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Topic: Anyone up for a fantasy challenge in 2010?

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Subject: Anyone up for a fantasy challenge in 2010?
Date Posted: 12/2/2009 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Now that the SF challenge is underway, I find my creative energy needs a new outlet, and there's nothing I like more than planning something. So. . . who's up for a fantasy challenge running from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st in 2010? If you are interested, what kind of categories would you like to see as part of the challenge? Do you want the option of having a "light" version as well? (The SF challenge grew to reading one book in each of 40 categories, so if that seems like too many books in a year, I'm happy to come up with a lighter option for those who only read one or two books a month, especially as fantasy novels just keep getting longer and longer and longer. . .

 

Thoughts?

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 12/2/2009 2:27 PM ET
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Hi!

I don't have any category ideas, but I'll behappy with whatever you decide.

Date Posted: 12/2/2009 5:33 PM ET
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Yay!  Another challenge!

Some thoughts for categories:

retold fairy tale

fairy tale or myth from a non european source (I'm thinking like the fox girl or dragons in japanese myths and there's a cinderella story in almost every culture)

Urban fantasy with no vampires or were-creatures

Urban fantasy

sword n sorcery (of course)

alternate history or  alternate world

different planet

mystery

classic author

award winner

How do people feel about magic realism?  Should we slip one of those in?

Non American, Canadian or British author

P.O.V of non human - ex:  first person story from vampire werewolf shapechanger

non linear time lines

duel classification sci fi & fantasy

anthology

vampire sex (fantasy romance)

dark fantasy

dark fey fantasy

 

Ok Those are some thoughts.  I wonder if we should have an optional lite challenge or just list a bunch of categories then people can say they are going to do 12/30 or 6/30 or 30/30

Ann

 

 

Date Posted: 12/2/2009 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
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I'd join in. From that list posted above I have read 90% of those this year so doing it next year would be no issue.

Date Posted: 12/2/2009 9:38 PM ET
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Count me in. I am getting a little nuts with the challenges. I will try and think of some categories.
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 2:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2009
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Count me in as well. My first challenge... Hey, another category could be 'Supernatural Noir', a sub-genre (?) PhoenixFalls checked out today/yesterday :)

Debbie - ,
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 6:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
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I'm doing the 10-10-10-10 Paranormal Challenge but I would like to do a Fantasy challenge as well.  I would have to do a "lite" version though since I think I'm the world's slowest reader.  How about Steampunk or historical fantasy as categories?



Last Edited on: 12/3/09 6:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 6:57 AM ET
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YA, of course. :)

maybe some publication categories (to get older books in?)

man, I'm going to be doing a lot of reading in 2010...

Amy
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
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I'm definitely up to the challenge. I like Ann's suggestions.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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There's another category I'd like to suggest but I don't exactly know how to phrase it.  It's fantasy that deals with classics - The Jasper Fforde books or P& P & Zombies would work.  Heinlein wrote a book about Hemingway (if I'm recalling a post Matt wrote about it correctly)  or people could read a quest book -that would map to The Odyssey.  But I don't know what to call it.   Anyone like the idea (and understand what I'm trying to say) that can come up with a succinct name?  (or at least a meaningful one?)  Is this even a category?  anyway it's a thought

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Ann, if you're talking about Joe Haldeman's novel, The Hemingway Hoax, I highly recommend it, but it's not based on any existing work like PP&Z, if that's what you were thinking.  It's about a guy who creates a disturbance in time-space by trying to forge a "lost" Hemingway novel and keeps getting bumped into alternate universes.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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It is different and that's the problem I'm having defining this odd category idea.  I just think a lot of the fantasy stories that incorporate (in any sense) a classic or a classic author are very entertaining books.   The Mists of Avalon, Hemingway Hoax, (cant think of a fantasy quest at the moment) and The Eyre Affair would all count in the category.  But it might not work.  Phoenix are you here?  Help!! 

So now I have to see if the Hemingway Hoax is available.  It sounds good!


 

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 7:18 PM ET
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if The Mists of Avalon counted, wouldn't any book about the Arthurian era count?  What about fantasy books about real people?  Would the first Harry Potter book count because an off-screen character is Nicholas Flamel?  (I know there are other fantasy books about real people but can't think of their titles at the moment.)

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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yes to arthurian because they are based on a classic -no to potter because flamel is just a random real guy. If there were a fantasy based on the canterbury tales in my weird little world that would count. Like I said -just an idea but I can't seem to make it work or explain it well. Maybe it's best to just move on... I was just cleaning out my bookshelves last night and was wondering what kind of category would fit The Eyre Affair. I just got Something Rotten from pbs...  So since this is just for fun -maybe we should keep it simple!



