Let Me Ask You: What are all of the Fantasy Sub-genres and classifications?
On wikipedia there are roughly 30 different fantasy sub-genres and I doubt that is even close to the full extent of fantasy classifications. This isn't every sub-genre that I found but the ones that I could find clear examples of or knew well enough to include. Some are very obscure sub-genres based on just a few authors who them such as Bangsian Fantasy. There are even sub-genres of sub-genres.
The majority of these definitions and history was found on wikipedia.
Fantasy is a part of the larger genre of Speculative Fiction.
Contemporary/Modern Fantasy: Set in present day where magic or magical creatures exist but are not widely known or are secretive. Sub-genres of this sub-genre are Urban Fantasy, Mythic Fiction and Low Fantasy. This sub-genre goes back to the 19th Century and its prominent authors are C.S Lewis, Isaac Asimov, Phillip Pullman, Holly Black, and Richelle Mead.
Well Known Examples: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Twilight, and Harry Potter,
Dark Fantasy: Combination of fantasy and horror. This sub-genre is used across multiple platforms from movies, books, to video games. It is in many times used as a different classification for horror or Gothic Fantasy.
Well Know Examples: The Masque of The Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe
Fairytale Fantasy: Fantasy that features elements of folklore and fables. There is also just general fairy tales that feature mythological creatures of English folklore such as dwarves, faeries, witches.
High Fantasy: defined by its setting in an imaginary world or by the epic nature of its characters, themes and plots. This was coined in 1971 by Lloyd Alexander.
Well Known Examples: The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire
Low Fantasy: Can be set in either the real world or fictional. If it is in a fictional world it still has a basis in our world's rationales.
Historical Fantasy: (sub-genre of Historical Fiction) incorporates magic into a historical setting.
Paranormal Romance: (sub-genre of Romance and speculative fiction) focuses on romantic love and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the speculative fiction genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.
Well Known Examples: Twilight, Nightshade, Shiver, Beautiful Creatures, and Fallen
Urban Fantasy: a fantasy set in an urban city.
Well Known Examples: City of Bones
Time Travel Romance: fantastical in that it features time travel, but also a form of paranormal romance.
Well Known Examples: Outlander
Most specific sub-genre I found:
Gods and demons fiction: Fantasy dealing with deities, gods, and demons of Chinese mythology.
Fantasy encompasses a wide range of sub-genres more so than I ever realized. I didn't even mention the full extent of it. I have also realized that the majority of everything I read can be considered Fantasy in one way or another. Most of my favorite books can be fit into one of these categories, but sometimes they overlap. There are sub-genres of sub-genres that are sub-genres of other genres. It is really confusing and now I don't I will be as irritated as I used to be when I saw books categorized incorrectly by my definition of genre because they all of lap.
Are any of these your favorite genres? What did you find most interesting about my research (from wikipedia)?