Who invented the modern fantasy genre?

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Aug 20 17:28:21 EDT 2004

Charlie asked

>Not Tolkien, apparently, but Stephen Donaldson - at least according to this
>article from the Bookseller: http://www.thebookseller.com/?pid=2&did=13285.
>(Seems SD is about to published the first volume of the last quartet of the
>Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, after a 25-year gap.) I haven't read him -
>but I know some/most of you have. Did he add anything significant to the
>Middle-earth mix? Enough to credit him with the invention of a genre?

Not that I noticed.

If he did, why was his work described when it first appeared as being "Lord
of the Rings told from Gollum's point of view"?

Having now been sent a copy of the review, I find it slightly alarming to
have Eddings, Feist and Goodkind described as "giants".  I have read some
works by each, and thought it amusing -- or in the case of Goodkind not
especially amusing -- never-mind-the-quality-feel-the-width stuff with no
particular memorability or reason for me to keep it on the shelf, which I
haven't.  They are all three borrow-not-buy, as far as I am concerned.
Does "giant" just refer to the thickness of the tomes, or the height of the
writers, or am I missing something wonderful in these books?


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