I read a lot of fantasy as a kid and a teen. Sometime around college I stopped. At the time, I thought I had gotten tired of it or outgrown it.
Then I read Harry Potter. And I began reading fantasy again.
And I realized what my problem with fantasy really was: that I had begun to read too many books that were derivative and poorly written. That it seemed as if "fantasy" meant that all the rules went out the window; and that the main characters and plots were more wish fulfillment than well written books. Had I known the term Mary Sue back then, I would have said, aha, too much fantasy with Mary Sue type characters.
Anyway, I shall always love JK Rowling for showing me that well written fantasy exists and for getting me back to reading and loving fantasy.
When I saw The Fantasy Novelist's Exam I had to laugh. Because, seriously? Published books that pass (or is it fail?) this exam is why I stopped reading fantasy. This exam is spot-on (even if it does come close to describing my favorite fantasy series, The Belgariad. Which just means that many people are being "inspired" by it.) And it describes the book I will not name, but which I cannot get beyond page fifty.
All laughing aside, there's a serious question here. Why are so many of these derivative books being published? This is not a recent event; this is what I observed back in the late 1980s. Fantasy can be great, well written and original. It's almost as if everyone -- and yes, I'm including publishers and reviewers -- views fantasy as the "special" child, where not as much is expected.
Fantasy can be great. But if too much derivative stuff continues to get churned out, I think you'll see more people with my experience: they just stop reading it.
The long awaited updated Guides from the Federal Trade Commission are almost here! Per the FTC website, FTC Publishes Final Guides Governin...
Celebrate! Connections Among Cultures by Jan Reynolds. About: (because it sounds odd to say the Plot for nonfiction books.) A look at cultu...