31 October 2007

fantasy communities

So, across the blogosphere and other places has sprung a debate about the existence, or lack thereof, of a fantasy community in the UK. It kicked off in Nick Cirkovic's myspace blog here, (not to be confused with his other blog elsewhere) and after he posted his comments on the BFS forums a fascinating set of arguments have popped up. Mark Chadbourn has waded in with his feelings about the need for splitting the BFS as he feels it's predom horror and not serving fantasy as well as it could. This, of course, has garnered the same sort of responses as the last time it was raised on the boards...

The essence of the main points seems to be a desire for places that concentrate solely on fantasy, and not fantasy & horror, or fantasy & SF or all three. Which is fair enough, I've been carping for years about wanting fantasy magazines and anthologies and the like... although I'm always confused about the difference between horror and dark fantasy, myself, surely they're the same thing?

So, fantasy communities then... as the interweb is the new place for building communities, are there any just-fantasy places for a bod to hang out or get news and wotnot from? UKSFnews covers all three genres, as does Ansible and Locus.

Forums: apart from the BFS one, we've got SFFworld - which covers all three genres, as does the Chronicle Network. I know there are horror forums around, but are there fantasy forums around? Other than the ones specifically connected to author sites, that is. If there are, I don't currently know about them but a prolonged google might reveal otherwise. (And if you know of any, please post them somewhere on the BFS forum so's I can have a looksie, ta!)

And another thing that crops up, like it did the last time on the boards, is that the definition of fantasy is erring towards epic fantasy again. I like epic fantasy, but concentrating on the epic side (ie. Gemmell/Martin/Jordan/Brooks etc.) is abandoning a lot of other sub genres and personally my preferences are stronger towards contemporary and comic fantasy than epic and would I want a place/community that was just epic fantasy? Nope. Would I like a fantasy community that's as strong as the SF one? Oh hell yeah.

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