Last Edited on: 12/3/09 7:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 7:41 PM ET
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Speaking of Nicholas Flamel, there is a series about him by the Irish author, Michael Scott.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
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I'll have to think about it.  Once work calms down and we get past the holidays, my plans for 2010 are to cut back on reading (at least somewhat) and use that time to get back to writing. 

Of course, unless there will be specific rules against it, I could always join a challenge late once the writing hits an inevitable snag...

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 2:30 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Re: The Jasper Fforde novels (and other novels full of literary allusions)

I have heard a few people refer to them as "lit-punk" and figure if we wanted to include that as a category that title would work as well as any. . . although I doubt it will catch on, because it already seems to refer to punk rock musicians that are into literature and writers that are into punk rock. . . judging from the google results. :)

 


Re: Ann's other category suggestions (just soem of my random thoughts)

I classify urban fantasy with vampires and werewolves as paranormal, and the stuff with no vampires and werewolves gets sole possession of the urban fantasy tag. :) But that may just be me. . .

Are there any fantasy mysteries? I suppose I can't think of any because I lump all the ones I can think of into Paranormal or (now) Supernatural Noir. I definitely have never seen a mystery with a high fantasy setting. . . has anybody else?

I'm down with using magical realism as a category, though I'll have to do some research, as my impression of it is that it's just fantasy written by people from Spain or Latin America. :) Or, alternately, fantasy written by people who the literary establishment respects too much to want to lump into a silly little genre. . . you know, like Kurt Vonnegut and SF.

About your POV from a non-human category. . .but I generally classify werewolves, vampires, and shapechangers as human! Humans with powers, yes. . . but they all started out as regular old humans. When I first read the category I immediately thought "Damn, but I HATED that Stan Nicholls book about orcs. . ." :)

Non-linear timelines? Care to clarify? Because I drew a total blank here. . .

I'm going to have to object to "vampire sex" as a category. . . I have no problem with romantic fantasy/fantasy romance. . . but I think of Sharon Shinn first and foremost for that category, while "vampire sex" novels would immediately get lumped into paranormal for me. Hmmm. . . does anyone sense a pattern here? I have to say, I almost NEVER read paranormal, so if I'm off-base with all this cavalier lumping together of stuff, someone please let me know. *wink*

 

Re: Light challenge

So I will definitely include a light option. . . but before I can do that, what kind of total book count are people foreseeing? As I mentioned, the SF challenge ended up being 40 categories, which is also how many the paranormal forum has in its 10-10-10-10 challenge, but the classics challenge that I'm joining only has 12 categories, and its light version has 6. Does 40 for the full and 20 for the light seem about righ, or is that too many? Does 30/15 sound better? Or are you all super ambitious, wanting me to make a 50/25 challenge? (I'm game, but then, I've read 78 books since mid-April. I have no life. *grin*) I will admit to having a fondness for round numbers, but if someone has a non-base five number to suggest with a good reason I wouldn't rule it out. . .

 

Keep the category suggestions coming! I think I'm aiming to have a challenge designed by the end of this weekend (because I'm totally impatient), but until that point I'd like to hear from as many people as possible!

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 7:00 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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I'd prefer there be one paranormal category, not a bunch of them, but if a book qualified you could count it for a category that was not explicitly paranormal.

I'm so confused by the definition of urban fantasy, by the way.  I thought it was fantasy set in a modern-day setting (Tithe by Holly Black, maybe the books by Cassandra Claire.)

 

Actually, I just checked Wikipedia and it said this:

Urban fantasy is a subset of fantasy defined by place; the fantasic narrative has an urban setting. Many Urban fantasies are set in contemporary times or contain supernatural elements. However, this is not the primary definition of Urban fantasy.[1] Urban fantasy can be set in historical times, Modern times, or futuristic times. The prerequisite is that it must be set in a city, primarily rather than in a suburban or country setting, which have their own genre subsets.[2]

 

Which does help me.  I always see urban fantasy grouped with paranormal books, but they don't have to be the same.



Last Edited on: 12/4/09 7:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/4/2009 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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 I always felt Urban fantasy was one set in contemporary times -generally in the city -same as you Britney.  It looks like Wikipedia enlarged the definition a bit.  That means that Thieves World and other fantasy set in medieval type towns are urban fantasy.   hmmm

Magic Realism - I agree. I always thought it was literary fantasy from South & Central America.  That's hardly a genre though so there must be something more -the type of fantasy elements maybe.  I haven't read enough of it yet.

literary allusions was exactly the phrase I was looking for but it was nowhere to be found when I was looking for it.  Thank you!  The reason I didn't  restrict the category to 'lit punk' was because there are other older scifi/fantasy books with literary allusions that absolutely cannot be defined as 'lit punk'

Fantasy mysteries:   Well The Eyre Affair is one, Thirteen Orphans, Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, Tea with a Dragon Simon Greens books have a PI, Jim Butcher  Lots of books involving net games where someone has to find the real killer,  I think there are plenty that have the quest to solve a crime to use this as a category.  Actually there are some books defined as mysteries that could be used in this category - maybe-  I'm thinking of some mysteries that have some supernatural elements  maybe The Eight by Neville?  I'll check on that.

