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Topic: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- DECEMBER DISCUSSION THREAD

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Subject: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- DECEMBER DISCUSSION THREAD
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I just posted the challenge lists' only thread; this thread is designed to hold everybody's questions, comments, concerns, recommendations, and miscellaneous other conversation. :) I will start it off with the genre definitions that the challenge will use. For the most part, these are taken from Wikipedia.

 

1. High Fantasy -- Fantasy set in an invented or parallel world. Examples of this subgenre are Tolkein's Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.


2. Comic Fantasy -- Fantasy that is primarily humorous in tone and usually includes puns and parodies of other works of fantasy. Examples of this subgenre are Piers Anthony's Xanth novels, Robert Asprin's M.Y.T.H. Inc. novels, and most works by L. Sprague de Camp.


3. Dark Fantasy -- Fantasy that combines elements of fantasy with those of horror. A diverse subgenre, some examples are the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Anne Rice, and Michael Moorcock.


4. Fairytale Fantasy -- Fantasy that relies on heavy use of motifs and plots from folklore. May include retold fairytales (e.g. Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest and Robin McKinley's Rose Daughter) or works that use fairytale motifs in original plots (e.g. Alice in Wonderland, Patricia McKillip's Cygnet, and Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles).


5. Contemporary Urban Fantasy -- Fantasy that is set in a contemporary city, real or imaginary, that includes fantastic elements. Examples of the subgenre are Charles de Lint's Newford novels and Emma Bull's War for the Oaks. Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels also fit in this category, but fit better in the Paranormal subgenre.


6. Sword and Sorcery -- Fantasy characterized by swashbuckling heroes engaged in exciting and violent conflicts; the focus is on personal battles rather than world-endangering matters. Examples of this subgenre are Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser sequence and C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry tales.


7. Epic/Heroic Fantasy -- Fantasy that chronicles the tales of heroes and their quests/conquests. The salvation of the world is usually in the balance. Examples of this subgenre are numerous: Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Jacqueline Carey, Lloyd Alexander, and Patrick Rothfuss come to mind immediately.


8. Romantic Fantasy -- Fantasy that focuses on relationships, social, political, and romantic. Examples of this subgenre are Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses' series and Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharing Knife quartet.


9. Science Fantasy -- This is a thoroughly confused (and confusing) subgenre, so we are going to be practical and count any work that blends the lines between science fiction and fantasy. Some examples are the Dying Earth subgenre (e.g. Jack Vance's Dying Earth stories, M. John Harrison's Viriconium, and Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun); the Sword and Planet subgenre (e.g. Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars novels); the SF Otherworlds subgenre (e.g. Andre Norton's Witch World series); and works that present fantastic elements as compatible with real-world science (e.g. Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions).


10. Fantasy of Manners (aka Mannerpunk) -- Fantasy that owes as much to a traditional comedy of manners as to high fantasy and folklore. The protagonists are pitted against their neighbors and peers rather than monsters or marauding armies, and the action takes place within a society rather than being directed against an external threat. Chief weapons are wit and intrigue rather than swords or magic. Examples of this subgenre are Ellen Kushner's Riverside novels and Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast series.


11. Magic Realism -- Fiction in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic setting. Examples of this subgenre are John Crowley's Little, Big; Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude; Stephen King's The Green Miles; and W.P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe (the basis for the movie Field of Dreams).


12. Young Adult Fantasy -- Fantasy written/published for readers ages 14-21. The protagonist is nearly always an adolescent, and the overwhelming majority of the plots follow a classic coming-of-age structure. Examples of this subgenre are Eoin Colfer's Artermis Fowl series; Brian Jacques' Redwall novels; and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.


13. Time Travel Fantasy -- Fantasy in which time travel is accomplished through magical or otherwise totally unexplained means. Examples of this subgenre are Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander novels, and Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates.


