Spotted an intriguing line in io9’s Power List of 20 people who rocked SF/F in 2010. I’m not one of them, alas, though I noted a great blurb there about Orbit’s publishing director Tim Holman. Tim rightly deserves the spotlight in that article, but, well, I’m just gonna own my narcissism here. What caught my eye was this:
Looking at Orbit’s 2010 titles, too, you’re struck by their range, from hard science fiction icon Greg Bear to space opera master Iain M. Banks, and from postmodern epic fantasy author N.K. Jemisin to steampunk innovator Gail Carriger.
So now I’m thinking, postmodern epic fantasy? Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron? Epics are an ancient art form; can they be postmodern? For that matter, what’s modernism in epic fantasy, and how does it contrast against postmodernism? And how does my work qualify?
I can’t answer this question, I think, because I’m too close to it. Plus I’m not trained in literary criticism; not sure I can keep my Derridas and deconstructions straight. So I’m throwing it out to all of you, amateurs and experts: what is postmodern epic fantasy?
ETA: And here my crappy memory kicks in, because I forgot there was a great mini-discussion of this very topic ’round the blogosphere just a few months ago. Paul Jessup has a good roundup of that discussion, which includes posts from Brandon Sanderson and Jeff VanderMeer, and which can add context to this one.