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FANTASY GENRES

WHAT IS FANTASY?

As promised, in  honor of my new fantasy novel, Bargo Lynden: Adventure of A Lifetime, I’m bringing you the second half of my genre series, which relates to the field of fantasy. Fantasy is a fictional genre which is usually set in a fictitious universe, often, but not always without locations, events, or people found in the real world. Most forms of fantasy use some form of magic or supernatural powers as a main element in their plot, theme, or setting.

As there are several sub-genres, many more than science fiction, we’ll only touch base on those that are most common. If you are unfamiliar with any of the genres below, you can go to Wikipedia to look up their definitions, or to the link at the bottom of the page.

Most people are familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien, Frank Baum, C.S. Lewis, and others who paved the way for modern day fantasy. What a lot of people don’t know is that most of these classics took their background information from real places, traditions, and beliefs. The Lord of The Rings is such a series, drawing its creatures from English, Celtic, and Norse legends. Tolkien spent many years of research studying ancient legends and myths, and his son continued his work, also devoting hours of research to the subject.

Epic Fantasy

This is one of the most common, and basis for many fantasy novels. Old style weaponry, such as iron swords, and chain metal, maces, and spears are used to tell the story. Magic or supernatural forces are either used to protect the hero, or work against the hero. It is set in a totally imaginary world where our physical laws do not apply.

Low Fantasy

These stories take place in the real world, but include a factor of magic or supernatural forces brought to the surface. An example of this is the Harry Potter series.

Portal Fantasy

This is a genre where a portal helps the character(s) travel to an imaginary world through a gateway or portal from the real world. One classic example is The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, where children travel through a closet door into the mythical world of Narnia.

Urban Fantasy

These stories are set within a city itself, and are often based on the everyday world. They deal with modern weapons, supernatural natural entities, and romance. One cinematic example of the genre would be the Underworld Series. This genre is interchangeable with contemporary fantasy and supernatural fantasy.

Young Adult Fantasy

Often aimed towards young adults, and also have young adults as main characters. An example would be Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.

Children’s fantasy

These tales are  aimed at children, and usually have child protagonists. The typical elements of these stories can include orphans, unhappy children, cruel or absent parents, princes, princesses, monsters, fairy-tale influences, secret portals, and tests. One classic which became a popular movie is called The Never Ending Story.

Heroic Fantasy Or Sword and Sorcery

These types of stories rely heavily on swordplay, weapons, mighty heroes, battles, magic, medieval societies, romance, action and conflict. This describes my latest novel, and others, such as Conan The Barbarian.

 

Medieval fantasy deal with  settings strongly inspired by medieval society, or set during the medieval period. These stories draw heavily on myths and legends from this period of history, and often deal with the elements of royalty, arranged marriages, patriarchal societies, battles, dragons, wizards, quests, knights, and legendary swords.

Historical Fantasy

A fantasy which takes real history and blends elements such as magic, mythological beings, or influences, important battles in history, and sometimes even time travel. A classic example is the traditional A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court.

Gothic Fantasy / Dark Fantasy

A blend of the fantasy and horror/the Gothic, such as ghosts, the undead, haunted castles and monsters form the crust of the story or set its tone. It is meant to shock and scare the reader. A classic example is Brahm Stoker’s Dracula. Many of Steven King’s books fall into this category.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief fantasy sub genre post, which I hope has been useful to you. I will return next week with a new topic. Please check out my latest fantasy novel, which has a link to it on the home page. The link below is connected to a fantasy genre site.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=15&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjjx_e6ss_TAhUE3IMKHT5KADQQFghxMA4&url=https%3A%2F%2Fthoughtsonfantasy.com%2F2015%2F12%2F07%2F17-common-fantasy-sub-genres%2F&usg=AFQjCNGXBXjwv15_BGfE8bjT3SkY6OGLow

 

BARGO LYNDEN GIVEAWAY RAFFLE

Hello Fantasy and Sci fi Fans!

How would you like to win a free copy of my latest novel? All you have to do is comment below by saying “I’m going,” or “I’m there,” and you’re entered! That’s all there is to it. Drawing will be on May 14th, at 2:00 pm at City Market, in downtown Syracuse, next to the Everson Museum. Enjoy this magical story of action, faith, romance, and the struggle for good and evil!

