I’ve always had trouble saying what my latest fantasy series, The Sylvalla Chronicles is. It’s not the ever so popular riding dragons, or kids at wizard-school. There are no elves or halflings, and no spaceships…
And I’m not much of a one for pigeonholes and endless talk about books – when I’d much rather read them. Still, to find the books you like, sometimes it’s important to have a search term. And I think I’ve found it.
So, what is postmodern, anyway? I’d have thought it’d be the description for a Pollock? Or some zany artwork that’s a cross between popular culture and noodles thrown on a canvas. Well, maybe that’s true, but it’s also used for writing – and I love it!
In particular, Terry Pratchett’s work appears to receive the assignation of postmodern parody (or pastiche). Which I thought was pretty cool, because his work was definitely an influence. And because I’m not an academic, here’s an academic dissertation by Christopher Bryant’s for anyone who’s interested.
What’s so special about postmodern parody? I think it’s the richness of the tapestry that is drawn upon, and the awareness and to some extent, respect of the genres being parodied. Unlike the more traditional Bored of the Rings which left me cold after about a chapter as the joke didn’t develop into anything more than ha ha fantasy is lame. Nor did it appear to have much to say about the world, which appears to be another hallmark of most postmodern works.
Whereas Mary Gentle’s Grunts…
What can I say? Very funny. Very rude. Takes the Lord of the Rings type universes and plots, mixes them with the idea of a US army grunt, and a little of the insanity of American politics and there you have it – the bad guys – from an author who understood the fantasy genre inside out, and wanted to take it to the dark side.
But if you do like your fantasy clean and unshocking bear with me.
No, my books do not have gross – OMG, I can’t believe she wrote that – humour. But I do combine different fiction worlds and drizzle in a few modern issues in much the same way.
It was fascinating being introduced to the scholarly concept of postmodernism. (Which is what I get for religiously ignoring anything that even seemed slightly academic for my author research.) And even more funny, I got to read several versions of Brandon Sanderson’s essay here on why his work was…and then suddenly was not postmodern – and in fact that he was far above such things :). Still, his books are great fantasy reads, and don’t need to be anything else.
The Princess Bride
And last, but definitely not least, I can’t finish this essay without at least mentioning The Princess Bride. Described as: “A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.”
If you like these books, or the idea of postmodern parody or postmodern literature, you can use the term when you’re searching for books. For example, the awesome Diana Wynne Jones, best known for Howl’s Moving Castle is a postmodernist. So you can see it’s a great way to find quirky, original stories.
And to find out more about my postmodern fantasy parody, The Sylvalla Chronicles, click here or on the picture below.
Or pick up the short story prequel, The Secret Child FREE here at your favourite ebook store:)