Saturday, April 9, 2011

High Fantasy

What is high fantasy? It's a subgenre of fantasy which is set in invented or parallel worlds. The fantasy's world differs from the real world in various ways.

There are three types of high fantasy:

1. The fantasy world may have no connection to our world, as in the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey.

2. There may be a portal from the fantasy world to our world, as in the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis.

3. Or the fantasy world may be a world-within-a-world within the real world--- as in the Harry Potter series, where the wizarding world is within our own, real world.

In addition, there is a science-fictional subtype of type 2, where the 'portal' between worlds is in the form of spaceships and other technological means. This is how I would classify the Darkover series by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I also see the Homecoming series by Orson Scott Card, while it is seen as a science fiction series, as being somewhat like Darkover, a variant type 2 fantasy.

These distinctions are only important so far as it helps readers discover more books-I-like, and writers to find an audience.

My Wildmage series is High Fantasy type 2 (though I'm not sure the portals will play much of a part in the current book, it is how the planet was settled by humans.)


  1. Ooo, a little kimchee is good in bean soup or any other bland dish. :)

    Do you watch The Mentalist? Korean-American actor Tim Kang playing Korean-American detective Kimball Cho is the best part on television!

    p.s. Is there such a thing as "low fantasy"?

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  2. Didn't know about Tim Kang or The Mentalist. Do know kimchee's not all bad, spices things up, but it smells a wee bit nasty.... (My favorite Korean dish is 'hangover soup'--- a bean sprout soup with a bit of red pepper.)

    There is 'low fantasy', that is fantasy set in our world (the real world). Much of that is now called 'urban fantasy'. Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series would be an example, I guess.


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