Fantasy Literature - WTTE Ep 33

Ep 33: The Noun of Nouns (The Rise of Modern Fantasy Literature)

What is Fantasy Literature?

What do you think of, when you think of the genre of fantasy? Whether it’s fiction, TV, cinema, games, are there certain elements you need to have for something to be considered fantasy?

Well, you might say fantasy is medieval, or at least set in
a time of swords and sorcery

Or that fantasy has to be epic in scale, there are always grand
and noble characters. 

Or maybe fantasy has to be set in an imaginary world.

Or, at the very least, there should be some magic.

But, as I explore on this episode. Some, or all, or none of these might be present in a work of fantasy. Fantasy is not at all straightforward.

This week I chat to Dr Gerard Hynes to try to get the core of fantasy literature. We explore Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and the pop culture behemoth that is fantasy right now. We also look at a hugely diverse array of fantasy that goes far beyond what many people imagine when they think of the genre.

Fantasy Literature - WTTE Ep 33


Dr Gerard Hynes is an expert in fantasy literature who has researched and published widely on the subject. You can find out about his publications here

You can follow him on twitter here

Works & Authors Mentioned (Fantasy Literature)

Megan Lindholm: The Wizard of the Pigeons

Aliette de Bodard : The House of Shattered Wings

Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death

JRR Tolkien: Lord of the Rings

George RR Martin: Game of Thrones



The Odyssey

The Nibelungenlied

Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland

Frank Baum: The Wizard of Oz

Lord Dunsany

George MacDonald

William Morris

HP Lovecraft

Stephen R. Donaldson: Lord Foul’s Bane

Terry Brooks: The Sword of Shannara

Robert Jordan: The Wheel of Time

Terry Goodkind

Robin Hobb

Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora

Saladin Ahmed

Mary Robinette Kowal: Glamourist Histories

Seanan McGuire

Rebecca Roanhorse: The Trail of Lightning

Ken Liu: “The Paper Menagerie”; The Grace of Kings; The Wall of Storms

China Miéville

NK Jemisin


Music this week was by Paddy Mulcahy


Rifo’s Dance ( The Words She Said)

001 (Nowhere To Be)

lil woodbloc (Nowhere To Be)

If you like imaginary worlds, try this episode on imaginary places

This one is on HP Lovecraft and weird fiction

And there’s lots of fantasy and science fiction pulp fiction in this episode

If you enjoy the episode and want to find out how to support the show then click here for more information.

Support the show on Patreon (Fantasy Literature)
Join the WTTE community!

Do you somehow need more book recommendations!? Let me know in the comments below or check out the Words To That Effect Facebook Page or on Instagram too!

HeadStuff (WTTE Ep 31 - steampunk)

Words To That Effect is a member of the Headstuff Podcast Network. Check out all the great podcasts here


Coming soon!

2 thoughts on “Ep 33: The Noun of Nouns (The Rise of Modern Fantasy Literature)

  1. Not easy to decide, but I think so far this has been my favourite episode as I have added almost all the books to my reading list immediately. 🙂

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