Is Grimdark still a genre?

Toby Frost

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Or subgenre, or a "thing"? I was once told that, while Steampunk was quite a widespread concept for a while, it never really established a big school of writing. I seem to hear less about grimdark fantasy that, say, 5 years ago, and a sort of cosy style influenced by pop culture seems to be growing instead. Or I might be completely wrong about that.
 
I say down with following old genres (classics excepted) and instead everyone who cares about such stuff should go out on a limb and invent their own genres. I’m great at naming music genres (Doohop, Hindie, Jengle, etc) so maybe if I put my mind to it I can invent the names of future fiction subgenres.

Clacklustard
Encountercult
Boistray
Endofiche
Blaandaage

See? When these names become famous, tell em you saw it here first
 
I think Song of Ice and Fire became the exemplar of the genre. So if there ever is another book in the series, then it might spur the genre on.
 
Karl Edward Wagner's Kane the Mystic Swordsman series could fit into the definition of Grim Dark
 
While it's mostly had its moment and fallen back out of the limelight for the next little while, the label still gets used and there's still books coming out that fit under it.
 
A search on Google turns up 8 million hits. A search on Amazon returns many pages of results. I'd say that qualifies it as "still a thing"
 
A search on Google turns up 8 million hits. A search on Amazon returns many pages of results. I'd say that qualifies it as "still a thing"
I’m not sure online search numbers make anything “still a thing” - I just tested an example and got lots of results for “castrato singing” which is clearly not still a thing.
 
I think @Harpo is on to something.

Supernoire
Stardark
Anthrovampology
Poemation. Poetry and animation, not the processing of EA Poe’s works.
Coffeemetal
Eco-Roman

Seriously, methods change and styles change. Thomas Jefferson said something to the effect of, “In matters of style go with the flow. In matters of principle stand like a rock against the current.”

In the last two weeks, I have discovered that my love of pedantry stems from my love of talking Tolkien. It’s a bit of an eye-opener at age 56. Perhaps the rest of the world doesn’t always want to know every detail of every subject. On the other hand, my mother and my stepmother have always hung on every word… as if I am the most interesting man in the world.

Robert E. Howard’s stuff was not in the in the mythic style of Lord Dunsany. I wonder about Edgar Allan Poe and Henry James, would they be writing grimdark today? I don’t think grimdark is an entirely new concept.
 
To expand on Harpo's point - Sword & Sorcery gets 13m hits on google, but there's pretty much no easily identified S&S coming out from major publishers right now.

Grimdark isn't quite that off the horizon, but it's not that far off.

Of course, Boaz is right that dark/antiheroic/sardonic/grim/nihilistic fantasy (or fiction) isn't new. But each expression of it is slightly different and each has its day then goes, leaving only notes that fade into the next movement. The world is too painful for people to revel in that sort of pain right now.
 
I don’t think grimdark is an entirely new concept.
I agree (I just want to be liked :cry::p)

In all seriousness, it's still a thing. Authors such as Peter McLean and Anna Smith Spark* still make good sales with it. Grimdark is just a buzzword for it, though. Give it a couple of years, and someone will talk about the new gritty fantasy noir trend (unlike anything else before, honest, pal) that has burst on to the market. Probably at the same time someone relaunches space opera under a new marketing name.

*Both pretty good writers, as it happens, and surprisingly pleasant people.
 
I agree (I just want to be liked :cry::p)

In all seriousness, it's still a thing. Authors such as Peter McLean and Anna Smith Spark* still make good sales with it. Grimdark is just a buzzword for it, though. Give it a couple of years, and someone will talk about the new gritty fantasy noir trend (unlike anything else before, honest, pal) that has burst on to the market. Probably at the same time someone relaunches space opera under a new marketing name.

*Both pretty good writers, as it happens, and surprisingly pleasant people.

McLean has at times posted about how he doesn't think he should be considered grimdark. McDonald too iirc. Smith Spark's next book is coming out from small press.
 
>I don’t think grimdark is an entirely new concept.
I was just thinking this. I today finished the novel Roadside Picnic, which was published in 1977. And I'd put forward Dahlgren as well, though for that one I might use "gloomdark" as closer to the mark.

As for major publishers, who needs 'em? There are plenty of books in every genre, sub-genre, and corner niche that Wikipedia would care to name. Now, were the question, "is grimdark a category in which I might be able to get a contract from a major publisher?" then the answer is safely: not likely. If, otoh, the question were, "is grimdark a category on Amazon with more than a hundred books?" then the answer is yes. But it doesn't look like a hundred in the last year (searched "grimdark" then sorted by publication date).
 
Fugazi is already several things, plus it means fake or damaged - I can’t imagine anybody wanting their works described thusly

I dunno. I could see it being a great name for a sub-genre of novels built around a conceit of discovering the truth behind erroneous/damaged medieval-esque documents.
 
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