This week I want to talk a little bit about genres and sub-genres. Specifically, I want to talk about the fantasy genre and its myriad of sub-genres. If you want the complete list, you can go here. I'm just going to focus on a few of the many sub-genres here today.
Let's talk one that's gotten a lot of attention over the past few years: urban fantasy. Urban fantasy and its cousin paranormal romance are sub-genres of fantasy that focus fantasy elements on an urban setting. Usually it's a hero or heroine trying to deal with magical or supernatural forests in a city. Now the definition on that site shows that it can be past, present, or future. I contend that what we know as UF/PR is set in modern day. That fantasy set in the past is something different while UF/PR set in the future is better placed under the sci fi genre. The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton, Greywalker by Kat Richardson, and the Black Dagger Brotherhood books by J.R. Ward are prime examples of UF/PR.
Then there's epic/high fantasy. This is more what I write. In epic fantasy, you have sweeping story arcs and grand adventures. Your characters are very well developed and you see them grow and change over the course of the story. Setting plays as much a key role in these stories as the actual characters do. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin are fine examples of epic/high fantasy.
The list goes on and on and I could talk forever about the different variations on fantasy. But I'm going to stop there and let you investigate the list yourself. What is your favorite sub-genre of fantasy? Do you like all of them? What are some of your favorite books and where do they fall in the fantasy genre?