BLOG UPDATE

I haven’t written anything lately on the blog, so I thought it would be a good time to update what I’ve been working on, events coming up or past, and anything else of interest. I mentioned on my blog last time I was going to do a new blog on the fantasy genre, which I’m still going to do; it’s just my personal life has kept me from posting as much as I would like. I recently had some family issues that needed addressing, and I had to have surgery as well.

Last week, the East Syracuse Library, Erin Kelly, and I hosted another author greet and meet event. Turnout was less than desirable, but there is always good fellowship between our unique group of local authors, ranging in such genres, as action adventure, children’s, science fiction, horror, fantasy, memoirs, and others. Twelve authors attended the event. Even though no books were sold, it is always nice to interact with other writers and discuss the craft.

I also started a free book raffle for my latest book “Bargo Lynden: Adventure of A Lifetime,” which I am extending until May 14th. For Blog purposes, you can scroll to the comments section below, and say I’m going on the post I will put out for it. Then, you’re entered. It’s that simple.

I am also working on the next installment of Dimension Lapse, “Journey To Aldron,” out in the end of July. Join the continuing adventures of Angelica Avery and Batar, as they continue their mission to stop Varloo from eradicating all other races but his own. It is about half way through the first draft, but I expect it to be on schedule.

I have the usual City Market planned for downtown, and am looking into some other local shows. I’m hoping to attend the NYS Fair again in August, and to also do the Lowville County Fair again as well.

In October, there will be another signing at my home library, and by then I should have the next editions of my children’s books, “Wacky Wild Tales,” and in December, “What A Day For Sledding.”

Next time, we’ll talk about the fantasy genre; what it is and is not, the elements that go into such a story, and types of fantasy. Until then, have a good week!

 

 

 

BARGO LYNDEN: ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME

https://www.amazon.com/Bargo-Lynden-Adventure-Nicholas-Davis/dp/1544198434

Hello everyone! I am very pleased to announce the recent release of my newest book, Bargo Lynden: Adventure of A Lifetime, a fantasy adventure about a mythical race called the Woblos.

Woblos were actually a creation of mine from my youth, derived from a game where you fold a piece of paper in thirds. On the top part you draw a head of an animal or person, fold it, and hand it to the next person without showing it. They draw the midsection, do the same, and hand it to the next person, who draws the feet.

Although Woblos aren’t quite like this, you get the idea. I created an animal with rabbit ears and fur, an eagle’s beak and feet, and  human-like hands. When I was 12 years old I first started writing about them, and recently revisited my writing.

To say it was an ordeal to read what I wrote then would be an understatement.  I found my own writing illegible and unreadable in parts. I felt there was no other choice than to keep some of the characters, and scrap the story.  The result is an adventure worthy of a king’s read, and I hope you, as my readers will enjoy it as well as I enjoyed writing it.

I would like to give a special thank you to the person I dedicated the book to, and the person who inspired me to write in the first place, my seventh grade English teacher, Ronald Short. Without his help and guidance, I would have never pursued my interest in writing. Although I left the craft for a while due to life’s  little inconveniences, I have returned to end up publishing six books, and have plans for many more.  Sometimes writing mirrors life, and we all have to face difficult choices. This book dictates that, and the choices we must make, even if others believe it is the wrong one.

BARGO LYNDEN UPDATE

dark-wizard

My next novel, Bargo Lynden: Adventure of A Lifetime, will be coming out soon on Amazon.

Bargo Lynden is a Blacksmith Apprentice from a land called the Shudolin, and belongs to a mythical race called the Woblos. He learns of Shala, father of their race, and how his people were once human, and changed into animals by a jealous Elven king, and the staff which will allow them to become human again.
He is called upon by the King’s Royal Guard to venture into enemy territory to rescue King Timothy, and Bargo’s cousin, Barlow, from an evil Elf named Ang, a disciple of the evil wizard named Garlock. An enemy race called the Licarions recently invaded parts of the Shudolin, bringing the land to the verge of war.
The Royal Guard members are led by Glam, an Elf who is also an old time adversary of Ang’s. Glam introduces Bargo to a world of faith and magic, where a powerful stone and staff are used to defeat evil, and reveals the history of Bargo’s people and the hidden gift within himself. The Woblo is faced to confront the wicked disciple himself, and use the staff, stone, an ancient Elven sword as his weapon. He must choose between his friends’ lives or his own to defeat an evil spell on the land, and suppress a forbidden love for a human woman he has known since childhood.

