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  1. Jade
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    Jade Active Member

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    Looking for examples of modern fantasy settings.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jade, Mar 7, 2009.

    As the title says, I am looking for examples of modern fantasy settings. Basically a book with a setting which features a similar level of technology as our world (cars and mobile phones exist), but with created countries, historical events etc.

    Does anyone know of any books which are good examples of this?
     
  2. ArckAngel
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    ArckAngel Member

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    The Dark Tower series by Stephen King is one of my favorite series, that would easily be considered modern fantasy.
     
  3. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just about everything Charles de Lint has ever published.
     
  4. JavaMan
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    JavaMan Senior Member

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    Any history book. Truth *is* stranger than fiction. Remember Rasputin before the Russian Revolution? If it was me, I'd read a bit of world history - last century's or whatever, and then add a few magical realism elements.
     
  5. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Excellent example and probably the greatest reading experience of my life. If you haven't read these novels yet, you owe it to yourself to go out today and pick up the Gunslinger for starters.
     
  6. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    As is my duty, I must suggest the Dresden Files. The page-turnenest series ever.
     
  7. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I would suggest American Gods by Neil Gaiman - it doesn't contain created countries, per se (it's primarily - as the title suggests - set in modern day America), but there are other dimensions that are travelled to, and gives a nifty perspective on previous historical events.
     
  8. Yitz
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    Yitz Member

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    Why your duty?

    For the record, I could not agree more.
    Mr. Butcher has deprived me of a good night's sleep on no less than 6 occasions.
    They're excellent in so many ways, but mostly because they're believable.
     
  9. St Saint
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    St Saint Member

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    If you're willing to step out of the book side of things, try games like Half-Life 2 and Bioshock if you want to see more about modern-fantasy.
     
  10. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    To me, they're really good because of the narrative voice. That's about 90% of the greatness, right there.
    Second is because of cool powers. Third is the way he weaves the plot.

    Believability is the very last thing I would consider to make the book interesting, (in other words, I never even considered the believability factor, as it doesn't concern me) but hey; everyone withdraws their own joys from any one medium of entertainment.

    It is my duty because I have mentioned this book upon several occasions, so when a thread finally pops up where it would be very apt and relevant, well. . . I am certain that you can understand.
     
  11. Ohmytheoctopus
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    Ohmytheoctopus Member

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    I reccomend these books quite often: the His Dark Materials trilogy. They're set (partially) in a sort of alternate universe that is very similar to our own. The names of the countries are even the same, but they're changed a little (Korea= Corea) and they have electricity, but they call it anbaric energy and is slightly different.

    All in all, a very interesting read, not to mention that they're excellent books anyways.
     
  12. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    Sunshine by Robin McKinley is a good example, I think. There are still computers and stuff, but they call them different things.

    Also, the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud is excellent. It's setting is neat because it is similar to the real world but everything relies on summoned demons to seem 'magical'.
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Neil Gaimen seems to be popular, I have only read Neverwhere and couldn't understand the fuss, but he IS a good writer, so worth the time, just in my opinion - mabye not the money.
     
  14. TereFaerie
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    I think if I were you, I would look for parallel world/alternate reality type books, like Jonathan Strange, or The Golden Compass, only more contemporary, since that is obviously your cup of tea. Problem is, the more modern the setting, the greater the chance that the genre will be more sci-fi than fantasy.

    I tend to prefer parallel worlds to "the not-so-distant-future" as a fantasy setting to explain whatever idiosyncrasies you'd like your world to contain.
    Can't think of too many off the top of my head, though. I keep thinking of other modern fantasies where the real world is left behind for the fantasy one, like Spirited Away. The Phantom Tollbooth would be another example, and maybe "Island in the Sea of Time"?
    Neverwhere would be the Gaiman novel I would suggest, as the Underground is like a world completely separate from our own.
    The show Sliders was obviously sci-fi, but the concept could easily be modified to suit your own world.
    To be quite honest, the vampire fiction genre has really overwhelmed the selection of urban fantasy in alternate realities. So has the genre of Paranormal Romance. I'm embarrassed to say that right now I'm reading the 5th book in the D'Artigo sisters series by Yasmine Galenorn. It is set in our world after fairy-tale creatures "come out" due to their worlds drawing to near to our own. (or something. I read them when they come out, so I forget the exact details between books and I only just cracked the current one yesterday at lunch.)

    Sorry for the rambling post, but I think it is a great idea to pursue. DOn't get hung up on how others did it, though. Make it your own. No one can tell you that facts aren't right, because you are the god of that world, and the history happened the way you chose.

