Politics in Fantasy
I recently did a post for Guild of Dreams (here) that discussed the differences in my writing. One of the things that I think really separates my writing from the rest of the Fantasy floating around is the blending of technology and politics with standard fantasy fare.
Politics can take many different forms and can be present in any government system that you decide to use: from a clan where everyone is vying for the favor of the Chief, to an aristocracy where the Nobility fight amongst themselves for power, and a Republic or Democracy where government officials fight for both power within the government and the favor of the voters.
Political interactions can be used for many things in your world, or not at all. For myself, I really enjoy building and tinkering with political systems and writing the interactions between different parts of the government. In many of the Space Opera novels that I have waiting for a proper write-up, I use the Political Interactions to drive plots and sub-plots.
From a major character’s entire occupation and their driving factor, to secondary plots that drive minor aspects of the story, to back-plots that are mentioned or foreshadowed, but don’t come to the foreground until they are ready to hatch.
In the Griffins & Gunpowder universe, with the nation of Ansgar in a Civil War, politics become a major player. And that’s one of the things that sets my universe apart from others.
As an example, two of the main characters in The Cerberus Rebellion are siblings; one inherited their family lands from their father and has worked to continue to grow the influence of the family. The other brother has taken over a neighboring Barony when the former Lord died without an heir. His brother, in order to avoid conflict with the rest of the nobility, arranges for his younger brother to inherit the territory.
The elder brother is focused, one may say obsessed, with expanding the family influence and this leads to actions and events that involve the politics of alliances, betrayal and double-crossing.