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PostPosted: Fri 02 Jun , 2006 1:49 am 
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I've noticed in the past year that there is a new trend in alternative reality type books. Books set in the modern day except with witches, vampires, werewolves, elves, etc etc. I've read a few that I really enjoyed, and a few that I've really hated, but I've gotta admit, this epic fantasy reader has become a bit of an alternative reality addict.

Anyone else read any of these types of books?


What's your take on this trend?

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May , 2009 6:33 pm 
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I like it. I think part of the appeal is that it is taking what is familiar to us (modern life) and injecting elements that we are more accustomed to seeing long ago or far away. Even childrens books are following this trend so it is here to stay for a while.

Some books that fit this are 1632, Twilight, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Harry Potter... Ok so there are several popular books out there. :) But the idea isn't new at all. Though the normal twist seems to be putting a modern person in an odd place. Like Terry Brook's Magic Kingdom for sale or A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jun , 2009 1:24 am 
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It should be noted that the roots of Epic Fantasy are in Medieval Romance: back then, the whole knights and magic and faerie kingdom stuff was pretty much mainstream literature. What the current practitioners are doing is simply returning fantasy to its roots. :D

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jun , 2009 2:24 pm 
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Those aren't alternate realities! I wouldn't enjoy them if they were set in "another dimension just like ours with just this tiny little bit different".

It's magic in the modern world you are talking about. The "urban fantasy" genre. And it's not so new as all that. Katherine Kurtz's "Adept" series (published 1991) fits the ticket. Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Light" series (pub. circa 1995) and Fred Saberhagen's Dracula series (pub 1975) are also pretty much the same genre.

Even the original Dracula story was the same sort of thing, but as it was written in 1897 it now appears to be set in the past.

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jun , 2009 2:47 pm 
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Come to think of it, most of the fantastical myths and legends of long ago were set in contemporary times when they were written or told.

The more and more a story gets away from *present* day settings, the more it feels like it's not real anymore. The suspension of disbelief to enjoy the story is more of a stretch, with each little jarring note that tells you this tale isn't *today* anymore.

I've been watching the "Highlander" series on DVD lately, and the lack of cell phones is rather telling. It puts the story in the past now instead of being of the contemporary, could_have_happened_just_around_the_corner variety. Especially when someone pulls out a precursor to a cell phone that is almost as big a shoe box!

For out and out fantasy and sci fi this doesn't matter. But for those stories trying to make it feel like supernatural weirdness happens all around you, but you just don't know about it- they have to have a contemporary feel to them.

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PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun , 2009 1:22 am 
Not so deep as a well

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Quote:
But for those stories trying to make it feel like supernatural weirdness happens all around you, but you just don't know about it- they have to have a contemporary feel to them.


Right. Which is how I suspect the medieval romances played in their time: everything was familiar, except for suddenly, something wasn't. Of course, there was the added element then of a slightly stronger suspension of disbelief for society as a whole...

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