Of Fantasy Novels and Medieval Times....

Light-hearted discussions, forum games and anything that doesn't fit into the other forums.

Moderators: Moderators, Celestial Heavens Staff

User avatar
Zombie_Inc
Pixie
Pixie
Posts: 128
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Israel

Of Fantasy Novels and Medieval Times....

Postby Zombie_Inc » Aug 1 2006, 7:57

I was wondering last night why all fantasy books take place in a medieval setting. I haven't seen a fantasy book that incorporates magic in a modern or even futuristic setting, except for the Amber series maybe, but that one goes back and forth all the time...

Have any of you heard of such books? Do you think they could be good?

User avatar
wimfrits
Round Table Knight
Round Table Knight
Posts: 2036
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands

Postby wimfrits » Aug 1 2006, 8:28

Otherland by Tad Williams takes place in the near future, although magic there is of the software kind.

There are quite a lot of series that supposedly occur after passing of some high technology society. Due to some holocaust, civilisation has reverted back to some medieval setting ;|
The Deathgate Cycle for example.

When a book is situated in the future it is easily classified as science fiction instead of fantasy ;)
Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

User avatar
Kalah
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 20029
Joined: 24 Nov 2005

Postby Kalah » Aug 1 2006, 9:47

The mediaeval setting fits in well with the plots. Swordfighting, horses, castles, magic (belief in) etc. The one I'm writing also takes place in this setting, though I'm going to bring in a couple of cannon. ;)
In War: Resolution, In Defeat: Defiance, In Victory: Magnanimity, In Peace: Goodwill.

User avatar
Marzhin
Pit Lord
Pit Lord
Posts: 1204
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Montreuil, France
Contact:

Postby Marzhin » Aug 1 2006, 10:07

There's an awesome book called "On Stranger Tides" by Tim Powers that uses magic and adventure in the Carribeans of the 17th century. Highly recommended !

There are also "les Futurs Mystères de Paris" (the Future Mysteries of Paris) by Roland C. Wagner, set in a cyberpunk-with-magic universe (a bit like Shadowrun, but more humourous and light-hearted). Unfortunately, I believe it is only available in French ^^ "La saison de la sorcière" (The season of the witch) is also a good read from RCW.

User avatar
DaemianLucifer
Round Table Hero
Round Table Hero
Posts: 11282
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: City 17

Postby DaemianLucifer » Aug 1 2006, 13:57

Try artemis fowl.Though its a bit of a childrens book,it has some very good interpretetaions of dwarves,goblins,leprechauns,etc.And it is set in the present.

Also,in the sword of shanara(is this how its called?),there is a scene where they pass through an ancient metalic city,and they fight a giant robotic snake.

And the pratchets gnome trilogy(I think thats how its called.The one where those little guys drive a truck in the first book)can be considered fantasy.Or the good omens(I dont know if thats the original title)talks about the devil,prince of darkness,and the four riders of the apocalypse.

User avatar
Fenris
Pixie
Pixie
Posts: 121
Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Location: I don't know, it's so dark here!

Re: Of Fantasy Novels and Medieval Times....

Postby Fenris » Aug 1 2006, 21:25

Zombie_Inc wrote:I was wondering last night why all fantasy books take place in a medieval setting. I haven't seen a fantasy book that incorporates magic in a modern or even futuristic setting, except for the Amber series maybe, but that one goes back and forth all the time...

Have any of you heard of such books? Do you think they could be good?


Does Harry Potter count...?

Besides that I can't think of any. I've been trying to write a story with such setting though. Magic, cyborgs and all that.

I suppose it's like Kalah say: medieval-like setting usually fits.
Hey, I know where we are! We're in that place where I didn't know where we were before!

User avatar
Suleman
Demon
Demon
Posts: 323
Joined: 24 Dec 2005

Postby Suleman » Aug 1 2006, 21:52

To say it the shortest way: Fairy Tales. That's what inspired the fantasy genre, and many of them are set in medieval times.
"Yes, but what about David Beckham and the magic mushroom?"

