, though I couldn't finish due to the minutiae, was highly detailed in the logistics of Dark Ages warfare.

Chasing the Horizon
04-17-2007, 08:30 AM
As a reader, I'm sick of medieval fantasy settings. All I ever hear from agents and editors (blogs and such) is how they want to see something 'new and different' with fantasy. If that's true, I can't imagine having a non-medieval setting would hurt your chances of getting published.

I personally write about a fantasy world with industrial age technology. The contradictions can be fun and interesting, and I have the options of using both magic and technology in stories.

I guess I can't join you in the prehistoric age, but you're not the only one who doesn't write medieval.

Tirjasdyn
04-17-2007, 07:36 PM
Steampunk!

It's the wave of the past, jump on board.

:D

The Grift
04-17-2007, 11:12 PM
I hate it when I think I've come up with something blindingly original and then realize its already been done to death. Steampunk is one of those things.

Also, it turns out I did not in fact invent the internet.

MarkButler
04-17-2007, 11:58 PM
Steampunk and cyberpunk are some great examples of mashing two genres together to create a new world though.
It seems like there are other possibilities as well - there is probably a genre-mashup website somewhere but I am too lazy to look for it. How about something like NoirPunk or GothPunk or to get away from the punk, SlasherRomance or CowboySpaceOpera

Plot Device
04-18-2007, 12:22 AM
ALL fantasy requires that you invent a world with a functioning cosmology and discernible rules governing that cosmology. The Medieval period lends itself well to this requirement.

Michael Dracon
04-18-2007, 12:34 AM
Steampunk and cyberpunk are some great examples of mashing two genres together to create a new world though.
It seems like there are other possibilities as well - there is probably a genre-mashup website somewhere but I am too lazy to look for it. How about something like NoirPunk or GothPunk or to get away from the punk, SlasherRomance or CowboySpaceOpera

I'm pretty certain I've seen something that was NoirPunk. I just can't get my brain to function well enough to remember what it was. I think it was an Anime series of some type. Serial Experiment Lain mayhaps?

GothPuck has definitely been done before. White Wolf has published well over a hundred RPG books in their old World of Darkness, consistantly marketing that whole setting as Gothic Punk. I know this all too well, because at one point I owned about half of those books.

And with SlasherRomance my head seems to jolt towards the Saw movie trilogy for some reason. I think it's because of some of the stuff going on with the girl following in Jigsaw's footsteps and the relation she has with him.

CowboySpaceOpera is easy: Firefly/Serenity.

Plot Device
04-18-2007, 12:57 AM
CowboySpaceOpera is easy: Firefly/Serenity.

And the original Battlestar: Galactica.

Michael Dracon
04-18-2007, 01:37 AM
And the original Battlestar: Galactica.

Now that I think of it, you've got a point there. The only other things that just screams out SpaceWestern that I know is several old and new cartoons like Bravestarr, Saber Rider, Cowboy Bebop and Trigun.

MarkButler
04-18-2007, 07:28 PM
I'm pretty certain I've seen something that was NoirPunk. I just can't get my brain to function well enough to remember what it was. I think it was an Anime series of some type. Serial Experiment Lain mayhaps?

GothPuck has definitely been done before. White Wolf has published well over a hundred RPG books in their old World of Darkness, consistantly marketing that whole setting as Gothic Punk. I know this all too well, because at one point I owned about half of those books.

And with SlasherRomance my head seems to jolt towards the Saw movie trilogy for some reason. I think it's because of some of the stuff going on with the girl following in Jigsaw's footsteps and the relation she has with him.

CowboySpaceOpera is easy: Firefly/Serenity.

It sounds like alternative genres are doable (at least in the comics/film worlds) - I would think that makes them a viable genre for books as well.

Dusk
05-07-2007, 07:19 AM
I wrote quasi-medieval fantasy tales for many years, but eventually my interest in real history started to creep up on me. First I wrote an Arthurian tale in a Dark Ages setting, and then I wrote a story with an otherworld setting based on the sixteenth century, and then one day I woke up and realized that it was a heck of a lot easier to do research on historical furniture when all you had to do was grab a reproduction of the 1902 Sears catalogue.

So ever since then, my fantasy settings have been based on Victorian and Edwardian times. But I still go back and work on my old quasi-medieval fantasy series, because it's just plain fun to write stories about kings and lords and sword-fights.

