ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Genres Of Science Fiction & Fantasy - Part 6

Updated on September 30, 2009

Unlike its counterpart, the vast majority of Fantasy stories (with some notable exceptions) take place on a world of the author's creation. Because of this strong tendency, Fantasy tends to utilize everything from history to geography in order to create a world both believable and worthy of a story. Indeed, while a creation might be something of magnificence, there is still the possibility of it falling short when it comes to crafting a story to take place in it.

The qualities of Fantasy, in any of its many forms, seem to be focused more on the world and its people, building for the reader a place long ago and far away (to use the popular rewriting of a fairy story opener). While Science Fiction is driven primarily by the plot (in the aspect that the plot guides the characters), Fantasy tends to rely on the characters to guide their own story to create a legend that is worthy of telling. In this story are a group of characters with heroic qualities. These qualities are what make the Fantasy character seem cliche to the casual or uninformed reader of the genre. Characters of Fantasy, though, tend to compensate with their heroic trait(s) for their flaws. This parallelism is what leads most writers of the genre to place a group of characters, rather than a solitary protagonist, at the center of the quest.

As with the quest stories of ancient myth and legend, the quests in Fantasy tend to be concerned with a hierarchy of "things". The most prominent of the hierarchy is the importance of items, most of the time placing the focus of the quest (though not necessarily the entire plot) on one item. Taking the Lord of the Rings as our example, one can see that the focus of the quest in that story is the "one ring", but the focus of the story - the plot - is on many things, ranging from love to magic to friendship. It is a story about good versus evil, the fading of the old world and the rising of the new, and the heroism of the most unlikely person.

In the course of relating the hero's quest, the author brings to life the cultures, races, and histories of the world she has created. And even throughout the course of the story, history, itself, is being rewritten as the world changes. This sense of watching the change of the old to the new is what seems to still attract new readers to the genre. The most successful example of this pull of new readership is J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

The first of the truly unique sub-genres is that of High Fantasy: the traditional equivalent to the word "fantasy". High Fantasy is the most quest-bound type of work within the genre; its plotlines are closely tied to it, as are its characters. Because of this, the cliche has arisen concerning Fantasy as a whole. High Fantasy is also the most easily recognizable because of its very stock features. Names such as David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and even Anne McCaffrey are not entirely unfamiliar to the casual or even non-reader of the genre. There is little, then, that one can seek to do to define High Fantasy; indeed, that would be a project all its own.

Continued In: The Genres Of Science Fiction & Fantasy - Part 7

Back To Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)