Genre Discussion, Day 2


Today I’d like to take some time to work out a definition of low-fantasy. There is no single definition that is available, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to come up with one. The best place to start with would be other definitions, so without further ado…

So here’s one from Wikipedia:

Low fantasy or intrusion fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction where magical events intrude on an otherwise normal world.[1][2] It thus contrasts with high fantasystories, which take place in a fictional world with its own set of rules and physical laws.

Here’s one from the website TV Tropes

Low Fantasy is a catchall, and rather inexact, term for that sub-genre of fantasy that is set in a secondary world but is neither High Fantasy nor Heroic Fantasy, though it may overlap with other sub-genres. Not a good way to define a genre, but English is funny like that — especially our particular brand of it.

Here’s a third from the website Mythic Scribes. In this case, its lifted from a discussion about writing low fantasy stories:

Low fantasy is generally an alternate view of Earth, with many of the same traits that we see around us, but a few differences. For example Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus, set in modern-day London where all the politicians are wizards who summon demons to do their bidding. The main physical rules of Earth apply, but we have the addition of wizards and demons.

These interpretations are all very different. My take on this is also different, but I’ll pick up on that tomorrow. For now, I’ll just draw the attention to the fact that they all seem to focus on a sense of realism.  I don’t know if I’d take that approach, but I think its worth noting that all the definition embrace this idea. That’s a good place to pick up on for tomorrow.






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