Saturday, 30 October 2010


I've found myself juggling three or four short stories in the last couple of days. Mostly, that's because I have decided to have a crack at a few anthologies, and inevitably, they all seem to have the same deadlines. The result is flitting back and forth, which isn't terribly efficient, but does actually get more done in the end, since normally, I would just give up and switch off the computer at that point.

Is it just me, or is there almost nowhere that caters to light/comic/humourous fantasy at the moment? Yes, there are antipodean publications ASIM and Semaphore, but almost all magazines seem to have got it into their heads that people only read 'edgy' stuff. The same goes for a lot of publishers (I'm having to try to remember to rein in the humour with some of the ghostwriting, in particular). This is awkward, because normally, any edge in my writing comes down to the spiky bits on the armour, coupled with the odd pointed gag.

I'd like to think that there's a place for that sort of thing, but increasingly, I'm led to doubt it. I think it says just about everything that the novels of mine that are published are the ones without jokes, but with plenty of grumpiness and violence. It probably says something very sad about the world in general, or at least tattoos it on its own forehead in an effort to show how tough it is.


Christine H said...

Stu, I have felt that way since college (20 years ago). My writing teacher seemed to think that the only things worth writing were angry, depressing or sexual. I got the same impression from reading Writer's Digest, which is why I no longer subscribe.

I don't think it's just fantasy, I think it's all genres except romance. Even children's stories seem dark these days.

I have my own theories on this which I won't get into detail about because it would spark some controversial discussion, but in general I think it has to do with a pervasive spiritual insecurity in American culture, as well as a way of reacting to the ugliness happening in the world at the moment.

Personally, I prefer humor as a way of coping! So I'm with you on this one.

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Stu: You might take a look at "An Honest Lie". I'm thinking about entering something. If you go to my blog, I have a link to Eric Trant's Blog in the sidebar, he has a post about the publication, with links. I've purchased the first two anthologies to check it out and they don't have restrictions on genre or tone, just a general theme. You could make it as humoeous as you like.

Summer Ross said...

I've noticed that in my kids books too! its like a gothic era only modern LOL. Stu~ I wish i knew of any places that will accept that- but i don't right off the top of my head- have you tried they usually have different genre pro markets up.

and maybe another magazine like glimmertrainpress ?

N. R. Williams said...

I believe I read that fantasy is looking for lighter pieces. They said they get mostly dark stuff.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Donna Hole said...

Perhaps its time for you to create the genre :)

I get tired of edgy too - except on armor. That never gets old.