The Different Faces of Gunpowder Fantasy
Like every genre, Gunpowder Fantasy is a category with a lot of variation. From the level of technology, to the existence and power of the magic, every author will have his or her own take on Gunpowder Fantasy.
But like other sub-genre’s, Gunpowder Fantasy can be divided into a few simple groups: Flintlock Fantasy, Muskets and Magic, and Rifles and Railroads. As with anything, there will be some variation, but for the most part I think that these three categories can be based primarily on the level of technology used and secondarily on the amount of magic involved.
Flintlock Fantasy covers worlds created with early gunpowder era technology: flintlock rifles, no steam power or telegraphs. These stories will also tend to use less magic or no magic at all.
Muskets and Magic
While not necessarily jumping far ahead of Flintlock Fantasy in their use of technology, worlds built of Muskets and Magic will tend to have a greater focus on the magical aspects of their worlds.
Rifles and Railroads
Rifles and Railroad novels fall on the higher end of the technology tree. Railroads are common, steam ships may be introduced and rifles are the primary weapon of choice. In some cases, repeating or revolving weapons will be used.
Obviously these sub-categories are only my interpretation of how Gunpowder Fantasy has developed, but I think it’s definitely a start to classifying this increasingly popular new area of fiction.
Posted on February 15, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged creativity, flintlock fantasy, genre, Gunpowder Fantasy, muskets and magic, rifles and railroads, worldbuilding, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.