Jump to content



The Symposium on Epic Fantasy


Recommended Posts

Daniel Abraham, George RR Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams, SM Stirling and a number of other New Mexico-based SF&F writers recently held a 'symposium' about the genre of epic or secondary world fantasy. Abraham is releasing this information via his blog under this subject.


So far they have discussed the difficulties inherent in finding a definition of the term 'epic fantasy' and also debated the role of setting in the subgenre. All very interesting stuff. More information will be released in the forthcoming weeks.


My take:


The debate about setting is crucial. In many of the biggest epic fantasies - Jordan, GRRM, Tolkien and Donaldson seem to be the key ones - the setting plays a major role, as much as a character. Tar Valon, Minas Tirith, Winterfell and Gondolin are as important to their stories as any of the protagonists. However, epic fantasy usually doesn't have the advantage of mainstream fiction, where the writer pours images into his reader's head by saying nothing more than "Times Square" or "1930s Berlin", so the fantasy author has a tougher time making his settings resonate with the reader as much as real places, but if he can crack that, he's onto a winnner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...