Mar 15, 2011

Golden Age of Fantasy and the Big Three

I remember Orson Scott card saying that this is the Golden Age of Fantasy. I'm inclined to agree.
In today's genre, we are finally beginning to see writers of color and Epics steeping away from the eurocentric enviroments and mythologies. With Chris Kastensmidt, I'm seeing Brazil/Africa. With Aliette de Bodard, I'm seeing Mexican fantasy come to life. But it's not just the racial and enviromental contexts that have changed.
The familiar tropes have "bent" as well. We all know of the dark tones that Epic Fantasy has decided to turn, and how Brandon Sanderson turned one of Fantasy's traditional tropes upside down, but we have more authors. Joe Abercrombie twists and tears at the role of the hero with his (dar I say?) anti-heroic heroic fantasy trilogy "The First Law". Scott Lynch comes out with an interesting way to use the well-loved thief trope in his "Gentlemen Bastards" sequence. Even Sam Sykes and N.K. Jemisin have discussed on the role on the chosen one.
Yes, the shelves are still shadowed by Tolkien's influence, but THIS IS the Golden Age of Fantasy.
Which leads me into an interesting question. I was looking a A Dribble of Ink the other day, reading an interview Aidan Moher did with Daniel Abraham for his forthcoming book, The Dragon's Path, and noticed how he said that the Big Three in Fantasy were Rothfuss, Lynch, and Martin.
Now, I did not criticize, but I pondered, who did I think were the Big Three? Well, I thought Rothfuss, Sanderson, and Abercrombie were today's Big Three.
Who do you think are the Big Three?


Anonymous said...

I don't know if we can call it a golden age yet, but fantasy is evolving, and I agree for the better.

Another example of diversity of setting are the Lord Yamada stories by Richard Parks, some of my favorites. And I'm not-so-patiently awaiting the launch of Saladin's S&S books. I have high hopes for those.


Brandon Markham said...

I have read Parks's works on BCS. Saladin is a great guy, and his works are the best(I always say that his story, "Mister Hadj's Sunset Ride is his best work yet")