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How is Historical Fantasy faring these days?

StirlingEditor
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How is Historical Fantasy faring these days?

Post by StirlingEditor » Mon July 11th, 2011, 5:12 pm

Hi all,
I think this might be my first posting here. :o *waves at everyone*

I was just curious how general readers are responding to historical fantasy these days (in 2011). I've always been interested in the mixing of historical and fantasy--with a little or a lot of romance thrown in for good measure! But I'd like to get a sense of its popularity.

I feel that Hollywood is popularizing mythology and legend again--Tristan and Isolde, Thor, etc., and I like how this trend is shaping up. In difficult economic times, I think we all like a little escape into worlds that are not our own. Or more accurately: our world, just more magical. ;)

What are your thoughts?
~Cheri

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parthianbow
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Post by parthianbow » Tue July 12th, 2011, 4:10 pm

Hi StirlingEditor, and welcome to HFO! (BTW, if you post in the Intro thread, you'll get a much better response.)

Sadly, I don't think that historical fantasy in book form does that well. John Maddox Roberts of the famed SPQR series can't get his publisher to release the 3rd in his alternate Roman/Hannibal trilogy. Guy Gavriel Kay is an outstanding writer, but I don't feel that he's gone mainstream.

Maybe I'm wrong. Others?
Ben Kane
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Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Wed July 13th, 2011, 3:13 am

I don't know enough to answer your question, but historical fantasy is my favorite thing to read and to write. I hope it sees success!

Diana Gabaldon is h.fantasy and she's doing well still, I believe. Also, although I know Deborah Harkness' novel A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES would not be slated as historical fantasy but I would place a big bet on her second, follow up book being in that catagory. She's doing very well from what I hear around the blogosphere.

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marklord
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Post by marklord » Mon November 7th, 2011, 12:44 pm

Hopefully it is doing well as it's the area I'm most interested in writing in!

I think it's interesting that Game of Thrones has a thread in this section of the forum, as there's a trend in epic fantasy at the moment for books to be based loosely on historical events - so the War of the Roses in the case of Game of Thrones.

What about Temeraire and the other books based around the Regency era - there's one about werewolves and Russia that I can't remember the name of and of course Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Neil Gaiman of course delves into historical fantasy with some of his work.

I suspect if the writers and works are strong enough then it will be popular. Maybe not a lot out there apart from Gabaldon with a really big presence at the moment though.
Editor of Alt Hist, the new magazine of Historical Fiction and Alternate History.

Writer of Historical Fantasy, visit my site for more details.

Latest novels:
Hell has its Demons (Historical Fantasy)
By the Sword's Edge (Volume 1 of a serialized novel - Medieval Action and Adventure)

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marklord
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Post by marklord » Mon November 7th, 2011, 12:46 pm

And I forgot - anything by Joe Abercrombie is basically Historical Fantasy but with the names changed - think Jacobite era England and Scotland, but with limited use of gunpowder.
Editor of Alt Hist, the new magazine of Historical Fiction and Alternate History.

Writer of Historical Fantasy, visit my site for more details.

Latest novels:
Hell has its Demons (Historical Fantasy)
By the Sword's Edge (Volume 1 of a serialized novel - Medieval Action and Adventure)

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Mon November 7th, 2011, 2:18 pm

[quote=""marklord""]Hopefully it is doing well as it's the area I'm most interested in writing in!

IWhat about Temeraire and the other books based around the Regency era - there's one about werewolves and Russia that I can't remember the name of and of course Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Neil Gaiman of course delves into historical fantasy with some of his work.

[/quote]

Is this one Twelve by Jasper Kent? I know it's got vampires in it but I think there might be some weres as well! If not it fits the historical fantasy category, and I think there are 3 or 4 others in the series to follow.

Perhaps with the success of Game of Thrones this will be the next big thing, it's certainly being heavily promoted in the UK.
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

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marklord
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Post by marklord » Mon November 7th, 2011, 4:03 pm

Yes thats the one I was thinking of! Sounds interesting and will probably get added to my to-read list soon.
Editor of Alt Hist, the new magazine of Historical Fiction and Alternate History.

Writer of Historical Fantasy, visit my site for more details.

Latest novels:
Hell has its Demons (Historical Fantasy)
By the Sword's Edge (Volume 1 of a serialized novel - Medieval Action and Adventure)

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Post by Ash » Tue November 8th, 2011, 1:24 pm

Ive been hooked on Gabriel Kay during the last year, and cant get enough. Like anything else tho, it depends on the writer. Some historic fantasy is more fantasy that takes place in a historic time or place. But others like Kay, and to some extent Martin*, really shine through, and I think have become popular because of that

*Martin had help with the tv series. While I don't think those books are related to War of Roses much, they do evoke a time and place that is eerily familiar. Enough so that people will wait years for his books. Well, maybe not now..his last two books really were not good.)

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Manda Scott
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Post by Manda Scott » Tue November 8th, 2011, 3:29 pm

I'd agree that Joe Abercrombie writes outstanding historical fantasy - apart from GGK, there aren't many to touch him (nobody touches Guy Gavriel Kay) - but there are a whole slew of good historical fantasy books in the YA subset: NM Browne has written a brilliant 'Warriors of' series starting with 'Warriors of Alavna' which is pseudo Roman, moving onto 'Camlann' which is Arthurian and then 'Ethandun' which is Saxon.

and

welcome!

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parthianbow
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Post by parthianbow » Tue November 8th, 2011, 3:40 pm

Guy Gavriel Kay! Guy Gavriel Kay! Guy Gavriel Kay!

A fantastic author. :D

So too is Joe Abercrombie, but in a much darker, grittier, berserker Logen NineFingers kind of way. :-)
Ben Kane
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Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

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