I am escpecially proud of this one because I originally wrote this as a 12 year old child. After reading what I wrote then, and yes, I still have it, I decided to scrap the original story, but keep the basic plot, setting, and characters. After seven months of writing and rewriting, I formulated a classic fantasy tale, with action, suspense, romance, faith and magic. My opinion is this is a tale of two faiths, one good, the other evil, and sometimes the line is very thin between the two. A decision must be made in our youth, and will often affect our later years, when those we loved are gone. Its a decision we’ve all made when we were young, and sometimes it can be a fatal mistake.

When I wrote this, I thought about myself as a child, and my own child. It made me realize that sometimes I was no different than my own daughter; just as defiant, just as stubborn, and just as deaf from my father’s ears.  This realization drove me to a story which I think portrays the rebel in all of us, as well as the hope in all of us.

I hope you enjoy my first fantasy novel in a series. As soon as I receive the link from Amazon, I will post it on my website. Thank you all for your support, and your quest for more reading!

ARE WE THERE YET?

nasa-7-new-planets2

NASA has announced the discovery of a solar system circling a red dwarf that has seven planets, three of which have been considered “Earth Like” planets. This is a misnomer, however. Just because they have a rocky surface and core, and the possibility of liquid water doesn’t make them “Earthlike.”

It is an amazing discovery to find any planets orbiting a planet that have liquid water, but that’s where the similarities end. These planets are so close to their “cool sun”, that even the farthest one can orbit the sun in a miraculous eight days. Being that close to the sun leaves them in a tidal orbit, similar to our own moon, where only one side is visible to the sun, and the other side is all dark. Let’s just hope you live on the bright side of the planet. For more information on this subject, click on the link below:

http://downloadsearch.cnet.com/wr_clk?surl=https%3A%2F%2Fwearechange.org%2F7-new-earth-like-exoplanets-discovered-nasa-announces%2F&pingUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bingapis.com%2Fapi%2Fping%3FIG%3D684A1E5F85A64B3797A282AF1F239F83%26CID%3D0174C766468F65F30033CD5547BE6474%26ID%3D&urlPingSuffix=DevEx,5127.1&keyword=7%20new%20earth%20like%20planets%20found&qsrc=1&q=7%20new%20earth%20like%20planets%20found&src=organic&sid=8095761&yt=&pid=&cid=&clickid=&click_id=&udv=&ude=&udvo=&kwid=&agid=&mode=store1_organic_&gch=&tc=359&qm=&au=&tt=&qWordCount=6&op=st_organic_

WHAT EXACTLY IS SCIENCE FICTION?

Aliens

TYPES OF SCIENCE FICTION

There is a big debate in the literary world as to what and what is not science fiction. Although some people like to believe that all science fiction should be “hard” science fiction, most science fiction is far from that. The truth is there are many kinds of science fiction, and some stories even cross over sub genres.

For those who might not know what a “genre” is, it is basically a category, or sub category. Today we’ll explore some of the sub genres of the category. There are others, but these are the main ones we affiliate with science fiction:

Speculative Fiction is a term used to describe all science fiction and fantasy, and answers the question “What if?”

HARD SCIENCE FICTION

These are fictional stories solely based on technological fact, and are strongly science based. Examples include Michael Crichton, famous for The Andromeda Strain, and Jurassic Park. They seldom stray from factual interpretation of science.main_control_in_the_andromeda_strain

SOFT SCIENCE FICTION

This sub-genre explores the soft(social) sciences, and dwells in the world of sociology, anthropology, and psychology. It is usually not scientifically accurate, and deals with the relationships, political views, or religious views of its characters. A classic example of this is A Stranger In a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein. The movie Avatar, also deals with these subjects.

stranger_in_a_strange_land_coverstranger-in-a-strange-land

SPACE OPERA

Adventures set in space, that are somewhat campy with subtle humor. These kind of stories sometime cross into other genres, and can include any of the elements, such as social injustice, good and evil, and time or space travel that isn’t always feasible by common standards. Examples include Star Trek, Star Wars, The Barsoom Series, and Flash Gordon.

