CHARACTERS: Villains, Antagonists & Anti-heroes

Sometimes it might be hard to tell which characters fit into these categories – especially if you have a large cast like I do. I’m a deep thinker, so I think about this sort of thing a lot. Villains are usually antagonists (occasionally a villain might happen to be a protagonist though it’s rare), but there are […]

CHARACTERS: The Power of Immortals

I have often heard it said that immortal and incredibly powerful characters have no real place in fantasy and science fiction because of what they are capable of.  It apparently makes them uninteresting.  Perhaps in the past this has been said because it hasn’t been done very well, or perhaps because an author hasn’t written […]

Is It Only Fantasy? Is It Only Fiction?

The most outrageous claim in the world of literature is that the stories we authors write are nothing but fiction; that they’re only tales derived from figments of our imaginations.  I’ve lost clarity in assignments I’ve written for my degree in English Literature because I’ve dared to look upon the characters I am reading about as real people.  In […]

Vampires in Fantasy & Science Fiction

Recently, I was trawling Amazon for fantasy books I might like to read.  I look at some of the positive comments and ratings, and some of the negatives.  One of the comments someone gave dismissed the book as a romance disguised as a fantasy novel, and that the final insult was that the author had […]

Untamed Fantasy I

If, like me, you enjoy adventurous fantasy, you might have noticed there are those who believe some of the major players of the genre overused.  I wonder if anyone has ever considered why those concepts are utilised so much in the first place? Elves, dragons, wizards, fairies, dwarves; you name it, they’ve been done before and […]

The Expectations of Fantasy I

What are our expectations of the fantasy genre? Of course, Tolkien set the benchmark for a lot of what we saw in the 80s and 90s, but more recent fantasy has taken a turn toward normality.  Is that what we really want? I’ve picked up numerous books by different fantasy authors over the last few […]