… but haven’t seen too much of, alas.
* adult fantasy inspired by non-European civilizations. Some YA books, like Eon: Dragoneye Reborn and The Lost Conspiracy, have satisfied some of my cravings for this to an extent. I want to see Chinese dragons, steamy rainforests and high dry plateaus; I want to see kimonos and body paint; most of all, I want to see a different way of looking at life.
* religious protagonists in fantasy. Most fantasy protagonists are like modern secularists. They don’t believe in gods, and even if they did, they wouldn’t worship them. Often religion in fantasy feels like window dressing–or a tool of the evil guys. Give me a protagonist who believes, and not in a froofy, I-worship-the-benevolent-mother-earth-goddess kind of way.
* historical fantasy set in ancient times. This has everything to do with what we’re covering in history this year. I am politely disinterested in Ancient Egypt, but I’d love to see something based on Mesopotamia. Taking elements from Gilgamesh, for instance, or using the library at Nineveh as a grand setting. I’d be over all over something speculative and fantastical set in one of the cities of the Indus Valley civilization.
* more old people. I love my coming-of-age fantasy as well as anyone else, but life doesn’t stop at 25! I’d like to see protagonists from all seasons of life: fathers of tots, mothers of teens, empty-nesters and grandparents.
* fantasy characters with jobs other than Magic User, Royal Personage, or Merchant/Noble Son or Daughter. Or Soldier. Or Itinerant. Can we have real jobs, please? And some conflict between Saving the World and Having Enough Money to Pay the Rent?
* smaller-scale fantasy. No Saving the World or Creating a Political Upheaval required. Save the family fortune instead. Capture a murderer. Mend a feud. Rescue a captive. Something that doesn’t send a huge ripple effect through the entire world.
*stands back and looks at list*
Looks like I’ll be coming back to this when it’s time to plan my next novel.
What about you? What do you want to read in your fantasy?