Heroic Fantasy vs Epic Fantasy

Vince W

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I'm not sure heroic fantasy is the exact right term. Conan, Fafhrd, Bran, et. al. they did things that could be considered heroic in the broadest sense, but these characters motives were pretty much selfish. Heroic makes me think of selfless acts. Burglary, theft, piracy, and brigandage are hardly selfless acts.
 

The Big Peat

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What Vince said. Plus, BAYLOR's list is pretty much straight up classic Sword n' Sorcery. Is Heroic Fantasy just an extension of Sword n'Sorcery? I guess maybe for some. For me, again working on the distinction that Heroic Fantasy is Gemmell and pretty much nobody else, there's a lot of similarities but I think a big crucial difference if the Heroic Fantasy is always standing in defence of something. He doesn't go out there looking for trouble.

Also, Heroic Fantasy has a decent amount of Epic Fantasy in its DNA.
 

Triceratops

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I agree too. Especially Conan. Could that be likened to "The Chosen One" type of single hero story-line? a single benefactor? Epic conjures up a full class population of opposing warriors and with distant lands and multiple kingdoms. I've never written either. They seem so difficult to craft with accuracy and detail of the time period.
 

EdLincoln

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Epic Fantasy is about larger then life events. Heroic Fantasy is about larger then life people.

I agree with Ms. Edgerton there are more books that fall in both categories then fall in just one. In theory a book about Big Events that focused onnly on small people would be Epic without being heroic. A story about a great hero fighting bandits could be heroic without being Epic.
 

Triceratops

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This almost reminds me of the fine-line distinction between Portal (low) fantasy and urban fantasy. There is a difference, but everything in that genre type seems to be lumped in urban and recognized as such.
 

EdLincoln

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This almost reminds me of the fine-line distinction between Portal (low) fantasy and urban fantasy. There is a difference, but everything in that genre type seems to be lumped in urban and recognized as such.
I haven't seen them being lumped together at all. Portal Fantasy is set in a secondary world and thus typically more like High Fantasy.

Also never heard the term "Road Fantasy".
 

BAYLOR

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I can accept that.

Sometimes I think David Gemmell would have dominated fantasy, if he'd only written a series that followed a group of different characters in close chronology.
David Gemmel Dominating fantasy ? Yes , he would have , he was an excellent writer.
 
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BAYLOR

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I like that definition too--easy to grasp. I've also heard "Road Fantasy." How does that apply and to which genre do you think?
You might want to check out The Kane the Mystic Swordsman saga by Karl Edward Wagner. It's grim , gothic and wonderful stuff. :cool:(y)
 

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