I'm baaaaaack!

User avatar
HodgePodge
Round Table Knight
Round Table Knight
Posts: 3530
Joined: 06 Jan 2006

Re: Of Fantasy Novels and Medieval Times....

Postby HodgePodge » Aug 2 2006, 2:31

Zombie_Inc wrote:I was wondering last night why all fantasy books take place in a medieval setting. I haven't seen a fantasy book that incorporates magic in a modern or even futuristic setting, except for the Amber series maybe, but that one goes back and forth all the time ...

Have any of you heard of such books? Do you think they could be good?


Mostly fantasy books are set in "Medieval" times because modern technology and scientific discovery has all but squashed the feeling of mystery, magic & myth. I perfer my stories set in what you describe as "Medieval" because warfare, magic, chivilary, dragons, unicorns, faeries, goblins, kings, queens, knights, ladies, wizards, witches, etc. don't go very well in a modern or futuristic setting.

If you want modern & futuristic then you probably enjoy science-fiction more than fantasy. Nevertheless, I have listed a few books which I recommend for pleasurable fantasy genre reading. Be warned though, most of the stories in this series are set in a long-ago times past.

I've borrowed from my local library a series of "adult" fairy tales:
    Snow White, Blood Red
    Black Thorn, White Rose
    Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears
    Black Swan, White Raven
Most of the short stories in these volumes are set in a Medieval Fantasy setting; even the ones that are set in a more modern time, have the feel of a Medieval Fairy Tale. These books are really worth reading. Enjoy! :)
Walk Softly & Respect All Life!

Click Here: Lords of War and Money … A Free & Fun Browser Game.

User avatar
Zombie_Inc
Pixie
Pixie
Posts: 128
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Israel

Postby Zombie_Inc » Aug 2 2006, 7:54

Thanks for all the recomendations!

Actually I don't like SciFi that much, I just thought a setting that introduces magic to a 20th century like setting could be interesting...

I think what annoys me the most about SciFi is that they always entire planets with the same climat, and that just doesn't make any sense...

User avatar
wimfrits
Round Table Knight
Round Table Knight
Posts: 2036
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands

Postby wimfrits » Aug 2 2006, 7:59

Zombie_Inc wrote:Thanks for all the recomendations!

Actually I don't like SciFi that much, I just thought a setting that introduces magic to a 20th century like setting could be interesting...

I think what annoys me the most about SciFi is that they always entire planets with the same climat, and that just doesn't make any sense...


I'm usually not that fond of scifi either; but you might want to try the 'Night's Dawn' trilogy by Peter F Hamilton. It involves a dark kind of magic in a rather frightening setting.

Kalah wrote:The mediaeval setting fits in well with the plots. Swordfighting, horses, castles, magic (belief in) etc. The one I'm writing also takes place in this setting, though I'm going to bring in a couple of cannon. ;)


Wow. You're actually writing a story? That's great. I'm interested in how that will turn out.
Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

User avatar
DaemianLucifer
Round Table Hero
Round Table Hero
Posts: 11282
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: City 17

Postby DaemianLucifer » Aug 2 2006, 14:37

Zombie_Inc wrote:Thanks for all the recomendations!

Actually I don't like SciFi that much, I just thought a setting that introduces magic to a 20th century like setting could be interesting...

I think what annoys me the most about SciFi is that they always entire planets with the same climat, and that just doesn't make any sense...


A magic in our world indeed can be interesting.Try a wack at shadowrun PnP.Its loads of fun,and easy to customize.

As for the SF planets argument,its not true.Depends on who writes it.If its a clark,or asimov,you wont see such sensless things.Asimovs Nightfall,for example,is a planet with 6 suns,where there is only a single eclipse in every 1000 or so years,and the civilisation sorts of resets at that moment.Quite briliant.In nemesis,he talks about a sentient planet.Clark,on the other hand,mostly uses the solar system,and aproaches it with a scientific eye.So you wont see the same gravity on europe,io,moon and earth.

