Pat’s blog today had a link to an article that seems to be causing quite a stir. It is a post that bemoans the state of modern fantasy, and you can find it here:
These “modern”, ‘gritty” books are not an antithesis to Tolkien – they are a response to the Feists, Eddings, and hundreds of copycats (including Harry Potter) that are a coming-of-age story about a young person’s journey to become a hero, which are derivative of Hobbits becoming heroes. During the 80s and 90s it seemed like you couldn’t take a step without tripping over one of these stories. This formulaic approach to fantasy lead others to desire a break with the stereotype and create something new. I don’t see the need to bash this “modern” fantasy…to expect authors to all re-write the Lord of the Rings is quite ludicrous. I love the response from R. Scott Bakker, found here:
As for myself, I’ll vote for what I like using my wallet. There are plenty of places to read reviews that allow me to determine whether or not to pursue a book. I’m not really into the realistic fantasy, as I prefer imagination to realism. Still, I recognize and approve originality over derivation, and there are plenty of outstanding works by authors like Sanderson, Rothfuss, and Hobb.
Were the modern, gritty, realistic fantasy to become too prevalent, you would see the same kind of movement that spawned its creation – the desire for something new. And then, who knows? We may be back to re-writing Tolkien after all, or we may be sailing into uncharted waters…