According to common wisdom, genre fiction is culturally cyclical: It ebbs and flows in popularity as time alternately burns out various tropes and rejuvenates them. I’m just wondering if this has ever been the case with epic fantasy. It seems to me that it’s cache has continued to grow in lockstep with the economic clout of all us 70?s and 80?s D&D players.
An answer and a question.
First the answer: I think the popularity of epic fantasy has certainly ebbed and flowed. I’d say the last decade was very good for epic fantasy, with the growing popularity of Martin’s books, and the rise of series like the Malazan books and Bakker’s excellent Prince of Nothing and Aspect Emperor novels. In the early 90’s I think epic fantasy had grown pretty stale. The coming of age of the D&D players and the rise of popular fantasy games like World of Warcraft may be keeping the genre fresh, or it may just be that a lot of good, relatively new authors have been published recently.
Now a question: Why isn’t Bakker’s latest, White Luck Warrior, available on Kindle?
Also: You can vote on the best sci-fi and fantasy titles over at NPR. If you’re the voting sort.