Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

Queen Mother
This topic is about Queen Mother
85 views
Historical Fantasy > How can I tell if my book is Historical Fantasy or Fiction?

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Angela Tyler | 21 comments How do you know if a book is Historical Fiction or Fantasy? I think my book is both.


message 2: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) Historical fantasy is fiction, by definition. Fantasy is not real remember.


message 3: by Victoria (last edited Jul 24, 2014 03:11PM) (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 2778 comments Two things will determine this: the race or species of the main character(s), and the cause of the events that drive the plot.

If it's a re-telling of a historical event where the characters are all normal humans, and the plot is driven by events that could happen in every day life or explained by normal occurrances, then it's historical fiction.

If it's a re-telling of a historical event where fantasy creatures are involved in any way, and/or the thing that's new about your book is that the plot is driven by events which can only be explained by magic or other fantasy based occurrances, then it's fantasy.

That's how I'd figure it out anyway.


Angela Tyler | 21 comments Randolph wrote: "Historical fantasy is fiction, by definition. Fantasy is not real remember."

I think that part of my "problem" is that I think that fantasy is real. Issues, I know!


Angela Tyler | 21 comments Victoria wrote: "Two things will determine this: the race or species of the main character(s), and the cause of the events that drive the plot.

If it's a re-telling of a historical event where the characters are a..."


Thanks for the explanation! Now, I am pretty certain that my book is historical fantasy.


message 6: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Historical fantasy IS fiction...
I have a historical fantasy...that's what it is both a fantasy and historical. Mine deals with elves in 1843 California.....


Angela Tyler | 21 comments Arabella wrote: "Historical fantasy IS fiction...
I have a historical fantasy...that's what it is both a fantasy and historical. Mine deals with elves in 1843 California....."


That sounds fascinating! I live in CA, and I taught 4th grade state history. Are your elves in the missions, by any chance?


message 8: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 2778 comments Angela wrote: "Victoria wrote: "Two things will determine this: the race or species of the main character(s), and the cause of the events that drive the plot.

If it's a re-telling of a historical event where the..."


Glad to help!


message 9: by Arabella (last edited Jul 24, 2014 09:14PM) (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Angela---they live in Altadena--on a fictious rancho...I mention Mission San Fernando and the San Gabriel mission. But this IS a fantasy so even though its set in 1843---there is no mention of the struggles with Mexico. I love California history--born and raised in Burbank---and my mom loved California history...so I set it in a quieter time---no trains, no paved roads----no official harbor and Los Angeles is a sleepy little town---a little more built up than it actually would have been at the time.

The book is called The Elf Lord's Revenge


Angela Tyler | 21 comments Arabella wrote: "Angela---they live in Altadena--on a fictious rancho...I mention Mission San Fernando and the San Gabriel mission. But this IS a fantasy so even though its set in 1843---there is no mention of the ..."

I'm checking it out! Times like this make me wish I still taught 4th grade :)


message 11: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Thanks Angela! Hope you enjoy it!


message 12: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Peters (andrewjpeters) How well known is historical fantasy as a genre?

This thread caught my eye since the topic touches on themes in my own work, but I had never heard historical and fantasy together. I can see how it is descriptive of lots of books, but it seems like an oxymoron as a term.

There's also the genre of alternative history. Perhaps historical fantasy is a subset of that?


message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 212 comments Seems to me a lot of fantasy is historical fantasy, mostly set in vaguely medieval settings, though I'm seeing more that comes from other periods. Though of course it's more common to invent a whole new world. And the line can get fuzzy (between historical and just plain fantasy) as the introduction of magical elements moves the story away from a "real" setting.

On reflection, I'm not sure "historical fantasy" is a terribly helpful designation.


message 14: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 276 comments lolz historical fantasy is a thing just very niche. one of my novels is considered historical fantasy due to being based in the sengoku period. there's a lot of magic slinging enchanted swordfighting monstet killing stuff... oh and samurai and sohei and such.... no ninjas yet lolz


message 15: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments Isn't Historical Fantasy Fiction? therefore wouldn't it be both? Lol. This topic got me all kinds of confused.


Angela Tyler | 21 comments Justin wrote: "Isn't Historical Fantasy Fiction? therefore wouldn't it be both? Lol. This topic got me all kinds of confused."
Me, too! I still don't know what my book is! I don't think it really matters, though, as long as it's a good story.


message 17: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 212 comments Amen to that, Angela! (Though categories CAN be helpful for marketing :D)


back to top