Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Post - The Difference Between High and Low Fantasy

There has been a huge resurgence in the popularity of fantasy novels. I believe this is due in large part to both JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, and George RR Martin. You may notice when you are reading the synopsis to a fantasy book that it is referred to as high fantasy or low fantasy. Most people don't know the difference.  Today, I have a guest post from Louis Sharman, a fantasy book lover, and he is going to explain what exactly high vs low fantasy means.
The Difference Between High and Low Fantasy

The Difference Between High and Low Fantasy

Fantasy books are one of the most popular genres of fiction around. Readers have long sought to immerse themselves in a book, with the contents transporting them off to faraway lands in order to escape their own lives for a short while. Not all fantasy books, however, transport their readers to lands that exist in different times, universes or even planes. Instead, some take place right here in the world we know, marking the difference between high and low fantasy.

High fantasy is the name given to the books which take place in worlds that are far removed from our own. Popularised by revered fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the high fantasy genre takes place in faraway lands which are devised by the author.
These books are generally the more fantastical of the two genres, with these worlds allowing for a sense of fluidity that our own would not allow. As they do not have to follow the rules of our world, writers have free reign to allow their characters to float, teleport or turn invisible without needing the reader to suspend disbelief for too long – as the facet can be written off as something which happens on the faraway planet.
High fantasy is not entirely divorced from our own world, however. Some books in this genre begin and end in the world we know, but take a sizeable detour en route to an entirely new one.

Low fantasy, meanwhile, is the opposite, in that whilst the book is still firmly in the fantasy genre, the events take place on earth. The name refers to the fact that these types of book typically have lower fantastical elements within them and instead offer large amounts of realism.
The phenomenally successful ‘Harry Potter’ novels would be an example of low fiction as, not only do they take place on earth, but the fantasy elements are anchored by an – albeit small - sense of realism.
Neither of the genres are any better than the other, however, it simply boils down to user preference.

Author Bio: Louis Sharman is an avid blogger and writes for a plethora of subjects ranging from book reviews to suggesting the importance of ebooks in modern culture. He lives in London, UK and enjoys reviewing the most recent fantasy books. He also has a great collection of sheet music for pianos.
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1 comment:

  1. Explained brilliantly. Thanks so much for this terrific post.


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