    Good luck!

    edit, just thought of some books I had as a teen by Robert Charrette that were modern retellings of the Arthur myth. A Prince Among Men, and A King Beneath the Mountain.

    Yay! I knew I would finally think of something suitable! They were written in the mid 90s, so not exactly contemporary, but close.
     
  15. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I took one look at the title and thought "Artemis Fowl!" :)

    Modern world. Ireland. Fairies. Magic. Criminal genius. All that good stuff.
     
  16. Yitz
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    Yitz Member

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    This is true! I just feel that many times SF/fantasy writers are lazy in a way.
    For example, a Fantasy/SF writer can say "I smacked him right between the eyes with my ring that delivers a nasty spell-punch..." and for the rest of the book the reader simply accepts that the narrator/protagonist used a spell-punchie-ring. The nature of the beast is such that the writer never has to explain anything. The reader simply accepts.
    Butcher takes the time to explain his premises to the reader without bogging down the story line.
    Maybe the word I am looking for is logical. The books are logical.
    They make sense in their fusion to a modern world. Sometimes I think it's tougher to make something fit into the real world than to make something fit into a fantasy world
    because a fantasy world can be whatever you need it to be to make your premises work. The real world is much less forgiving.
    That's why I appreciate Butcher so much...he really thinks about what he's writing and why.
    The Denarians, the Threshold Concept, the Three Vampire Courts concept, the explanation for multiple types of werewolves, etc, leave me in awe of the background of each subject. And even more impressive he never lets it slow the story down.
    I'm starting to sound like a bookseller!


    Oh I do! I'll join you in your duty whenever you like!
    I just wondered if you worked with his publishing company or the like...
    I hadn't realized the duty is voluntary, not duty-by-association. :)
     
  17. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    I am attempting to read the series for the third time, from book one, but I have grown so accustomed to the stories that I now know what is going to happen next to such an extent that it is not very entertaining.
    I wish he would write more. (I think the last one is Small Favor)

    Logic. . . I must agree with you on that one. Blatant inconsistencies and illogical non-sequiturs can be disheartening.
    On that note, I DO have one problem with the series: Luck.
    He ALWAYS tends to bring Harry Dresden down to the very last straw before causing something miraculous, coincidental, or miraculously coincidental to happen.
    That really bugs the ever living out of me.

    If Dresden could for once win the day because of premeditated cunning; strength of his magic, and educated moves, I would be more thrilled.

    One of my particular likes is when a main character (like, for example, Wolverine) is strong and knows what he is doing. When a character bumbles through a story as if on a leash (as Dresden often does) I get a little irritated and the story is not as fun.
    In fact, while it is not my favorite thing to happen at all, I would still prefer a super-powerful, cunning and intellectual genius to plow through the story killing everything and winning the day than to read about an ordinary guy stumbling around like a doddering oaf and ultimately winning by luck.

    But that's just me.
     
  18. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    I somewhat prefer his short-story collection Smoke and Mirrors to Neverwhere, the last two stories in the collection were both fantasic in my opinion.
     
  19. Kalibye
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    Kalibye New Member

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    I'd suggest gaiman as well, he manages to merge modern with fantasy. Garth Nix manages it, his old kingdom is a contrast of two worlds. Childrens fiction has quite a few examples of children finding fantasy worlds: harry potter, artemis fowl, percy jackson...for a more grown up example, sherri s tepper has tackled this in beauty to be specific and a couple of others, jan siegel in the prospero's children series are all well crafted and worth a look, as is china meivelle with the iron council and the scar.
     
  20. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    oh god i watched a documentary on Rasputin and what happened to him . . . that is very, very weird considering that people these days would consider such an event to be impossible. Poison, five bullets, being beat with a chain, then sealed in a frozen river, and THEN they find him on the shore frozen to death after he got out.

    *Shudders* I think i'd prefer just dying after the first one.
     
  21. JindleBrey
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    JindleBrey Member

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    A lot of books by Darren Shan. The Demonata and The Saga of Darren Shan are both set in today's world but demons/magic/vampires etc exist.
     
  22. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Most recent one I read is "Archon" by Sabrina Benulis. Very different from the Angels and Demons type of novel.
     
  23. Winged-Walls
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    Winged-Walls Member

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    I would recommend to set your story in our world and add fantasy elements to it. Books by Cassandra Clare do this very well. Hell, even Harry Potter does this. In fact most YA fantasy series published in the past few years have done this.
    Depending on how different you want your setting to be from the real world, Pullman's His Dark Materials and Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age could give you good examples, too.
     

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