13 December 2005

Random wondering

So, I was musing a while ago about different eras/epochs/cultures that have been used in fantasy. You know, beyond the obvious Vaguely Medieval Except for the Chicks in Chainmail Bikinis milieu that we are so familiar with. Particularly, I got focussed on the other historical eras bit vis a vis European/Western culture. I have seen fantasy built off of various ancient cultures. The Regency period has been worked with interesting effect by people like Patricia Wrede and Susanna Clarke. I'm sure that the Victorian Era has been, but I can't think of any except The Light Ages. Renaissance? Yep. The Enlightenment? Yep.

Then I got to thinking of one of my favorite eras -- that period between the Wars, say the 20s through the early 30s. The Roaring 20s, yeah, Jazz and flapper girls and expatriot communities of artists and musicians and writers in Paris. Crazy cabarets in Berlin. And I have to ask -- does anyone know of fantasies set in that time period? It seems like such a rich period to draw upon. I have dim memories of at least one novel, but the author is escaping me, as is the name of the book, or indeed the plot -- I think I must have read this forever and hell ago. I have a dim memory of a character having dreams with a mysterious, sinister blues man involved. Paris was the locale of the story, I'm pretty sure. But I can't remember now if it was even a fantasy. It might have been science fiction of some sort, like a time travel story.

So, any thoughts? Anyone? And are there any time periods or cultures that you've longed to see worked in fantasy?

2 Comments:

Anonymous handworn said...

Hey, Gerg. Sorry to see the move (having to type in a nonsense word every time I comment is a minor nuisance), but good luck with this site. I've added the syndication, so I'll keep in touch.

does anyone know of fantasies set in that time period?

Barbara Hambly wrote a sort of fantasy set in that period in Hollywood called Bride of the Rat God. Worth a read, by all means.

I'd like more in the 17th or 18th century, actually, but I'll probably have to write 'em myself, so it may never happen.

See ya 'round.

12/13/2005 12:20 PM  
Blogger Gregory said...

I will definitely check Hambly out. I was kind of thinking, too, how, once you get past medieval stuff, it's hard to find alternate world fantasies. Like, how many Napoleonic Era-inspired fantasy worlds do you see? Or Jazz Age? Or or or?

The writer in me begins to plot. Well, think really hard. Sort of hard. Ooo, look, shiny.

And 17th/18th would rock. There's been a bit (for fun, light reading, Gregory Keye's Age of Unreason stuff comes to mind), but such a rich period -- historically, culturally, etc.

12/13/2005 8:59 PM  

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