Who invented the modern fantasy genre?

Robert Baker-Self Robert at bloodandhonour.nildram.co.uk
Fri Aug 20 12:03:32 EDT 2004

> Ooh, er.  My apologies to those of you who like Donaldson.  I tried, I
> really did.

I couldn't stand The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant either. I can cope with
flawed heroes, but heroes who I end up wanting to stab in a furious attack
were (a) they to actually exist and (b) I met them.

It's a bit of a stupid claim, to have invented "Modern Fantasy". Because I
don't think I know what "Modern Fantasy" is. If we're talking about stuff
like Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" or Gemmell's work then it has clear
antecedents in not just Tolkien, but Shakespeare, E.R. Eddison and numerous
other points. China Mieville's excellent Perdido Street Station owes a lot
to Mervyn Peake (whose Titus Groan was, of course, published 8 years before

Like most things, the history of Fantasy is one of evolution, not
revolution, and though there are things you can point at, they're waystones
on a path.


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