Crows and Ravens in Fantasy

Dragons are strongly associated with fantasy fiction, so much so that they have become a symbol for the genre. Given that these imaginary beasts only inhabit the realms of fantasy, fairy tale and legend, and thrill many a reader, this makes sense. However, I’d argue the humble crow or raven pops up in fantasy books and films just as often, even if it is sometimes in a more symbolic or background role.

Since I love crows, and recently changed the look of my blog to feature a crow rather prominently, I thought this might be a good excuse to take a closer look at these sometimes under-appreciated birds and their prevalence in speculative fiction. Continue reading

Judging a Book by Its Name: 10 Common Trends in Fantasy Titles

Title Trends and Fonts (Orbit 2009)

Chart showing most frequent fantasy book titles and fonts in 2009, Orbit Books, http://www.orbitbooks.net/2010/08/19/the-chart-of-fantasy-art-part-4-title-trends/

People often talk about how difficult cover designs are to get right, and the role they play in selling books. Titles – the things plastered all over those covers – are a less frequent topic of discussion.

Given how responsive we are to images and colours, covers probably are more important. Still, if you’re online, or talking to other book lovers, sometimes the title is the only thing you see or hear. Continue reading