Author Topic: What is teen fantasy anyway?  (Read 11735 times)

Offline KatieHal

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2010, 10:05:37 PM »
It's a subgenre, I'd say, but it's not something you're likely to find marked as a section in a bookstore.

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2010, 12:56:50 AM »
Exactly, and I think the words ''teen fantasy'' can cover a broad spectrum of the fantasy genre in general. But there has to be some way to differentiate say Twilight from Lord of the Rings, or Le Morte D'Arthur in terms of an official genre.

Offline Baggins

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2010, 01:52:23 AM »
Quote
The Hobbit, in terms of tone could even fall into this category but would be slightly darker,
In “Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien”, letter 163, concerning “The Hobbit”:

Quote
“It was unhappily really meant, as far as I was conscious, as a ‘children's story’, and as I had not learned sense then, and my children were not quite old enough to correct me, it has some of the sillinesses of manner caught unthinkingly from the kind of stuff I had had served to me, as Chaucer may catch a minstrel tag. I deeply regret them. So do intelligent children.”

“As I had expressed the view that the connexion in the modern mind between children and “fairy stories” is false and accidental, and spoils the stories in themselves and for children, I wanted to try and write one that was not addressed to children at all (as such); also I wanted a large canvas.”
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 02:51:12 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2010, 02:37:40 AM »
In “Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien”, letter 163, concerning “The Hobbit”:

Quote
“It was unhappily really meant, as far as I was conscious, as a ‘children's story’, and as I had not learned sense then, and my children were not quite old enough to correct me, it has some of the sillinesses of manner caught unthinkingly from the kind of stuff I had had served to me, as Chaucer may catch a minstrel tag. I deeply regret them. So do intelligent children.”

“As I had expressed the view that the connexion in the modern mind between children and “fairy stories” is false and accidental, and spoils the stories in themselves and for children, I wanted to try and write one that was not addressed to children at all (as such); also I wanted a large canvas.”

What's your point? He's addressing the Hobbit, for one. I've mainly addressed the Lord of the Rings. And even so, the Hobbit is a lot lighter reading than the Lord of the Rings, whether Tolkien intended it to be or not. The Hobbit isn't a ''children's'' story, like Stellaluna, but it isn't as deep, symbolic, well crafted or as (and I know Tolkien didn't feel the LotR was really allegorical) allegorical as the Lord of the Rings is.
Secondly, I don't think teens are quite ''children.'' Maybe young teens (13-15 maybe) but I don't think you can call anyone over 16 a child.

Offline Baggins

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2010, 02:46:21 AM »
You brought up the Hobbit, previously. It also shows the contrast to his thoughts on the LOTR.

As Tolkien stated, he didn't write LOTRO books for young people, but adult tastes. Mainly he wrote them for himself, what he as an adult enjoyed. But anyone who had more 'adult' perspective and sensibilities could enjoy them. Of course he admitted not everyone would necessarily agree with his perspective, and some accused them of being more juvenile than other literature, but he admitted that was just a product of his own personality, and what he himself liked to read.

As for age and stuff... its all legally it depends on the country, and culture... Legally in the US for example someone is a "child" until around age 18 as far as the law is concerned. Teen is a subcategory of children. We won't get into how the government treats "drinking age" as well.

Places in europe I think set it at 16.

Back in the past some cultures set "adult" at 12 or such.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 02:54:46 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

TheReturnofDMD

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2010, 02:51:28 AM »
You brought up the Hobbit, previously. It also shows the contrast to his thoughts on the LOTR.

Well I agree with him--It's not a children's story, and yes adults can enjoy it, but I still feel that the Lord of the Rings is something a bit more mature in tone, writing and heart--And Tolkien suggested that the LotR was a sort of middle ground between the Hobbit and the Silmarillion (His publishers wanted more ''Hobbit stories'', he wanted to write his masterwork the Silmarillion, which was rejected more than once by his publishers). And speaking of the Silmarillion-- That work is beyond both of the Hobbit and the LotR and reads much like the Bible than a fantasy story, even though it is still technically in the fantasy genre.

Offline Baggins

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2010, 03:05:11 AM »
He never actually finished the Silmarillion. What's published in the book form is more written in the style of "annals", just an outline of the main events. Rather than meant to be prose novels.

His original intent was to basically expand each of the individual stories into larger epic stories. Basically of Children of Hurin in length or longer  (the book kinda represents one of these "expanded" stories of the Silmarillion). He had actually nearly completed a few of the stories such as Fall of Gondolin, but those represent extremely early drafts. Do not fit in well with his later version of the world and stories.

