Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Sun Mar 2 15:01:22 EST 2003

--- Charles Butler
<hannibal at> wrote:
> Jon, this is great - though it makes Melissa's dad's
> task of constructing
> the ultimate fantasy orrery even more challenging.
I'd just envisaged this system to be on one axis, add
everything together and you have "height", but, hey,
if someone wants to work in six, or whatever,
dimensions, great.

> 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.)
Good idea, we could start this at 1 point for the
occassional "thou" up to five points for heavily
formal, deliberately archaic language throughout plus
Miltonic Inversions, and any other linguistic tricks
that infest the genre.

> 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).

I'd always intended the Good v Evil figure to reflect
a contrast, perhaps we could add here a bonus point
for an Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil (OMT),
but take points off if the Evil character is reformed
rather than Destroyed.

Do you think we could sell this system to publishers,
then they could label their books by "height" and
people would now what they were getting?


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