14. Supernatural Noir -- Alas, Wikipedia failed me here. It introduced me to the term on various authors' pages, but has no overall page for the subgenre. So. . . A Supernatural Noir novel is a novel featuring a cynical attitude and a focus on sexual motivations, nearly always dealing with crime or the criminal underworld, often featuring a detective or police officer as protagonist, and having a supernatural element such as fantastic creatures (werewolves, vampires, etc.) or magic. Examples of this subgenre are Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, Simon R. Green's Nightside novels, and Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt Casebooks.


15. Paranormal -- Again, Wikipedia was not helpful, so in short a Paranormal novel is a supernatural noir novel minus the cynical tone and focus on crime, or, a contemporary urban fantasy novel plus a focus on sex and romance. A few examples of this subgenre are anything by Charlaine Harris, Tanya Huff, and Christine Feehan; if you want some more suggestions, there's a whole forum here on PBS for you. :)



Last Edited on: 12/9/09 1:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 447
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It looks great!  Thanks for setting this up for us.  I wonder if daysleeper Jennifer is going to do this challenge.  She made a really nice google spreadsheet for the people working on the science fiction challenge.   I can try to work on it -if she's not around.   A few of the books you used  as examples for categories I have here waiting to be read!   I also have Across the Nightingale Floor & In the Night Garden out from the library.  I hope to read them the last couple of weeks in December -so I may start this challenge a bit early.

Amy
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Thank you for setting this up! I will have to go through my shelf and reminder list this week to pick out a book for each of the categories.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2009
Posts: 401
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Nice work:) I have Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke and wanted to read it... Checked out your list Phoenix, and glad I've got a category to put it in (wasn't real sure before)... It's a big book! Still waiting for Boneshaker...
 

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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Thank you so much for setting this up!  I'll probably be doing the light version, as I'm doing two other challenges this year and don't want to get over-ambitious.  I'm really looking forward to discovering some new authors.

BTW - I loved, loved, loved Jonathan Strange.

Debbie - ,
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 731
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Phoenix,

Thank you so much for setting this up and for examples. 

Amy
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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To anyone interested: I made a few signature pics for the challenge. See links below.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/maymebrow/fantasychallenge3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/maymebrow/fantasychallenge1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/maymebrow/fantasychallenge2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/maymebrow/fantasychallenge4.jpg



Last Edited on: 12/9/09 12:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 12:48 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Thanks for the signature pics Amy! Now if only I could figure out how to make it show up in my signature. . .

 

(Two minutes later) Edit: Bah humbug. It won't show up along with my text. Now I have to decide which I want more. . .

 

(Five minutes after that) Edit: Ha ha! Success is mine! :)



Last Edited on: 12/9/09 1:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 2:57 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2009
Posts: 401
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Those are cool, Amy:)  I want to use one of your sig pics, but I don't know how to get it to work!

Wait a minute... Did it work?

Yeah, but it's way down there! How do I get it to where it doesn't leave all that space? And it doesn't have the text...



Last Edited on: 12/9/09 3:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 3:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Leslie: I had to keep adjusting my text until it fit on three lines. Then it showed both the pic and the text without a ton of blank space.

 

Amy: See all the procrastination you're causing! ;)

Amy
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Haha! I apologize!

Leslie, if you need help, lemme know.



Last Edited on: 12/9/09 12:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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Well, I started filling in my books and I had a lot more in my TBR than I thought.  Yay.  I am having a little bit of trouble with some of the categories as I'm not sure where most books I haven't read fall.  If anyone notices something on my list that makes absolutely no sense, please let me know. 

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Caviglia: Everything I've read on your list currently is in a category that fits. . . what on your TBR stack were you unable to categorize? Maybe we can help! :)

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I just avoided some of the narration/travel/quest categories altogether and slotted the books into things (like award categories) where I knew that they fit, and took some educated guesses on others.

Thanks for taking a look!

Also - out of curiosity, how have you gone about finding books from the year you were born?  It would be fun to find one.

