Middle Ages, Dark Ages and pre-modern "straight" fantasy

JOdel at aol.com JOdel at aol.com
Fri Aug 11 13:48:26 EDT 2000


In a message dated 8/11/00 8:55:55 AM, Philip.Belben at pgen.com writes:

<< But the big question is, WHY?  Why should epic fantasy have a 
pre-industrial
setting? >>

I suspect because the stuff of epic is the stuff of legend. In order to 
maximise the grandeur of Legend, things always seem to happen in the "elder 
days" usually in an outright different "age" of the world. Some period 
untainted by the squalor of these lesser times.

And Urban Fantasy is set in modern times because it has to deal with all the 
footling  pettiness of that same workaday world and, regardless of the stakes 
involved, is always somewhat diminished and tarnished by the contact. For one 
thing there is always something laughable about it lurking in the background 
which frequently sticks its oar in at inopertune moments. Rather like urban 
legends.

>>By your logic, this makes Magicians of Caprona an urban fantasy, simply on 
the
basis of its modern setting.  I won't dispute this - it is set in a city, 
after
all - but it's not what most people mean when they say urban fantasy!

No. Magicians of Caprona is an alternate world story. A very well developed 
alternate world. That's about the only way to avoid the irrellevancy aspect 
of an urban fantasy, which tend to never be quite "real".

>>ISTR a desert conveniently placed not far from California, too...

Mojave. And a pretty brutal desert at that. Death Valley is out there in the 
middle of it.

BTW, My earlier post didn't reach the whole list. I just got a bounce notice 
from:

>>With reference to your message with the subject:
   "Re: Middle Ages, Dark Ages and pre-modern "straight" fantasy"

The local mail transport system has reported the following problems
it encountered while trying to deliver your message:

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