SLCLS Genre Study discussion

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Fantasy Subgenres > Contemporary Fantasy

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann | 38 comments While the genre of fantasy naturally requires the reader to suspend disbelief, contemporary fantasy has the added requirement of offering a believable “secret fantasy world” existing side-by-side with our current real world setting. Some authors succeed spectacularly at this, while other—well, not so much. What makes for a believable contemporary fantasy in your mind?


message 2: by Samm (new)

Samm (ashmanrose) | 24 comments Contemporary fantasy needs, for me, to have an element of realism. Scientific laws should, on the most part, be adhered to. Also if a "mortal" sees or has an experience with the fantasy world, their reaction should be something like a person experiencing a roller coaster ride-either completely freaked out, or extremely excited.

It's when the fantasy merges with the regular world and people just accept it, it makes the story less believable, at least for me. Yes, it's fiction, but really would you be totally okay with a scene like Percy Jackson or The Host coming to life and no one freaking out about it? :)


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann | 38 comments Samm wrote: "Contemporary fantasy needs, for me, to have an element of realism. Scientific laws should, on the most part, be adhered to. Also if a "mortal" sees or has an experience with the fantasy world, th..."

Got to agree--realistic reactions to finding out about magic or supernatural things is a must.

Another thing that drives me bonkers is when the author leaves rules of the fantasy world they've created too vague, or if they have contradictions in the rules they've set up.


message 4: by Kira (new)

Kira (kiramoody) | 104 comments I agree, for me the "real world" can't defy current reality in any other way. I can buy into witches, mythical creatures, etc. as long as the rest is believable.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann | 38 comments What are some contemporary fantasy books that you've read that really shined at realistic development?

Got to say I've never been to Chicago, but I'm totally buying into the setting Chloe Neill has created with her Chicagoland Vampire Series. (It's not "serious" fantasy, but a fun read with enjoyable characters.)


message 6: by Cherie (new)

Cherie I really like Galveston by Sean Stewart. There are two Galvestons, one ordinary and mundane and the other magical. Unfortunately it's out of print.


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann | 38 comments Though contemporary fantasy aims at making believable fantasy taking place in our world today, some books can get pretty out there. What are some of the wildest contemporary fantasy books that you have read?


message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 78 comments Mod
I'd say The Scorpio Races, if you call that contemporary fantasy. I love, love, love that book. The whole idea of the water horses is so wild and unusual. I know it's part of a couple of different mythologies, but I had never heard of it like that before. And yet, outside of the existence of these creatures, the book is a very realistic coming-of-age story.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann | 38 comments Jennifer wrote: "I'd say The Scorpio Races, if you call that contemporary fantasy. I love, love, love that book. The whole idea of the water horses is so wild and unusual. I know it's part of a c..."

Loved that one, well really, I've loved just about everything by Maggie Stiefvater that I've read. (I haven't read her most recent series, but Shiver and the following books were some really good contemporary fantasy too-- though not as wild as The Scorpio Races by a long shot.)


message 10: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 78 comments Mod
Ann wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "I'd say The Scorpio Races, if you call that contemporary fantasy. I love, love, love that book. The whole idea of the water horses is so wild and unusual. I know..."

Oh, oh! You have to read Raven Boys. I loved it. Way better than the Shiver series.


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann | 38 comments Jennifer wrote: "Oh, oh! You have to read Raven Boys. I loved it. Way better than the Shiver series."


I've just placed the book on CD on hold. (I'm always looking for something good to listen to in the car.)

Thanks for the recommendation!


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