The other day I came across this Wikipedia article listing best-selling books, and as I scrolled through the list (which is based on estimated number of copies sold), it struck me that many of the titles listed – including the top 4 – are fantasy novels. And I’m not just talking about Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings… these two series undoubtedly dominate the top of the lists, but there are other fantasy books in the mix too.
So this got me to thinking, what are the most popular fantasy books and series of all time, in terms of book sales? I thought I’d use the list to answer this question, compiling those fantasies that are estimated to have sold 50 million copies or more: Continue reading
I recently encountered a question on Quora asking what some “fatal flaws” or mistakes in fantasy novels are. I wrote a response to it, and it got me thinking about the things that most commonly make me give up on a fantasy book, rate it poorly, or even avoid reading it in the first place. This was a helpful exercise as I want to avoid these things in my own writing, and it struck me that if I expanded and extended my answer it might make for an interesting (perhaps even useful!) blog post. Continue reading
I just wanted to do a short post this week to mention that I recently became a staff writer for Fantasy Faction, so in addition to keeping up this weekly Thoughts on Fantasy blog (or at least, I usually manage to keep it weekly!) I’ll be writing one or two articles a month for Fantasy Faction. Continue reading
If you’re wandering through a store or scanning a website, it’s generally easy to recognise a fantasy novel. Most covers have features and styles that make them unmistakable. In fact, fantasy and science fiction novels have a history of standing out… and not always in a positive way. They are famous for their gaudy, bizarre and sometimes downright ugly cover art – there’s even a website dedicated to collecting the worst sci-fi and fantasy book covers. Continue reading
If you read a lot in the genre, recognising a book or film as “fantasy fiction” is probably something innate and automatic. However, if you’re not familiar with it, or if you’ve wondered where the lines are drawn, a definition might help to clarify things.
But how do you define something as slippery and changeable as a genre? Continue reading
For me, happy endings have always been one of the biggest draw cards of fantasy fiction. However, I didn’t really place any significance on them till I was listening to a TED talk about gaming.
In this TED talk, game designer and researcher Jane McGonigal discusses the countless hours that are invested by humanity worldwide in playing video games every week. Continue reading
A month or so ago while trawling through Facebook I came across a Buzzfeed article titled The 51 Best Fantasy Series Ever Written. The image, for maximum click-enticing effect, was additionally headlined “The 51 Fantasy Series You Need to Read Before You Die”.
And yes, like the lemming I am, I clicked on it. Continue reading
As a teenager, hearing the word “classic” coupled with the word “book” was enough to make me suspicious. “Classics” were the books I got forced to read in school. They were the books everyone told me I simply must read, the books I thought would surely be great… until I found myself struggling through an archaic tome that was neither interesting nor inspiring. Even more daunting was the fact that this canon of old, famous and important books was seemingly endless. I felt like I might be in the grave before I finished them all. Continue reading
It’s officially been one year since I started this blog! Doesn’t feel like that long but hey, time flies. In truth it started out as a bit of an experiment, turned into more of a habit, and then became a regular part of my life.
I’m not sure what one typically does on one’s blogiversary, but I thought this might be a good opportunity to pick a selection of posts from the past year that have been particularly popular (or that were simply personal favourites). Continue reading
It’s been a while since I’ve read a typical epic fantasy novel. I’ve been caught up in the realm of fantasy romance and science fiction, and only recently found myself returning to a more old-school breed of fantasy when I picked up Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind.
I’m about halfway through it and am really enjoying it so far, but reading it reminds me of the love-hate relationship I have with epic fantasy. This relationship is largely caused by one thing: beginnings. Continue reading