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Well, caviglia, I think technically the protaganist of Crown Duel is older than 18, but that's not made clear in the books, but by Sherwood Smith elsewhere on her website and livejournal community. :)

I think it would count as high fantasy (Sartorias-Deles is an invented/parallel world), romantic fantasy, young adult, and it's first-person...

oh, and Crown Duel is one of my favorite books. :)

ETA: Found it!  I guess it'd depend on how technical you want to be, but a year in Sartorias-deles is ~400 days (longer than our year) but Mel's about 17/18 when the book starts, so...(the link goes to the answer - other info on the page may be spoilery).



Last Edited on: 12/9/09 8:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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That was one of my guestimates.  If she is 18, I'll probably be able to shuffle it around.

I think I orginally ordered it because you were raving about it!

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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And the only book by Sherwood Smith I've read and didn't like was Senrid, which she wrote as a teenager, has way too many plots and characters, and I think it's only worth reading if you want to meet the character of Senrid before reading A Stranger to Command. :)

For adult fantasy, Smith's Inda series is excellent.  And Inda is younger than 18 for the first two books. :P

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I'm starting to wish it wouldn't be cheating to reread books, as now that I think about it I'd love to reread the Inda series, and The Lord of the Rings, and The Tales of the Otori, and The Thief and its sequels by Megan Whalen Turner (though I may reread the latter anyway because book 4 comes out in March!!). 

Subject: Finding books published the year you were born
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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This came up in the SF challenge, and the best advice someone gave me was to do the following:

Go to: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/search.cgi
This is the Internet Speculative Fiction Database's advanced search.
For "Term 1" enter "novel"
In the drop-down menu to the right select "Title Type"
For "Term 2" enter the year you were born
In the drop-down menu to the right select "Year"

You should get a VERY long list (I think my birth year it came up with 800 titles) of all the speculative fiction titles that were published that year. Of course, this includes SF as well as fantasy. . . but if you have some time to skim through the list it's fun to see.


If you don't have that much time, you can always look at the books that were nominated for awards in your birth year. . . then you'll only have 15-20 titles to choose from. Or you can look up some authors you know are prolific and see what they published in your birth year.



Last Edited on: 12/9/09 9:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Britney: NO REREADING! :) Half the reason I was so excited to set up these challenges was to get myself out of my current rut of rereading my favorites and back out into the world of dicovering new authors. If you start to reread I just KNOW I'm going to rationalize to myself that it's fine to add a couple of old favorites to my list, and then I'm going to end up not finding anything new! So for my sake, resist! *wink*

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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That worked beautifully - thank you so much!  I'm definitely going to add one for this category.

Britney - maybe we should have a special bonus category:  "Reread Lord of the Rings.  You know you want to.  And if you haven't read it - read it!"

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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Okay, but I think I have to reread the Attolia books because they were amazing and the person sitting in front of me at the book talk I was at tonight was rereading the third one so I made a comment about it...and they are amazing.  You should read them if you need something to read for the challenge and haven't yet. :)  (Young adult, the first one is first person, the first one has a quest structure...)

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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I should reread The Lord of the Rings.  I meant to watch them before the movies came out, but I ended up with a two-year gap between starting the books and ending them!  I think I'll also enjoy them more now, because at the time I kept confusing Aragorn with Aragog the giant spider from Harry Potter. :)

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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I was the dork who sat in the diner with my friends after the third movie explaining about The Scouring of the Shire.

I first read the books when I was nine.  It took me a really, really long time to finish them.  I read them until they literally disintegrated.

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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I was a little older, but I was just thinking about the project I did when I read The Hobbit in eighth grade.  I wrote an obituary for Bilbo Baggins (as told by one of the dwarfs he went adventuring with)...I sure had no idea how The Lord of the Rings ended!  And it was four years before I found out.  :)

I should go to bed because I keep thinking of other fantasy books I want to reread...The Chronicles of Prydain, The China Garden by Liz Berry...

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