Everyone give a warm welcome to guest poster Elliot Parker, who’s here to talk about the different kinds of fantasy!

Fantasy: the trifle of the book world

Good day everyone! What better topic to talk about on a Wednesday than Fantasy and dessert? What is Fantasy and what is a Trifle? Let’s tackle the easier one first: Trifle.  A Trifle is an English dessert usually made up of layers and layers of fruit, sponge cake, custard, whipped cream, and if you’re lucky, sherry.  The layers can look pretty on the outside but are all mixing and combining with alcohol pouring through all of it.  Just. Like. Fantasy.  Defining the genre of Fantasy is a much more complex task, but similar to any layered desert it frequently mixes and combines several things with a few elements remaining constant.  If you google “subgenres of fantasy” you will get up to 60 different categories returned, anything from Anthropomorphic Fantasy to Steampunk. I’m not going to touch on all the nuances here, just the major layers.

Epic, High and Low. These are some of the main designations of Fantasy.  You can slice and dice this pie many ways but I have picked these three.  Epic is a label carried forward from long-ago. Most agree it originated with poetry.  Beowulf is an example of an epic poem.  Epics in general, span a long time (multiple years), and have huge backstories or universes in which they exist. Those worlds tend to change over the course of the characters journey, which requires the long time span to accomplish. The Lord of the Rings is the most commonly cited Epic Fantasy.

High fantasy is nearly interchangeable with Epic fantasy. To boil it down to brass tacks, High determines the setting and Epic determines the setting and character journey.  High fantasy is set in a world very different from the world the reader knows. It could be a parallel universe, magical, or something completely different and unknown.  The battle of good vs evil features prominently in most High fantasy.  Examples of High Fantasy include, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, and the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

Low fantasy is where I live. It makes me feel like I am on the wrong side of the tracks.  Low fantasy also denotes setting, a setting that should seem very familiar if not the same as the world of the reader.  The predominant subgenre is Urban fantasy but also includes, Magical Realism and Paranormal.  The characters often find themselves wrapped up in a blend of everyday and supernatural phenomena.  Many elements will be familiar to the reader, but presented with a “twist”. Vampires, werewolves, wizards and humans living knowingly or unknowingly side by side.  Ancient supernatural feuds raging beneath the noses of mere mortals. Popular low fantasy includes the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer, Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, and Demon Spring yay!

Many people have furiously debated the designations of Fantasy and all its subgenres. Scholars study the origins of just one branch. To me it is all wonderful and delicious like a trifle. I tried to give you the sponge cake layers here, but you cannot forget about all the different berries, cream, icing and alcohol.  It all blends and mixes allowing readers and authors to have infinite experiences with the genre. Let me know what your favorite genres and subgenres are. Thanks for reading!

Hide or die.

Evangeline Lawson can find anything, except freedom. A descendant of St. Anthony of Padua, the Patron Saint of lost articles, she has the supernatural ability to locate any missing object, car keys, missing dogs, children, as well as nuclear missiles, secret underground bunkers, and divine objects of power. The only thing she can’t find is freedom from every power hungry treasure hunter.

Breadcrumbs left by her ancestors lead Evangeline to the doorstep of the world’s most morally ambiguous angel, Adrien. Sure he can protect her, but he can also use her to find his way back into heaven. The angel will use any means possible to force Evangeline to stop running and strengthen her abilities.

Abilities that Evangeline will need to fight the oldest and most powerful of demons. Lilith has been hunting the St. Anthony lineage for hundreds of years, and will stop at nothing to turn Evangeline into her own personal divining rod. She needs Evangeline’s super charged GPS to find artifacts that can unleash hell on earth.

Evangeline swings like a pendulum. Run and hide or fight? Where she stops could determine the fate of mankind.