Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Sun Mar 2 04:50:34 EST 2003


Jon, this is great - though it makes Melissa's dad's task of constructing
the ultimate fantasy orrery even more challenging.

Can I put in a plea for Miltonic inversions as being worth a bonus point? If
an author writes "Then went Melchior into battle" rather than "Then Melchior
went into battle", it's an infallible sign of fantasy height. (Students of
Eng Lit may remember that it was this habit that made Keats give up writing
Hyperion - he realised he was getting addicted.)

And under good vs evil, I think it's not so much a sliding scale from
everything being nice to everything being evil, as the increasing sharpness
of contrast between the two: good characters tending towards perfection, bad
towards ultimate darkness. Naturally I make an exception for our flawed but
likeable hero(ine).

Charlie

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Noble" <jon_p_noble at yahoo.com>
To: <dwj at suberic.net>
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 1:49 AM
Subject: Re: Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy


>
> --- Jon Noble <jon_p_noble at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > I will add my own proposal;
> >
> > Secondary Worldliness
> > set in our world = 1 point
> > set in a world nearly ours = 2 points
> > set in a variant of ours (eg alternate history = 3
> > pts
> > our world and a secondary world = 4 points
> > set in a secondary world entirely = 5 points
> > secondary world with maps = 6 points
> > seconday world + maps + made up language = 7 points
> > bonus points for extra maps and languages
> >
> > Scale of the story
> > a family affair = 1 point
> > set only in a local community = 2 points
> > events affect a whole country = 3 points
> > events affect the world = 5 points
> > events affect the universe = 6 points
> > and if time is also at threat = 7 points
> >
> > Good v. evil
> > everyone is very nice = 1 point
> > bad animals/beings follow own incination (eg
> > dragons)=2
> > a villian, but still human (eg criminal mastermind)
> > =
> > 3
> > non human/undead villian = 4
> > Hitler/Saddam Hussein type megalomaniac  = 5
> > true evil darklord = 6
> > The very antithesis of evrything nice = 7
> >
> > Significance of magic to story
> > Hardly noticed = 1 point
> > incidental = 2 points
> > down to
> > Everyone has magic and its vital = 5 points
> >
> > Bonus points
> > each cliche from Tough Guide = 1 point (but no extra
> > points for the same cliche repeated)
> > Every 500 pages or part thereof = 1 point
> >
> > Add all points together, anything with more than 20
> > points is High Fantasy, Less than 5 points is Low
> > Fantasy, Anything inbetween is probably worth
> > reading
> > :)
> >
>
> A further thought; as High Fantasy takes itself
> seriously, deduct 1 point for each joke, 2 points if
> they are funny
>
> Jon
>
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