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Exploring the Magical Realms: Popular Fantasy Genres and Our Team's Favorites

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In the world of literature, fantasy has been a timeless genre, captivating readers with its enchanting tales, mythical creatures, and immersive worlds. Today, we're diving into the diverse landscape of fantasy genres that are trending and popular right now. At One Small Step Writing Services, we have a deep appreciation for the intricate worlds and imaginative storytelling that fantasy authors bring to life. Join us on a journey through the realms of fantasy, from Urban Fantasy to High/Epic Fantasy, as we explore what makes each subgenre unique and why they continue to enchant readers worldwide.


Trending and Popular Fantasy Genres


Urban Fantasy

Urban Fantasy has surged in popularity in recent years, and it's easy to see why. This subgenre seamlessly blends the fantastical with the everyday, placing supernatural elements in familiar urban settings. From hidden magical societies lurking in the shadows of bustling cities to paranormal detectives solving mysteries in modern-day metropolises, Urban Fantasy brings a sense of wonder to the mundane. Fantasy literature readers are drawn to Urban Fantasy for its witty humor, relatable characters, and the thrill of discovering extraordinary magic amidst the ordinary. Authors like Jim Butcher and Sara J. Maas have mastered the art of incorporating fantasy into real-world locations, creating hilarious pop-culture references and allowing readers to imagine their favorite mythical creatures inhabiting places they've walked themselves.


High/Epic Fantasy

High/Epic Fantasy remains a beloved classic in the fantasy realm. This genre whisks readers away to entirely new worlds, replete with their own myths, landscapes, and peoples. The allure of High Fantasy lies in its epic quests, grand battles, and intricate lore. Readers become fully immersed in these meticulously crafted universes, each with its own set of rules, magic systems, and histories. There's a sense of awe in discovering these expansive worlds, and it's a genre that rewards readers with a deep sense of exploration and wonder. From J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth to George R.R. Martin's Westeros, High/Epic Fantasy continues to enthrall readers with its rich tapestry of storytelling.


Dystopian Fantasy

Dystopian fantasy is a genre that allows readers to explore dark and often grim future worlds where societies have crumbled, and oppressive regimes reign supreme. In these worlds, magic and fantastical elements are juxtaposed against the harsh realities of totalitarianism, scarcity, and dystopian landscapes. This subgenre often examines themes of resistance, survival, and the human spirit's resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity. Readers are drawn to the thought-provoking nature of dystopian fantasy, where fantastical elements serve as metaphors for the societal issues and challenges we grapple with in the real world. Dystopian fantasy offers a thrilling and cautionary glimpse into what might be, encouraging readers to contemplate the consequences of our actions and the potential for both darkness and hope in our future.


Steampunk Fantasy

Steampunk has emerged as a captivating subgenre of fantasy that combines Victorian-era aesthetics with advanced steam-powered technology. It's a world where intricate clockwork machinery, airships, and goggles meet magic and adventure. Steampunk often explores themes of industrialization, innovation, and societal upheaval, making it a genre that offers a unique blend of history and fantasy. Readers are drawn to the intricate world-building and the fusion of technology and magic that characterizes Steampunk. Authors like K.W. Jeter and James P. Blaylock are leading the way in this fast-developing genre.


OSS Team Member’s Insights


Anna Nelson's Love for Urban Fantasy

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Anna Nelson, the owner of One Small Step Writing Services, has a particular fondness for Urban Fantasy. She finds immense joy in how authors like Kevin Hearne and Annette Marie seamlessly weave fantasy elements into everyday settings. For Anna, it's the delightful collision of the supernatural with the mundane that makes Urban Fantasy so appealing.


"I've always loved the idea of magic lurking just beneath the surface of our everyday lives," says Anna. "Authors like Kevin Hearne, with his 'Iron Druid Chronicles,' and Annette Marie, in her 'Steel & Stone' series, take us on adventures where we can imagine walking down our own streets and encountering mythical beings. There's something enchanting about the idea that the barista at your favorite coffee shop might secretly be a shapeshifter, or that the park you visit on weekends could be home to a hidden portal to another world."


Anna appreciates the humor and wit that often accompanies Urban Fantasy. "It's the genre that can make you laugh out loud one moment and then keep you on the edge of your seat the next. The juxtaposition of the fantastic against the ordinary creates a dynamic reading experience that's both entertaining and thought-provoking."


For Anna, one of the joys of Urban Fantasy is the opportunity to envision fictional characters in real-world locations she's experienced. "Reading these stories, I can't help but think about the possibilities in the world around us. It adds an extra layer of magic to our everyday lives."


Heather Olsen's Love for High/Epic Fantasy

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Our web developer at One Small Step Writing Services – Heather Olsen – shares a passion for High/Epic Fantasy. She relishes the chance to get lost in entirely new worlds, with their own rules and mythologies. Exploring these intricate and expansive settings is a thrilling adventure, and the depth of the lore is a constant source of fascination.


Heather believes that High Fantasy allows you to escape into a world that's entirely different from our own. You encounter unique cultures, languages, and magical systems. It's a genre where the world itself becomes a character, shaping the story in profound ways. There's a sense of wonder in discovering the histories and mythologies of these fictional realms. It's like delving into an immersive history book of a world that never existed. The creativity of High Fantasy authors in crafting these intricate universes is truly awe-inspiring.


Angely Herrera Davis' Passion for Dystopian Fantasy


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Alternatively, Angely – one of our top editors and writers – has a deep passion for Dystopian Fantasy. She enjoys the opportunity to explore worlds where utopian dreams have gone awry, revealing the consequences of unchecked power and the complexities of morally gray decisions made in the name of progress. Dystopian Fantasy often serves as a stark reflection of societal issues, where characters must navigate the blurred lines between right and wrong in a world on the brink of collapse.


She finds Dystopian Fantasy incredibly thought-provoking. It's a genre that forces us to confront uncomfortable truths about the human condition and the consequences of our actions. What happens when noble intentions lead to unintended consequences? Dystopian settings create a stage where characters must grapple with difficult choices, and it's riveting to see how different authors explore these ethical dilemmas.


Dystopian Fantasy often serves as a cautionary tale, warning readers about the potential pitfalls of pursuing perfection at any cost. It's a genre that highlights the fragility of societies and the resilience of individuals in the face of oppressive regimes and catastrophic events. Angely's love for Dystopian Fantasy is a testament to the genre's ability to shed light on the darkest aspects of human nature while offering a glimmer of hope in the most dire circumstances.


Eclectic Fantasy Tastes


At One Small Step, our team members appreciate the diversity within the fantasy genre. Some enjoy the whimsy of fairy tales and folklore-inspired fantasy, while others delve into the darker realms of grimdark fantasy. This eclectic approach to reading fantasy allows us to continually explore the genre's boundaries and discover new gems.


Fantasy is a genre as diverse as the dreams it inspires. Whether you're drawn to the enchanting blend of Urban Fantasy, the immersive worlds of High/Epic Fantasy, or the vast spectrum of subgenres, there's a magical realm waiting for every reader to explore. At One Small Step Writing Services, we celebrate the boundless creativity of fantasy authors and the endless possibilities that the genre offers. So, whether you're strolling through the streets of an Urban Fantasy or embarking on an epic quest in a High Fantasy realm, may your literary adventures be filled with wonder, excitement, and enchantment. Happy reading!


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