Monkey
05-07-2007, 10:02 AM
I wrote a novel set in a post-apocalyptic future. It's hard to describe everything that happened and why in just a couple of sentences, but basically, the birth of magic destroyed technology and almost took out all of mankind, as well. The story takes place about 200 years after this event, and while the characters do eventually find out the truth behind what happened, the whole history is really a side note.

Why did I do this?

I dunno. I guess it just seemed wrong for magic-weilding characters to jump in a car and head down to the 7-11 for a slurpee. I like the tension between magic and technology, and wanted that in my story...but I chose to have magic be the norm and technology be the misunderstood underdog.

I think that this is very similar to the reasons a lot of people choose the Medievel setting. Magic is more accepted in a Medieval context, and though technology is present, it's relatively new and not widely available. The reader can accept the magic because the setting is different from the one they live in...but it's still wondrous because the setting is so similar to where they are.

evangoer
05-16-2007, 05:17 AM
Zornhau has some great answers on this thread.

For me, the interesting thing about medieval culture is that it's not *that* far removed in time from us, and yet medieval people thought about time and space and moral issues in fundamentally different ways than we do today.

Speaking as someone who grew up devouring Great Big Pastiche Medieval Fantasy, I have a feeling that the pastiche/idealized medieval setting is basically played out. But I think there is room for more politically and psychologically realistic medieval fantasy novels. How do you write a story that stars smart, authentically medieval characters -- and have them act in ways that are satisfying to 21st century readers? You do *that* successfully, and you've got yourself a story.

AnneMarble
05-17-2007, 01:18 AM
Violence is on a more personal level at the time. It's one-on-one combat, which is ideal for both physical encounters and magical ones in text.
This is probably why certain types of fantasy characters refuse to use bows in combat. I think they're reflecting the attitudes of the writer about the greater honor ins certain types of combat, rather than reflecting what a real warrior would think.


Also, life was generally harder, which creates dramatic tension. Let's face it, it's not nearly as interesting to read about turning on a faucet, as go draw water from the stream to drink, or gather wood to roast something on a spit versus pulling out the old camp stove. Contemporary fantasies have to work that much harder to turn the mundane into creative endeavors. :)
Ooh, I never thought of it this way. A lot of fantasy novels would be much shorter if the characters could get on a bus or send a text message. ("Frodo r u OK?") :D Even getting a drink fo water can put the characters in danger because they have to go outside, whether to a pump or stream.

Of course, a lot of "Medieval" fantasy isn't really Medieval. Quite a few are set in post-Apocalyptic settings with a sort of "Medieval" level of technology. Others are closer to a Dark Ages setting. I liked Doranna Durgin's Dun Lady's Jess because the fantasy world looked Medieval at first glance, but when you looked closer, you realized they had many modern conveniences because of the way magic was worked into their setting. For example, they didn't have reading glasses, but they had simple spells that improved your eyesight. I want that spell.:tongue They were sort of "Medieval" simply because they didn't have to develop a lot of modern technology.

Medievalist
05-17-2007, 01:45 AM
Y'all should read this (http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/genre2.htp) by Dr. Debra Doyle, medievalist and SF and Fantasy author.

Tirjasdyn
05-18-2007, 06:41 PM
CowboySpaceOpera

You mean like Cowboy Bebop..?

:D

C.bronco
05-18-2007, 06:51 PM
http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?isbn=9780060728250&atch=h&atchi=126176145
Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

It's funny: just yesterday I was thinking about this very topic. I was trying to determine which type of worlds had not yet been explored in sci fi/fantasy. We've got the middle ages, the future, outer space, heaven and hell, and now prehistoric times. In how many venues can we encounter the fantastic? Rowling created one. Imagination and possibility have no limits; I hope to find something new.

Evaine
05-20-2007, 04:32 PM
JK Rowling adapted one, rather than invented one. The boarding school story has been a staple of children's fiction in the UK for around a hundred years.

JPSpideyCJ
05-20-2007, 09:20 PM
Things don't have to be Medieval, they can just LOOK Medieval. Take for example, say, in Egyptian times, people were building forts and using swords. My Fantasy book uses Trolls, Elves, Dwarves, but they're very different. And they don't destroy the world. There are no evil creatures either, that's just stupid. Every creature is Neautral in my world. And it's set Stone Age, but with swords and catapults, things.

Evaine
05-22-2007, 06:12 PM
How do you manage swords in the Stone Age? I've seen quite long flint daggers, but they are always described by archaeologists as ritual items, because they are too brittle to use.

