Summer classes start the week of June 18 and end the week of July 23
Instructor: Josh Shaine
Ages: 11 years and older
Fridays, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm Pacific (C2)
Welcome to Fantasy. This genre of literature tries to explore what the world would be like if there were magic in the world, in one form or another. Whether that comes from powers that an individual (magicians, witches, sorcerers, etc.) has; the presence of divergent beings (elves, gnomes, changelings, etc.), strange animals (unicorns, gryphons, rocs, etc.), or some other elements, it is the essence of magic that ties them together, usually. Exploring this field -- which may take the form of novels, short stories, essays, movies, TV shows, games, or websites – carries the reader/participant into impossible worlds, often filled with wonders that stretch the imagination.
Over the fall term, we will discuss a broad variety of types of fantasy, while reading (hearing), watching, and looking at examples (good and bad) that illustrate those types. With one exception, all materials will be available on line at no cost for people within the United States. I expect that I can make them available for others if they should not be accessible from other countries.
We will have a few exercises along the way. Any writing or presentations you do will receive feedback. If you are willing, I would like to share it with the class.
Regardless, the number one goal is to have fun!
Week 1: Introduction; Discussion of Syllabus; Sub-genres
Week 2: Just Add Dragons – Alternate Histories born of fantasy; Exercise One: Explaining Technology
Week 3: The Major Races of Fantasy
Week 4: Mixing Animals and Humans
Week 5: Medieval Europe as a Basis for Fantasy; Exercise Two: The Project
Week 6: Fairy Tales and Mythology
Week 7: Religion as a Basis for Fantasy
Week 8: Magic the Destroyer; Magic the Creator
Week 9: What’s Your Fantasy doing on My Alien World?
Week 10: The Rise of Romance
Week 11: Urban Fantasy
Week 12: The Hero’s Journey, Lord of the Rings, and How They Changed the Field
Week 13: Harry Potter and How He Changed the Field
Week 14: “Where Do We Go From Here?”
Week 15: Presentations; Summation