klingon-ship

CYBERPUNK

This genre explores the fusion between man and machine, computer, or virtual reality. These type of stories examine the merging of technology with man himself, whether they are a cyborg, android, or artificial intelligence. Examples include The Six Million Dollar Man television series, The Terminator, The Matrix, and several others. One of the classic stories to explore this topic is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

steve-austin

MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION

These stories have a strong military theme to them, and deal with armed forces in space. Whether its another political faction or an alien race. Some classic examples are Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein, and Enders Game, by Orson Scott Card.

starship_troopers_novel

PARALLEL/ALTERNATE UNIVERSE

In this genre, the setting is in an alternate universe, or another time with an alternate history. These stories anything can happen, as a change in the past or an alternate reality affects the outcome of the original time or place.  One of the most famous examples is A Wrinkle In Time, and the Doctor Who television series, which is based loosely on the book.

           wrinkleintimepba1 tardis

            STEAMPUNK

This genre incorporates technology and aesthetic  designs and elements inspired by 19th century industrial steam powered machinery. Some examples are The Wild Wild West,  and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

kyle-cassidy-steampunkwild-wild-westwild-wid-spider

POST APOCALYPTIC

When most people think of these movies or books, they think of zombies. Although some do deal with the undead, most true post apocalyptic science fiction stories only mention zombies if there is an element of science that causes this, such as a plague, chemical, or some other scientific catalyst. It is not limited to these, however, as it can do with anything which causes Earth’s technology to collapse, such as an alien invasion, cosmic event, such as an asteroid, climate change, or global war.  I am Legend is a movie based on the movie Omega Man, which is based on The Last Man on Earth, which is based on The Last Man, written by Mary Shelly, the author of Frankenstein.

i-am-legendnuclear1

SCIENCE FANTASY

A hybrid and subset of science fiction, where fantasy is part of its them, and where magic is acceptable. One fairly recent example is Reign of Fire, a story about dragons based in present day England.

reign_of_fire_dragon____by_kl6

These are just some of the genres: there is also Science fiction Horror, which includes stories such as Aliens and Predator, Artificial Intelligence, Alien invasion and others. Several genres cross over into each other, and are as varied as the species of aliens represented in them.

aliens-original-1 predator-predators-2010-movie-14721624-800-1200__2_

It has always been a genre that’s fascinated me, and inspired me to write my own space adventure series. What about you, what’s your favorite science fiction story? Is it hard or soft, a space opera, or a steampunk adventure? Or maybe you prefer something along the lines of fantasy, which will be in my next post. Until then, enjoy whatever sci-fi is your bag!

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THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY’S EFFECT ON THE ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE, AND RESEARCH

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped) pollution

How will the Trump Presidency effect the world of science, such as the environment, the space program, and scientific research? It’s still too early to tell, but some of his anti-regulatory agenda may very well impact the environment in order to create new jobs, and  more fuel for the United States.

Last March, Trump stated that if elected, he would only keep a small portion of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. The Agency sets rules and regulations for regulating air,land, and water pollution.  With his call to return jobs to the US, deregulation could cause pollution standards to go down the toilet. One of the main reasons companies have left for other countries is the because environmental laws here are very strict.

Trump has stated that he wants to complete the Keystone pipeline, and today he signed a bill finalizing it. Trans Canada has agreed to negotiations to allow border cooperation in the project, although there are still some issues as to how. He hasn’t totally abandoned alternative forms of energy like solar and wind, just said he wants to tap oil and coal reserves first, so we don’t rely on foreign countries for energy. He has vowed to repeal the US’s position about climate change, along with 195 countries who agreed to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Trump is also at odds with abortion activists,  sexual education instruction, and contraception at the taxpayers’ expense, and has vowed to overturn legal abortions and teach abstinence as the general rule, which we all know,  doesn’t necessary always work either.  He has said that some vaccinations already in production need more research to prove if they really work, and vowed to repeal Obamacare.

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He has stated NASA will prosper under his term, as funding will go to boost the space program by making NASA an interplanetary organization, going to the far reaches of our solar system. The first 100 days will determine if he is a man of his word, or just offering false promises, like so many politicians before him.

Like him or hate him, he has big dreams. It will be up to the Senate and Congress to determine if those dreams will become realities, and with the ball in the Republicans’ court, it will be interesting to see how it pans out-or not.