Rumor has it though that between his early versions of Fall of Gondolin and his later rewrite chapters (most of which can be seen in the HoME series), that a complete novel could be put together. Infact one author did the editing, and released a very limited print run of something like 1000 copies that did that.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 03:08:34 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

TheReturnofDMD

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2010, 03:25:04 AM »
He never actually finished the Silmarillion. What's published in the book form is more written in the style of "annals", just an outline of the main events. Rather than meant to be prose novels.

His original intent was to basically expand each of the individual stories into larger epic stories. Basically of Children of Hurin in length or longer  (the book kinda represents one of these "expanded" stories of the Silmarillion). He had actually nearly completed a few of the stories such as Fall of Gondolin, but those represent extremely early drafts. Do not fit in well with his later version of the world and stories.

Rumor has it though that between his early versions of Fall of Gondolin and his later rewrite chapters (most of which can be seen in the HoME series), that a complete novel could be put together. Infact one author did the editing, and released a very limited print run of something like 1000 copies that did that.

I've heard he did want to submit a version of the tales of the Silmarillion WITH the Lord of Rings (so people could understand the ancient background mentioned)--as one release--in the late '40s, but the whole set was considered two bulky and also there was a paper shortage due to the war, which is why the Lord of the Rings ended up becoming a "Trilogy."--He never intended it to be three books. He also submitted versions of the Silmarillion during the late 30s but it was considered too ''clunky'' by publishers.
As you said, he never quite ''finished'' it--But I believe he wrote he didn't think he would ever definitely finish them. They were always, from 1917 through 1973 always in some state of evolution or change.

There's actually two other ''full'' stories besides the Children of Hurin. Gondolin as you mentioned and also: The Lay of Lethian - the tragic tale of Beren & Luthien. Apparently those two other works are in more or less a ''complete'' state, and could be published as such--Who knows.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 03:26:50 AM by TheReturnofDMD »

Offline Baggins

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2010, 03:50:36 AM »
Quote
I've heard he did want to submit a version of the tales of the Silmarillion WITH the Lord of Rings (so people could understand the ancient background mentioned)--as one release--in the late '40s, but the whole set was considered two bulky and also there was a paper shortage due to the war, which is why the Lord of the Rings ended up becoming a "Trilogy."--He never intended it to be three books. He also submitted versions of the Silmarillion during the late 30s but it was considered too ''clunky'' by publishers.
As you said, he never quite ''finished'' it--But I believe he wrote he didn't think he would ever definitely finish them. They were always, from 1917 through 1973 always in some state of evolution or change.

It didn't help that he would start writing them, then scratch out what he wrote, and start writing them again scrom scratch. According to HoME there are quite a few different versions in varying degrees of "completeness". HoMe has portions of each of these versions including the vary early, "Book of Lost Tales" versions. Chris Tolkien basically ended up taking what he could from each version, that fit the best, and used those to create most of the material in the released Silmarillion. He and another author "filled in the gaps".

He did get some of Silmarillion material in with the Appendix. But his appendix was to be even longer. I think some of the extended Appendix material appears in People of Middle Earth in the HoMe series.

BTW, the Lost Tales is probably contains the most complete version of each of the stories, in a mostly novelized form. Its unfortunately incompatible with later books due to changes in made in Hobbit, and  LOTR to his universe (for example complete rewrite of the Dwarves personality, they used to be evil), and some of his later rewrites. Those later rewrites however only took the stories a few chapters, or half way at the most.

Quote
There's actually two other ''full'' stories besides the Children of Hurin.

There are actually three-four as I remember. One is done in an epic poem style. There is also an epilogue of sorts which as I recall, following Hurin after the death of his children. These various versions appear in Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and HoMe Series.  Most of this material was pulled together to create the released Children of Hurin, plus additional material that Chris says he discovered.

Quote
Gondolin as you mentioned and also: The Lay of Lethian - the tragic tale of Beren & Luthien. Apparently those two other works are in more or less a ''complete'' state, and could be published as such--Who knows.
Well most of the version of The Lay of Lethian is actually in the HoMe series. Gondolin's material is split amongst several sources. Including early Lost Tales version, a version in Silmarillion, a version in Unfinished Tales, and maybe a couple of others. There are some major conflicting material however, as Tolkien revised certain events several tims, and would take some editorial tweaking to get merge them into a coherrent story (which is what one author did with the limited run, "Tale of Gondolin").
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 03:57:38 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

TheReturnofDMD

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2010, 03:53:33 AM »
Quote
I've heard he did want to submit a version of the tales of the Silmarillion WITH the Lord of Rings (so people could understand the ancient background mentioned)--as one release--in the late '40s, but the whole set was considered two bulky and also there was a paper shortage due to the war, which is why the Lord of the Rings ended up becoming a "Trilogy."--He never intended it to be three books. He also submitted versions of the Silmarillion during the late 30s but it was considered too ''clunky'' by publishers.
As you said, he never quite ''finished'' it--But I believe he wrote he didn't think he would ever definitely finish them. They were always, from 1917 through 1973 always in some state of evolution or change.

