Friday, October 22, 2010

A Dead Genre?

I'm a subscriber to David Farland's "Daily Kick in the Pants," and email newsletter that goes out...well, daily...and offers a wealth of practical advice to writers. I've gotten some priceless tidbits of wisdom and motivation from his offerings.

Well, today the "Daily Kick" dished up a line that felt more like a kick in the teeth. (No fault of Mr. Farland's...he calls things like he sees them, and he's just being frank without any malice toward me or any other reader.) David Farland said something in just  few little lines that sunk a sword into my gut. He wrote that his agent believes Tolkienesque fantasy to be dead and unsellable.

What?

I can't help but wonder at the plausibility of this statement, given the number of teens who every day who discover Middle Earth for the first time, and how if you hang around at least the younger readers of fantasy, how there is still a deep, tremulous excitement over worlds populated with elves, dwarves, and the entire zoological gamut of humanoids Dungeons and Dragons has since lifted and expounded upon. Perhaps it's just my own bias tainting my view, but I simply can't see a book market devoid of books that take place in  a wholly separate time and place. I think the market would be sadly lacking if all we could buy for the next who-knows-how-long is contemporary fantasy.

This seems to be my week for discouraging speed bumps, though. Almost drives and author to self publish.

But I digress. What do you think? Is today's reader sick of castles, armor, and swords? Is contemporary fantasy the only sub genre one ought be writing currently if one hopes to become a published author? You can probably guess what my answer is to all this, but I'd love to hear your comments.

And by the way, more Windrider to come in a week or so.