Tag Archives: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Fantasy Fiction would be good if it wasn’t for the silly names?

Harry Potter
Harry Potter (Photo credit: Pixelsior)

I have been discussing the aversion of a friend to fantasy fiction and tv/film and it’s interesting to note that their main problem with the genre – citing in particular Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, were the silly names – Mordor, Frodo, Targaryen etc. Why should they care about characters who were so obviously silly and made up to have names that they could hardly pronounce? They are not adverse to a bit of costume drama – having loved the Borgias for instance. Even though Game of Thrones uses names that aren’t that far away from historical ones didn’t make it any better apparently.

I did point out that Game of Thrones was immensely popular – but I have to say it probably isn’t as popular as Harry Potter, a fantasy series that really has crossed over into the mainstream. But what more mainstream name can you have than Harry Potter, Hermione etc. It’s only the bad guys who have silly names in Potter!

So where does that leave fantasy fiction looking for a mainstream audience? Ditch the silly names for your epic fantasy fiction novel – name your main characters Freddie and Ella? That doesn’t sound right somehow either. I think to a certain extent Paul Hoffman in his Left Hand of God series tried it – by using familiar historical and geographical names – and perhaps that worked in a way – or perhaps that just confuses the reader, or appears to turn fantasy fiction into just a post-modern game?

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So You Want to Draw a Dragon?

Well now you can. I came across this amazing site the other day, Dragoart.com that shows you how to simply draw with step-by-step instructions a whole variety of different things, from cartoon characters to celebrities to fantastical creatures, such as a dragon!

If you have kids I heartily recommend this site, and also if you have a hankering to start drawing, but feel that you don’t have any skill or are put off by leaning drawing the proper way. The simple instructions on this site really get you drawing quite complex pictures quite fast.

Here’s an example of the sort of thing you could learn to draw:

And the first step to getting there:

The complete instructions for drawing this dragon.

Other fantasy creatures you can learn to draw include dwarves, elves, orcs, wizards and trolls.

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Top Fantasy Authors of the Decade based on UK Sales

The Bookseller released some statistics today on the top 100 selling authors in the UK market from 2000 to 2009. I have extracted the fantasy authors from their data to put together the following list:

1          Rowling, J K                    27,556,478 units, revenue of  £215,876,812.77

6          Pratchett, Terry            8,670,317 units, revenue of  £63,979,648.47

21        Pullman, Philip              5,337,773  units, revenue of  £34,670,831.34

23        Tolkien, J R R                4,960,414  units, revenue of  £47,169,467.51

25        Meyer, Stephenie         4,646,667  units, revenue of  £26,971,717.71

66        Koontz, Dean                  2,500,606  units, revenue of  £14,742,572.68

It’s interesting that fantasy isn’t as dominant a genre as one might be lead to believe with only 6 in the top 100 – and that’s only if we consider Meyer and Koontz as fantasy. SF isn’t placed at all, which is a shame.

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