Lecture Goal: Give a broad view of contemporary American fantasy literature and where the ideas came from
1. Sword and sorcery in the 30s-60s, based on Weird Tales and Lord of the Rings
Weird Tales in the 1920s, born from Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft (Cthulhu)
Fantasy, horror, myth, and swordplay – Conan the Barbarian, Robert E. Howard
Fritz Leiber, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and the idea of true adventure, from Conan
2. Heroic fantasy and dark magic in the 70s, 80s and 90s, based on Dungeons and Dragons (1975)
Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melnibone, combination of heroic myth and popular fantasy
Roger Zelazny, the Chronicles of Amber, and castles, dungeons, monsters and sorcerors
Tanith Lee, emergence of dark fantasy based on authors like Mervyne Peake with Gormenghast
Emergence of allegory, deep symbolism and heavy themes with Ursula LeGuin (Earthsea) and Patricia McKillip (Riddle-Master)
3. The American-style journey novel in the 90s and 2000s, based on The Wheel of Time
Robert Jordan and the journey novel “Wheel of Time”
Terry Goodkind and the emergence of Mass-produced epic fantasy
George R.R. Martin, the anti-Lord of the Rings, beginning of the New Weird with China Mieville
4. Urban fantasy novels in post-2000 era, based on Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, and urban fantasy
Anne Rice to Laurell K. Hamilton, and contemporary urban vampires and faeries, Wiccan stories
The Fantastic City and the New Weird, with China Mieville and Jeff VanderMeer
5. Literary fantasy
Breaking out of the genre, with Octavia Butler and Parable of the Sower, combining different forms
The movement of fantasy to break free from genre
Questions to ask at the end:
1) What was the first magazine to have sword and sorcery? 6) Where does Harry Potter take place?
2) Who created Fafhrd? 7) What is the religion about magic?
3) What was the game that inspired heroic fantasy? 8) What old idea does urban fantasy use?
4) The Wheel of Time was what kind of novel? 9) What did Octavia Butler break out of?
5) What happened to fantasy novels after Terry Goodkind? 10) What is current fantasy literature trying to do?
words to put on the board:
Edgar Allen Poe
Sword and Sorcery
Lord of the Rings
Elric of Melnibone
Dungeons and Dragons
The Wheel of Time
Parable of the Sower