woodwardiocom: (Default)
[personal profile] woodwardiocom
Some thoughts on the fantasy genre, particularly loosely-Tolkienian stuff.

Fantasy stories are set on Earth, or not set on Earth. (There's certainly a gray area, especially prior to the 20th century, but anyway.)

If they're not set on Earth, the world nevertheless usually has a lot in common with Earth. E.g., humans, horses, breathable air, oceans, a day-night cycle of about 24 hours, a year of about 365 days, stars, and a sun.

Where the sticking point often comes is with the Moon. All those things above, while Earth-like, could just be "coincidental" similarities. The Moon, by contrast, is a unique object, and if the moon in the fantasy world is the same as Luna, then your setting is Earth.

However, if you make a big point of the moon being different, or absent, or having several of them, you've brought in the conscious awareness of the world as a planet, which gets people thinking of science fictional tropes. Which, ideally, you'd like to avoid in most fantasies.

(D&D settings are usually okay with this, because D&D has had science-fantasy in it since day two.)

I'm thinking of this while reading Robin Hobb's Elderling books, where there is a moon, but we get only vague hints about it, probably due to her awareness of the above issues.

Anyhoo, just noodling.
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