POV of nonhuman - I'll back off & agree with you there even though many of the 'super' human characteristics are genetic

non linear time lines -I'll think about it and see if I can clarify a bit more.  For now I can tell you that de Lint uses this in a few of his books.  People go back & forth in time as well as place -so does Thursday Next & her dad actually... Maybe  space & time shifting?  This isn't flashbacks where you have 2 stories about 2 different people in time (strange devices of the sun & moon comes to mind for that)

Ok now the biggie Urban Fantasy Vampire Sex and Paranormal

Vampire sex/Paranormal Romance -   I put this in because I thought there should be some urban fantasy sub genres because most of the categories will probably be filled by  'classic' fantasy and I like a well rounded challenge.  It doesn't have to be sex with a vampire.  Maybe urban romance?  There is plenty of fantasy that has a romance on the side.  de Lint does have a few romances so does Beagle (as far as urban) oh -and tea with a dragon McKinley has one, Tanya Huff, Patricia Briggs, Iona somebody (forgot her last name) so it's out there but...

I think I agree with you -skip the urban or vampire part and just have a fantasy romance -that way people can pick what they want.  But it should be romance -not random or ritual sex with a herd of shapeshifting elk.  

The whole point of this message is for you to go for it!  My suggestions were simply that.   I'm looking forward to seeing the categories next week!

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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I think what Wikipedia might have been going for in expanding the definition of urban fantasy to anything set in a city would be that the city setting plays a very large role in the novel. . . you know, so something like Melusine by Sarah Monette might count even though it's a historical fantasy setting, because the life of the city was so important to the plot. But since we all seemed to be thinking of urban fantasy as set in modern cities I suspect I will narrow the definition a bit for the purposes of the challenge.

 

And I was definitely planning on including a paranormal category, to force myself out of my comfort zone. . . I just definitely don't want multiple categories that have to be filled by books that are classified as paranormal in my mind, in case I absolutely hate the subgenre. :) So I will also include a fantasy romance category, which I will no doubt fill with whatever Sharon Shinn novel comes out next year, lol, but which everyone who likes paranormal can fill with a paranormal title. :)

 

The literary allusions category intrigues me. . . I think I will have to do a little research to see if there are enough books out there for it to be a whole category, but it sounds like a fun thing to include.

 

A space and time shifting category might make sense. . . though we would have to specify that the time shifting is accomplished through magical, not scientific, means. (Or at least, is given no explanation and involves artifacts or incantations rather than computers and electricity).

 

But neither of you (Britney, Ann) answered my question about how many categories you're comfortable with! Thoughts? :)

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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well, I already have to read 52 books for the other challenges, so what's a few more!

Anyway, I've read about 175 books in 2009 so far so if I keep this pace up reading a few challenge books should be easy.  24 categories would be two fantasy books/month.  I don't really have a preference, though - fantasy is the easiest category for me to fulfill.

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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As far as number of books -I have no idea.  We do have an entire year to read -a good thing!  Some of us are doing other challenges and/or have a life outside books so 40 is probably too many for this one.   You could set it up like  the scifi one and have 4-6 general challenge categories with 4-6 specific requirements within each category   The  'lite' challenges people could read say 2 (or what ever number they choose)  of the requirements within each challenge.  That way even the lite challenge would be diverse.   We could switch out of full challenge mode into lite challenge mode if life requires it.  Paul said he might start late so he might like a lite challenge like that.  

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
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These are some of the categories mentioned in the posts and wikipedia. I am looking forward to the challenge. Lists always work better with me. Can not wait to see the challenge requirements.

  1. Epic Fantasy / High fantasy
  2. Mythic
  3. Dark fantasy
  4. Low Fantasy
  5. Magic Realism
  6. Quest
  7. Superhero fantasy
  8. Sword and Sorcery
  9. Surrealist novel
  10. Urban fantasy
  11. Historical fantasy
  12. Modern fantasy
  13. Paranormal fantasy
  14. Alternative history fantasy
  15. Classic Fantasy

 

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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I'm not here that often, but I would be interested, too!  Oy, so many challenges! 

I think 12-15 sounds managable, as I know some of us (myself included!) are participating in other challenges.

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2009
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When all is set, can someone please maybe give me a few suggestions on the catagories? It's been a while since I've read anything other than Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance and Military Sci-Fi. I've read most of Pritricia Mckillips books. What would she be under? I know some of her books include fairy tales (Baba Yaga and the Firebird). Also the Elric series and Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman (sp?) when I was a teen.

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