Let Me Ask You: What is considered fantasy?
Firstly, let's define the word fantasy.
Obviously, the word fantasy has multiple definition but the one that is most closely associated to what the genre is would be "imagination unrestricted by reality".
I think that covers almost everything except historical fiction and realistic/contemporary fiction. I am that person who has rather distinct and specific ideas of what is considered one genre or another. This may stem from the fact that I organize my shelves by genre so I am overly aware of sub-genres.
I get really pissed off when someone will call a Sci-Fi or Paranormal book Fantasy. In my head I am screaming, "Know your shit!" But really based on the definition of fantasy technically science fiction would be a sub-genre of fantasy. MIND BLOWING. I know.
Distinct Signs You Are Reading A Fantasy:
A Brand New World
Fae, Dwarves, Witches, etc
But my stereotypical idea of fantasy is high/epic fantasy. Where a hero goes on some sort of quest in a magical world, meets some magical creatures along the way, and defeats some sort of evil. These are all fantasy tropes.
Examples of classic high/epic fantasy:
Throne of Glass, Lord of The Rings, and Game of Thrones
Examples of non-stereotypical fantasy:
The Winner's Curse- There is no magic at all in this book but there is a distinct fantasy world.
Red Queen- The paranormal abilities, reminiscent of X-Men, would usually slate it into a Sci-Fi genre but is set in a fantasy style world.
Then we have books that have both real world context and a fantasy world intertwined in the story.
Such as Harry Potter, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and All that Glows.
There are also a lot of books that have both science fiction and fantasy elements.
Then fantasy has many sub-genres:
Urban Fantasy confuses me to no end. What separates an Urban Fantasy from a Paranormal (Romance)? I have no idea.
Does the Fantasy sub-genres and classifications confuse you as well? Do you have your own opinions on this? I would love to know what you think. I might do another discussion on the specific meaning and categories based on some research rather than my own opinions!