It didn't help that he would start writing them, then scratch out what he wrote, and start writing them again scrom scratch. According to HoME there are quite a few different versions in varying degrees of "completeness". HoMe has portions of each of these versions including the vary early, "Book of Lost Tales" versions. Chris Tolkien basically ended up taking what he could from each version, that fit the best, and used those to create most of the material in the released Silmarillion. He and another author "filled in the gaps".

Quote
There's actually two other ''full'' stories besides the Children of Hurin.

There are actually three-four as I remember. One is done in an epic poem style. There is also an epilogue of sorts which as I recall, following Hurin after the death of his children. These various versions appear in Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and HoMe Series.  Most of this material was pulled together to create the released Children of Hurin, plus additional material that Chris says he discovered.

Quote
Gondolin as you mentioned and also: The Lay of Lethian - the tragic tale of Beren & Luthien. Apparently those two other works are in more or less a ''complete'' state, and could be published as such--Who knows.
Well most of the version of The Lay of Lethian is actually in the HoMe series. Gondolin's material is split amongst several sources. Including early Lost Tales version, a version in Silmarillion, a version in Unfinished Tales, and maybe a couple of others. There are some major conflicting material however, as Tolkien revised certain events several tims, and would take some editorial tweaking to get merge them into a coherrent story (which is what one author did with the limited run, "Tale of Gondolin").

A question: You seem to be quite knowledgable in this area, I was wondering if it's known what the last written parts of the Silmarillion were? I mean for example the earliest was written around 1917, but did he do any edits that we know of in the early 70s--the last few years before his death? Or what his last writings in general were?

Also, what did you think of his short aborted Lord of the Rings sequel, the "New Shadow"?

Offline Baggins

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2010, 03:58:29 AM »
Hmm, I could try to check up in my copies of the HoMe for you later. But I don't have access to them at the moment. Give me about a month. Chris definitely breaks it down in that series.

As for the New Shadow? I enjoyed reading it. Wished he had actually taken the time to finish it :p... I personally wouldn't have a problem if Chris commissioned a writer to complete it.

Contrary to Chris perspective, his father actually wanted people to fill in his world with more stories, and wanted a kind of "official" Expanded Universe if you will. As far as I know only one author had ever gotten her own unofficial "fan fiction" actually published, in tolkien society magazines. Apparently those are seen as collector's items. Don't know if they were written before or after Tolkien died though. As recall they were short vignettes about Arwen's life before events of LOTR. Of course Lord of the Rings Online, Battles for Middle Earth, Third Age are essentially works of 'semi-official' fan fiction. Its not authorized by the Tolkien Estastes, but by Tolkien Enterprises, the Saul Zaents company which holds publishing/movie/spinoff rights to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Tolkien Estates and Chris holds the rights to all the rest of Tolkien's material, and does not allow anyone the right to use that material.

Parts of the published Silmarillion are a bit of an "expanded universe" type stories, something Chris regrets doing, especially since he learned some of his invented material, contradicted some of the later material he discovered. The stand alone Children of Hurin for example has details from Tolkien himself, that are much different than the creations made for the published Silmarillion. The order of certain events are different for example.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 04:13:42 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2010, 04:47:24 AM »
Hmm, I could try to check up in my copies of the HoMe for you later. But I don't have access to them at the moment. Give me about a month. Chris definitely breaks it down in that series.

As for the New Shadow? I enjoyed reading it. Wished he had actually taken the time to finish it :p... I personally wouldn't have a problem if Chris commissioned a writer to complete it.

Contrary to Chris perspective, his father actually wanted people to fill in his world with more stories, and wanted a kind of "official" Expanded Universe if you will. As far as I know only one author had ever gotten her own unofficial "fan fiction" actually published, in tolkien society magazines. Apparently those are seen as collector's items. Don't know if they were written before or after Tolkien died though. As recall they were short vignettes about Arwen's life before events of LOTR. Of course Lord of the Rings Online, Battles for Middle Earth, Third Age are essentially works of 'semi-official' fan fiction. Its not authorized by the Tolkien Estastes, but by Tolkien Enterprises, the Saul Zaents company which holds publishing/movie/spinoff rights to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Tolkien Estates and Chris holds the rights to all the rest of Tolkien's material, and does not allow anyone the right to use that material.

