Fairy Tales and Fantasy Revisited

Today on the Guild of Dreams, I revisit the distinctions between fairy tales and fantasy and discuss the influences of one form on the other.

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Earlier this week, Jane Rosenberg LaForge wrote a provocative guest post on what she sees as key differences between fantasy and fairy tales. My first reaction to her argument was a bit of umbrage: my monsters are humans who behave monstrously too! Nevertheless, her essay prompted me to ponder the boundaries between fantasy and fairy tales and whether the “human monster” really does represent a key difference.

RapunzTowerIn the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales, Donald Haase states that the difference between fantasy and fairy tale is belief—fairy tale–tellers do not ask readers to believe the story actually happened, while fantasy authors want readers to suspend disbelief and, at least for the duration of the story, accept the tale as real. Fairy tale authors explicitly inform readers that the narrative events are impossible. In addition, most fairy tales were crafted to impart ethical and moral lessons and the tellers…

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If All Were Equal

Today in on the Guild of Dreams blog, Chantal Boudreau holds forth on one of my favorite topics: gender equality in fantasy. What surprises me is that more authors don’t take this approach, especially when writing outside the historical context of earth.

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fisherby Chantal Boudreau
When someone mentions female characters in fantasy, some stereotypes come to mind. There is the damsel in distress, the plucky princess, the matronly queen or the bawdy tavern wench, just for a few examples. These seem to show up everywhere, unfortunate tropes who sometimes serve as sidekicks and who often give the male hero extra purpose to their cause, but don’t have much purpose in their own right.
Then there’s the flip-side – the “strong female” character: the man-hating amazon, the stoic and noble female warrior who is an exception to the norm, the experienced sorceress or priestess who often proves self-sacrificing. While they may have a prominent role in the story, they tend to be loners and atypical of the women in that particular fantasy culture. Most of the women in the story other than that one outstanding character fall into the traditional medieval female roles:…

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Welcome Back to the Blog

The Guild of Dreams is back online, everyone. Please stop by and check out Bruce’s post today.

Guild Of Dreams

by Bruce Blake

The time has finally come…the return of the Guild of Dreams.

After a lengthy hiatus (if you choose to read that as ‘Bruce got lazy for an extended period of time’, I would probably be hard pressed to argue the point), the motley blog crew have returned to entertain and enlighten. Returning to the Guild are myself, Autumn Birt, Chantal Boudreau, Scott Bury, Joshua Johnson, AM Justice, Steven MontanoGuild-wglow 300, and Benjamin X. Wretlind.

So here’s the set up: we’re paring things down a little, with regular posts scheduled for Mondays and Fridays. That’s not to say you won’t see the occasional post on other days…special guests, book announcements, cover reveals, and the like may pop up at any time, so be sure to sign up for email updates over there on the top right if you haven’t done so…

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Amanda 2/4/2015 – Stop Gap Strategy

Today I started blogging again with a biweekly contribution to One Year of Letters. Check out my post there, and then keep reading for more wisdom from the other contributors.

One Year of Letters


Dear Amanda

This can’t go on. Really, it can not go on.

You say this to yourself every time you flush the toilet in your bathroom and find yourself pulling the lid off the tank, pushing up your sleeve, and reaching in to adjust the stopper so the toilet won’t run. That stopper has failed to properly seat itself upon flushing for over a month now.

A month. Maybe two.

There’s no excuse for letting it go so long. There’s a plumbing supply store and 2 hardware stores around the corner from your apartment. You wouldn’t even have to cross the street to buy whatever you need to fix it. Of course, it offends you that you cannot figure out what’s causing the stopper to fall askew and let water leak into the bowl (it’s not a faulty chain or balloon, all you plumbing experts). You want to fix…

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