Fusion Fantasy by Bets Davies
About Fusion Fantasy
Fusion Fantasy is a fantasy smoothie. Fantasy—any subgenre—is the yogurty and icy base. Then you throw in other genres like they are the fruit and the honey and whatever else you can think of. Take the whole mess and throw it in a blender. Hit high. You have a delicious fantasy/romance/horror/literary fiction/mystery drink. The limits of the genres you throw in are confined only by your imagination and skills.
So why did I have to go and invent a genre? Can’t I just color in the lines? Wellll:
So you say you want to write fantasy, kid? Hell yeah!
Scenes just forwarding character? Hmm. You sure you don’t write literary fiction?
Brutally honest description? Huh. Does that make you memoir, or experimental poetry?
Yeah, but what about the fact you’re talking about two guys sometimes? Oops. Gay and Lesbian.
Sure, relationships are central—write me down for character-drive—
but having children eating cannibals, and skull fragments slicing open a girl's feet when she steps in brains, and a woman that wanders around with her dead four-year-old on her back? Oops. Horror.
Vampires? Really popular right now, but what if we stuck you in Paranormal Romance?
What’s with explicit sex scenes? Oops. Aren't you Romance,
Paranormal Romance takes the format of a Romance novel, but studly, or baby doll protagonists are vampires or werewolves or other things that go bump in the night. And the horror people are saying, Hey! That vampire is ours! We get the vamps. You are making them romantic when they are evil fiends! And the fantasy people are saying, no, we get the vamps and the werewolves! We stole them after people started saying "urban fantasy!"
Paranormal Romance—therein lies a fusion genre. Almost fusion fantasy.
I became a fusion fantasy writer without knowing it. My queries from agents (the ones who answered) most often came back, “we like it, but what the hell is it?” The answer was it was me.
Some are happy with the phrase, "speculative fiction". Speculative fiction is a work of "What if?" Those genres most associated with speculative fiction are fantasy, science fiction, and horror, because each genre takes reality, but then moves it about and recreates it all to ask the reader the essential question: What if? What if unicorns were real and secretly a league that propagated all that “purity ring” bull? What if aliens landed because they got lost and the dad refused to stop for directions and they were as petty and beautiful as any of us? What if the house you bought used to be a Mystery Spot and all your water runs up hill and the ghosts that got whopped upside the head by that gigantic magnetic ball haunt your kitchen but make tasty grilled cheese sandwiches?
The idea is that each of these genres borrows much from each other, so they should all be one more respected class.
However, Fusion Fantasy is directly related to fantasy. Fantasy is still that yogurt—that base. If people don't like that they can go make up their own genres like fusion horror. Any genre can be fusion, actually.
Fusion fantasy separates from speculative fiction because though it asks "what if?”, making it speculative fiction, it also asks crucial questions like, "why not?" It makes statements like, "It's my party so if I want to I’ll use my knowledge of romance, films, mythology, fortune cookies, horror, memoir, poetry, post cards, chick lit, literary fiction, gay and lesbian fiction, and inspirational sayings from New Age catalogues.” Fusion fantasy allows the author to grasp at as much as they wish to get the point across. The heart is fantasy, but there is so much more to a body than a heart.
So before I mix any more metaphors, let me give you the low down on how fusion fantasy was born. Because people in the industry kept asking me what the hell I was doing, I created my own genre, rather than change what I do. I would like to see fusion fantasy become a widespread term, because unlike most genres and sub genres, fusion fantasy doesn’t shut your style down. It asks you to open your mind, your style, your imagination and your creativity.
The kick ass thing is that fusion is willing to take ownership of anything. We are the demented collagers of fiction. We take the many, and create the one.