Recently, I was listening to a podcast, I believe it was DMs Block, and they were discussing “low fantasy”. I was intrigued because I love fantasy fiction. However, most fantasy tends towards the “epic” strand of things.
Personally, I think I prefer low fantasy.
I like that not everything can be immediately solved by plentiful magic. I like that there are real problems plaguing things. I like that what makes the sub-genre of fantasy literature “low” is that sometimes what is fantastic is merely a suggestion. Something that the reader will come in contact with at some point, but not necessarily something that needs to be omnipresent.
But what is it though?
My reasons for liking the sub-genre of fantasy aren’t a definition. I think to get a better sense of what low-fantasy is, and is not, its worth looking into more substantively.
The way I’d like to proceed is over a couple of days. I’ll discuss some possible definitions, and present them against other interpretations of fantasy. I’d like as well to consider unifying characteristics. What does every definition seem to have in common. I’d also like to consider the larger aesthetic. Low-fantasy art? How about low-fantasy books?
Finally, I’ll consider low-fantasy for RPGs. This is how the genre can be brought to life at the table. I think this is something that is worth at least one post. Probably more. The sub-genre really intrigues, and hopefully by the time I’m done with this series of posts my reasoning why will be a bit more clear.