Question: 'High' concepts in Fantasy

johanna johanna at
Fri Feb 28 10:45:24 EST 2003

Jenwa said:
> I'm confused, because I don't think there's a "like"
> factor implied in High Fantasy.  I think if I were to
> use the term, it would be more likely that I was
> trying to identify books I'm *less* inclined to read.
> But then, in my head "High Fantasy" seems to be
> essentially equated with "Epic Fantasy," though
> probably not perfectly for every case.  And I kind of
> went off Epic Fantasy years ago -- there are
> exceptions, but it's not what I gravitate towards
> anymore.

Yeah, I haven't really tried to define high fantasy either, but I think
instinctively I file it somewhere in my brain w/epic fantasy (& yeah, I
don't read much of that any more either). Thinking about what the opposite
would be, I don't think of "low fantasy" (I agree w/what others have said
about it having a derogatory sound)... I think more of urban fantasy, or
something like that. Hm. Maybe not--I never really pondered it before.

If high fantasy connotes to me quests & big world-changing stuff--which it
does, sometimes, but you people put so many more ideas in my head too :)
--then I think its opposite, whatever it'd be called, would focus less on
events, more on character & daily-type stuff. Anyone familiar w/Terri
Windling's idea of Trollopean fiction?

That wouldn't necessarily be urban fantasy, so I've just contradicted
myself. Whee!

Eh. In the end, it doesn't really matter to me... I like what I like, even
if I can't name it. :)


What, after all, is a halo? It’s only one more thing to keep clean.
--Christopher Fry, The Lady's Not For Burning

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list