Parts of the published Silmarillion are a bit of an "expanded universe" type stories, something Chris regrets doing, especially since he learned some of his invented material, contradicted some of the later material he discovered. The stand alone Children of Hurin for example has details from Tolkien himself, that are much different than the creations made for the published Silmarillion. The order of certain events are different for example.

It's not that he didn't take the time to finish it...He just didn't like it. He felt he could've made a ''cheap thriller'' about the events of the Fourth Age with that story but that the story he was crafting became ''too sinister and depressing'' and was ''not worth doing.'' I too wish he had completed it, the more Tolkien the better.

As for a Tolkien EU--I suppose it could be cool though there are very few men as talented as Tolkien was. It's not like with Star Wars where a lot of other people helped George Lucas create what Star Wars was even originally (for example other writers writing the actual scripts of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi with Lucas just writing the story). Middle Earth was a very personal thing for Tolkien, as you said, Lord of the Rings for example as much for himself as it was for his audience.

An EU I guess would be alright but I truly doubt it could ever match Tolkien. That world was his world--He literally created an utterly expansive and entire world--Few could match up.

Offline Baggins

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2010, 06:03:19 AM »
That's true the only ones that could come close is Christopher himself (and the other author that helped with Silmarillion). But Chris would never do it.

But even still Tolkien stated he wanted people to expand his world, he never wanted to keep it to himself. Not in the way Chris has locked it down.

I should bring up the quote at some point, but I'm too busy to look through Letters at the moment.

Tolkien's perspective was probably something closer to how Lovecraft did it, allowing other authors to add to his world.

All things considered the writers for Lord of the Rings Online, come very close to Tolkien's style as well. It's uncanny. I recommend trying out the epic quests line. It also stays pretty true to the books (I think they even added som silmarillion references stealth-like). In a few months the game goes free to play, so you'll be able to try it out for yourself.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 06:19:32 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline KatieHal

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2010, 06:09:18 AM »
LOL, now I'm starting to think we need to break off a chunk of this thread into one about Tolkein... :)

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Offline B'rrr

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2010, 06:14:47 AM »
splitting a thread of two pages? sillyness, just edit the title!  ;)
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Offline KatieHal

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2010, 06:26:08 AM »
Haha, but I don't mind talking actual teen fantasy, either :)

Speaking of which, most books that would be classified as such would probably end up in the "Young Adult" section of a bookstore or library. I've seen plenty of the like there before myself (and I enjoy YA myself sometimes as well). And/or in the Science Fiction & Fantasy section...but I imagine it depends on what the real focus of the story is and what it's being marketed as. For example, though I haven't read them, I would guess that The Vampire Diaries are in YA as opposed to SF&F.

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Offline Baggins

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2010, 06:40:56 AM »
In my library back home (come to think of it bookstores as well), it would be in YA Fantasy.
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline KatieHal

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2010, 07:39:37 AM »
If a bookstore actually has a section marked as such. I don't think I've ever seen one that specific, personally.

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Offline B'rrr

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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2010, 07:53:08 AM »
what is the difference really between young adult books and ehm.. old adult books?  :-\
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Re: What is teen fantasy anyway?
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2010, 08:05:49 AM »
Lighter themes (not to say they have serious ones, just that they tend to be treated with...well, kid gloves, you could say),  younger characters, shorter book length... I'm sure there's a technical description somewhere online, let's see....

From wikipedia:

Quote
Young-adult fiction, whether in the form of novels or short stories, has distinct attributes that distinguish it from the other age categories of fiction: Adult fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, and Children's Fiction. The vast majority of YA stories portray an adolescent as the protagonist, rather than an adult or a child. The subject matter and story lines are typically consistent with the age and experience of the main character, but beyond that YA stories span the entire spectrum of fiction genres. The settings of YA stories are limited only by the imagination and skill of the author. Themes in YA stories often focus on the challenges of youth, so much so that the entire age category is sometimes referred to as problem novels or coming of age novels.[4] Writing styles of YA stories range widely, from the richness of literary style to the clarity and speed of the unobtrusive and even free verse. Despite its unique characteristics, YA shares the fundamental elements of fiction with other stories: character, plot, setting, theme, and style.

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