MDSchafer
05-22-2007, 06:58 PM
I don't think most fantasy novel novels are "Medieval" per say as much as they are more bloody versions of Renaissance worlds with more swords and less gun powder.

From what I've seen the hottest fantasy genre is contemporary fantasy. Harry Potter, Neverwhere, Dresden Files and others are where a lot of attention in the genre has gone.

Why am I working on a medieval fantasy novel? Because wanted to use it to tell several loose allegories at the same time and it had been a long time since I read a far future sci-fi book that moved me.

Eudaemonic
05-22-2007, 08:01 PM
Nope,
Am not a medievalist. Tend to set things in a really nasty, post-apoc future Earth. Sometimes a bit cyberpunk, mostly just coping with the technology our time has left behind. They come close to being stone age though to be honest. I have them grubbing round in the dirt all the time in the abject misery. Why do I like to torture my characters? What does that say about me!
I know it's been done - but I like it.
If I was going to write something more mainstream fantasy - magic and dragons lol - I think I'd go for 17th Century type society tho - much more fun.

Eudeamonic

yappo
05-22-2007, 11:10 PM
Do we define medieval fantasy as Hollywood medieval? I.e. renaissance technology, seventeenth century politics and eleventh century infrastructure? All set in a fantastic Europe that never was, of course :D

dclary
05-23-2007, 12:52 AM
It seems that most fantasy authors write about Medieval society. Is this because Medieval fantasy sells more than any other fantasy? I'm just wondering. My WIP is set in prehistoric times and I'm feeling a bit lonley in this century by myself.

Is their any other authors out their writing about prehistoric times?


I've been giving this question a lot of thought.

A LOT of thought.

Why medieval fantasy?

BECAUSE MEDIEVAL FANTASY F*IN ROCKS!!!!

YAH!!!!!



thank you.

blacbird
05-23-2007, 01:00 AM
JK Rowling adapted one, rather than invented one. The boarding school story has been a staple of children's fiction in the UK for around a hundred years.

Longer, even: Tom Brown's School Days, by Thomas Hughes (1857) is the standard.

caw

dclary
05-23-2007, 01:05 AM
Yes, but Evaine wrote that post in 1957, blaccy.

MattW
05-23-2007, 01:26 AM
I've been giving this question a lot of thought.

A LOT of thought.

Why medieval fantasy?

BECAUSE MEDIEVAL FANTASY F*IN ROCKS!!!!

YAH!!!!!



thank you.

*slow clap*

MattW
05-23-2007, 01:26 AM
Longer, even: Tom Brown's School Days, by Thomas Hughes (1857) is the standard.

cawFlashman = Malfoy?

dclary
05-23-2007, 01:57 AM
Speaking of boarding school fantasies. Has anyone ever read Oliver Twist, or seen the movie?

To this day, I am confounded by his pivotal line.

Can anyone tell me what "Please sir, may I have an otter?" is supposed to mean?!?!

Tia Nevitt
05-24-2007, 05:25 AM
Is their any other authors out their writing about prehistoric times?

I wrote a novel set in ancient times, but not precisely prehistoric. It would be equivalent to ancient Egypt. My current WIP is set in a pre-industrial England-like setting. (My protag carries a revolver.) My first novel was medieval, and I really have no urge to write any other novel with a medieval setting.

However, I have no problem with reading such novels. What I don't like is when a world seems to be stuck in a medieval setting for centuries. Things progress. Worlds should progress as well.

Anne Lyle
05-24-2007, 09:01 AM
Do we define medieval fantasy as Hollywood medieval? I.e. renaissance technology, seventeenth century politics and eleventh century infrastructure? All set in a fantastic Europe that never was, of course :D

:D

What irks me most about generic medieval fantasy is that it is so generic - it so often feels like the writer just likes swords and castles and so he/she grafted them onto a mish-mash of elements garnered from old movies and other fantasy novels. It's been so beautifully parodied by Diana Wynne Jones in "The Tough Guide to Fantasyland", I'm not surprised editors want to see something different!

My WiP is an alternate history set in the late sixteenth century, with guns and other appropriate early modern technology. Technically it's SF: there are some low-key non-scientific phenomena that the characters think of as magic, but to my mind they're more like psi powers in futuristic SF - they violate our understanding of science but they're not fantastical in nature. However I think that it will appeal to many fantasy readers because of its preindustrial setting and swashbuckling action, so if the publishers want to market it as fantasy, that's up to them.

