Defining the genres (introduction)

Both when I’m talking about what I’m writing and when I’m talking about my reading, I use terms to describe books — space opera, epic fantasy, hard SF, cozy mystery, middle-grade, and so forth. You may know these terms; you may not. More importantly, what comes to mind when you hear these terms may not match what I’m intending to convey. So, rather than point you to somebody’s else’s definition (with a ton of caveats), I’m going to start a new weekly series discussing what I mean by various terms.

As an example of “may not match,” I want to talk a little about epic fantasy. Not defining it yet, just talking about it. If you look it up on Wikipedia, you will be referred to their article on high fantasy. One of the links from there is a list of high fantasy works — which I vehemently disagree with. They include portal fantasy, juvenile fantasy, and comic fantasy books and series (but leave out some authors who unquestionably write epic fantasy, such as Joe Abercrombie). This is why I feel a need to talk about how I define terms.

Oh, and next month, I’m doing the A to Z Blog Challenge again, and I’m considering doing an A to Z of epic fantasy this time (mixing authors, books, and series as needed to get all the letters), which is why now. I figured you should have some idea how I decided what to include.

Any terms in particular you want me to talk about? Or that you have strong opinions on? Let me know in the comments!