Fantasy Fiction Factor – Fantasy Sub-Genres

The wedding of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere

What is fantasy fiction? Is it just wizards and ogres and elves? How do I determine what kind of fantasy I want?  What happens if there’s a crossover and I write two genres at the same time?   These are all questions that fantasy writers ask themselves at one time or another.  They deserve an answer. We’ll be looking at some of them in-depth in the future.  In the meantime,  I took a trip on the web and found that Lee Masters of Fantasy Fiction Factor has some of the answers in his well-written article.  Here’s an excerpt.

Fantasy Sub-Genres

by Lee Masterson

Speculative fiction is a difficult genre to categorize neatly. For example, some authors might argue that most speculative fiction is pure fantasy – and yet a fantastical tale set in a far distant future would be more likely classified as ‘science fiction’.

A knight in shining armor

In recent times, the term ‘fantasy’, when regarded as part of an individual genre, generally brings to mind tales of dragons and castles and knights in shining armor – but in truth, the genre as a whole encompasses so much more.

Below, I have tried to separate some purely ‘fantasy’ sub-genre listings.  (Read the rest of this article
 via Fantasy Fiction Factor – Fantasy Sub-Genres.)


3 responses to “Fantasy Fiction Factor – Fantasy Sub-Genres

  1. I’ve often wondered about fantasy sub-genres. I don’t write fantasy but I read it. I have a tendency to lump all fantasy together. Reading this, I learned about the sub-genres and what makes them unique. Thanks for posting!


    • I’m glad the post was helpful. When I first started out reading fantasy fiction, I never paid any attention to the genres. If it was a good story, I devoured. Then I found out there were certain stories I preferred over others. That’s when I realized there were sub-genres, same as there were in mystery novels (psychological drama, whodunit, detective, crime and so on).

      When I started writing, my efforts fell in two main areas: modern day magic, such as in Witchcanery, and classic or epic adventure, such as in Battle Cleric the Novel. Both my stories have a touch of science fiction in them, since in each of them the main “races” come from another planet. However, that’s just in passing and not a big part of the story.

      As in any other kind of writing, for people starting out in fantasy, I suggest trying the kind of fantasy you love reading. You might be surprised at how good you are at it 🙂


  2. I also tend to just think of fantasy as variations on Lord of the Rings. Often is is (different shaped goblins ect..), but it really doesn’t have to be. Perhaps you could give some suggestions for fantasy books you have enjoyed that ‘break the mould’. Ok here is mine:

    The Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan – for the incorporation of some modern themes not usually found in fantasy (I don’t want to spoil anything here though).


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