My other fictional world is even less medieval - it's still under development, but it's basically going to be early Iron Age in overall culture but with some societies having advanced* technology based on Ancient Greek science.

Prehistoric is cool, too, though I don't think I could write it myself. Much as I dislike modern cities, I'm not enough of a wilderness fan to write about a world that has no cities or complex political structures!

Anne

* at least, advanced within the limits of what would be possible, given the available materials

Pthom
05-24-2007, 10:31 AM
...
My other fictional world is even less medieval - it's still under development, but.. it's basically going to be early Iron Age in overall culture but with some societies having advanced* technology based on Ancient Greek science.
...
* at least, advanced within the limits of what would be possible, given the available materialsThis is really close to what some call "Steam Punk", eh?

yappo
05-24-2007, 11:59 AM
Kind of fun really.

I don't see it on the shelves, but when having conversations with fellow unpublished SFF writers I'm far from alone at writing what is/used to be called Science Fantasy.

Now, being a friend of causality, I wonder why such a large number are writing space ships with wizards and none of it can be found. A future trend in speculative fiction or a hidden community of morons who just can't understand what's marketable? For my own sanity I'll hope for the former :D

MattW
05-24-2007, 03:19 PM
Now, being a friend of causality, I wonder why such a large number are writing space ships with wizards and none of it can be found. A future trend in speculative fiction or a hidden community of morons who just can't understand what's marketable? For my own sanity I'll hope for the former :DFuture trend of morons? :tongue

The Grift
05-25-2007, 03:55 AM
Speaking of boarding school fantasies. Has anyone ever read Oliver Twist, or seen the movie?

To this day, I am confounded by his pivotal line.

Can anyone tell me what "Please sir, may I have an otter?" is supposed to mean?!?!

It just means he's sick of gruel and wants some protein. As an animal that gets a lot of exercise and has a diet consisting of primarily fish, the otter will be a good source for lean meat AND have a ton of Omega-3 and fish-oils already in it! Plus, he could use the absurdly thick pelt to keep warm in the cold London orphanages.

I think the question should be, why WOULDN'T he want an otter?

yappo
05-25-2007, 10:37 AM
Future trend of morons? :tongue


No, no. You see, I already fill the slot for future trends of morons. It's a natural gift of mine -- no need to write in a specific sub-genre for that :D

Sten

Anne Lyle
05-25-2007, 11:29 AM
This is really close to what some call "Steam Punk", eh?

The "official" term is sandal-punk, but there's so little of it around that the word is virtually unknown...

dclary
05-25-2007, 09:49 PM
Kind of fun really.

I don't see it on the shelves, but when having conversations with fellow unpublished SFF writers I'm far from alone at writing what is/used to be called Science Fantasy.

Now, being a friend of causality, I wonder why such a large number are writing space ships with wizards and none of it can be found. A future trend in speculative fiction or a hidden community of morons who just can't understand what's marketable? For my own sanity I'll hope for the former :D

The two genres honestly don't mix well. The result is inevitably a load of hooey, or else so extraordinarily like the worst of the sci fi of the 60s and 70s as to be self-parodizing.

zornhau
05-26-2007, 03:06 AM
The two genres honestly don't mix well. The result is inevitably a load of hooey, or else so extraordinarily like the worst of the sci fi of the 60s and 70s as to be self-parodizing.

I'm not so sure of that. In media SF, esp. the cartoons devoured by future readers in infancy, magic and science mix with shocking promiscuity.

yappo
05-27-2007, 11:30 AM
The two genres honestly don't mix well. The result is inevitably a load of hooey, or else so extraordinarily like the worst of the sci fi of the 60s and 70s as to be self-parodizing.

Maybe not in novels, but science fantasy sure sells better as TV-series compared to SF or fantasy.

alaskamatt17
05-27-2007, 12:16 PM
It might have something to do with more elegant weapons from a more civilized age.

alaskamatt17
05-27-2007, 12:22 PM
A setting I like that hasn't been explored enough (in my opinion) is that of the South and Central American empires. I tried to bring in some Mayan flavor to the architecture in Orion's Key, and an Incan style of inter-city communication, but the SF elements encroach too much and the feeling of antiquity gets lost amidst all the lasers and nanobots.

Blurb
05-28-2007, 11:27 PM
There Has been a definate movement away from the Medieval in recent Fantasy. Look at Susan Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel Robin Hobb's Soldier's Son Triology and Naomi Novak's Tremeraire.