The many faces of fantasy

My husband and I had a discussion the other day about science fiction and fantasy, and he says he’s decided that he doesn’t like sword and sorcery books anymore I think of sword and sorcery as D&Dish rather than Tolkien. He’s epic fantasy, but the categories blend occasionally. My husband says sword and sorcery has never interested him as much as science fantasy or science fiction.

But wait, I said, the book I’m currently working on is sword and sorcery…ish. And he gave me a great compliment about how my characters are well-developed (thanks, I try) and that the development made the story better. This got me to thinking about D&Dish books, and he’s right. Too often, they’re a string of fight scenes and little else. Now, I love a good fight scene, but I’ve found that I get tired after too many, too. I mean physically tired. Like, I have to put the book down and go have a rest.

I read a message board on this very topic lately, and one of the male posters said he would read sword and sorcery as long as it was written by women because he found that they took the time to give their characters depth, while many of the male writers just strung together fight scenes, magic or otherwise. Now, I do find that a sexist generalization (poor male writers) but it really got me thinking about the sword and sorcery books I have, and many of them are lacking in character development.

What does all this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, if everyone wants more character development, men and women alike, then what the hell is going on? Who likes these books that are nothing but fight scenes and undeniably cool, though tiring images? Is that why sword and sorcery fantasy is sort of fading before science fiction or the juggernaut that is paranormal romance? Hell, even my sword and sorcery type book is, in great part, a romance. I’m wondering if I should just bill it that way, as a fantasy romance. If not that, then maybe science fantasy, though my science is, um, shaky at best. But picking the right category could get a request, where picking the wrong one could get me turned down on the spot. Ugh, too many decisions.

Oh, and I know I said I was waiting for January, but I submitted another short story to Crossed Genres. Sue me. ^_^


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