User avatar
Caradoc
Round Table Knight
Round Table Knight
Posts: 1780
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Marble Falls Texas

Postby Caradoc » Aug 4 2006, 2:35

Harry Turtledove has quite a few stories set in other time periods.
Before you criticize someone, first walk a mile in their shoes. If they get mad, you'll be a mile away. And you'll have their shoes.

User avatar
soupnazii
Genie
Genie
Posts: 1027
Joined: 06 Jan 2006

Postby soupnazii » Aug 4 2006, 3:04

extremely recommended, read these and you wont be disapointed:

Pandora's Star
Judas Unchained

by Peter F. Hamilton. they are a series, dont know the name of it. in this series, there are hundreds (i think 600) planets belonging to the Commonwealth, each with its own gravity and different moons and suns and wildlife and plantlife, but nothing extreme (why live in exptreme conditions when you can go and find some other more favorable planet to live on?). its not exactly fantasy, but there are elves (or Sylfan). they happen to be an alien lifeform and resemble Tolkein elves in apperance so thats what they are called that. great read, everything is very realistic (or atleast explained scientificaly so its believable) and very interesting. takes place in the late 24th century. reminds you of the Foundation series.

User avatar
DaemianLucifer
Round Table Hero
Round Table Hero
Posts: 11282
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: City 17

Postby DaemianLucifer » Aug 4 2006, 3:28

I remember a short story called the hunt for light(or something like that).Forgot the author though :( It explaines the demons we have in our mythologies as a weird races of aliens that like going from planet to planet and fight the inhabitants(predator style :D ).

User avatar
Zombie_Inc
Pixie
Pixie
Posts: 128
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Israel

Postby Zombie_Inc » Aug 5 2006, 12:52

Well, I don' really have the time or the money to go book shopping right now, so I'll just stick reading the books I already have over and over again ;)
"Patching Eternal!"

mr.hackcrag
Dragon
Dragon
Posts: 1462
Joined: 05 Jul 2006

Postby mr.hackcrag » Aug 6 2006, 17:29

Kalah wrote:The mediaeval setting fits in well with the plots. Swordfighting, horses, castles, magic (belief in) etc. The one I'm writing also takes place in this setting, though I'm going to bring in a couple of cannon. ;)


fenris wrote:I've been trying to write a story with such setting though. Magic, cyborgs and all that.


Wow, I didn't know there were other story writers around here.
Last edited by mr.hackcrag on Aug 8 2006, 1:26, edited 1 time in total.

magritte2
Peasant
Peasant
Posts: 85
Joined: 07 May 2006

Postby magritte2 » Aug 7 2006, 23:07

Zombie_inc, there's a whole genre called steampunk that typically blends 19th century technology with futuristic or fantasy elements. In the computer gaming world they are represented by Arcanum and the Thief games.

Sssssnake
Leprechaun
Leprechaun
Posts: 1
Joined: 11 Aug 2006

Postby Sssssnake » Aug 12 2006, 0:16

Marzhin wrote:There are also "les Futurs Mystères de Paris" (the Future Mysteries of Paris) by Roland C. Wagner, set in a cyberpunk-with-magic universe (a bit like Shadowrun, but more humourous and light-hearted). Unfortunately, I believe it is only available in French ^^ "La saison de la sorcière" (The season of the witch) is also a good read from RCW.


IMHO, the Future Mysteries series is more science fiction than fantasy — no magic, but genetics, linguistics, quantum physics and Jung's collective inconscious used in a rational and demented way.
But you're right for Season Of The Witch (no article: I think the title comes from Donovan's famous song) with its 21st Century cyberpunk sorcery and witchcraft terrorism.
No English publication is scheduled but you can take a look at the cover here.


Return to “Campfire”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 10 guests