What books are Modern Day Fantasy?

cover art for Godsknife: Revolt by http://www.designbookcover.pt/

What books would come to mind if someone asked you for modern day fantasy stories? Not Urban Fantasy, where the tropes are vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters battling witty detectives, leather clad woman with long knives, or hunks with crossbows. I’m talking about books that were inspired by epic fantasies like Dragonlance, mixed in with a love for post apocalyptic fiction like The Walking Dead, but without dragons, knights, or long and boring buildups prior to the zombie horde finales.

The closest I can think of is Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The Gunslinger goes back and forth between a weird world and our modern one, but most of it is in the weird realty, which is more like a wild west setting.

The reason I ask, in full disclosure, is because I wrote a modern fantasy called Godsknife: Revolt. I like to think it’s audience is post-apocalyptic fans who also like fantasy, but the genre mashup is failing to attract fans of either, so I’m trying to find out books in this modern day fantasy–bordering on horror–and to see what they do well and whom they’d call fans.


One of my favorite quotes from reviews points out that complexity of Godsknife’s genre fit, which is nice to see in terms of finding a fan, but how many other readers are looking for this kind of epic fantasy/not epic fantasy…not urban fantasy…not horror…not post-apocalyptic survival fiction…modern day fantasy?

Here’s what Anindita had to say:

“A tasty and addictive cocktail of the speculative fiction genre… Godsknife:Revolt is grimdark (oh yeah) and happening. The intro and conclusion are surprising, shocking, and every bit as intriguing as the entire plot.” ~ Anindita Choudhury

It’s a speculative fiction cocktail, and also grimdark. I’m glad that it’s tasty and addictive, but if I told people that I wrote speculative fiction, they’d have nowhere to start picturing the genre tropes. If I said grimdark, they’d likely turn to Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence… and Game of Thrones. This isn’t Godsknife, and while I’d like to think it would appeal to fans of Medieval Fantasy, that genre has just as much as the next when it comes to quality content. Readers of Medieval Fantasy don’t need to branch out…unless they’re looking for a twist, and Godsknife has that, but I don’t get that sense from them. They see modern, take a hard left at their idea of Urban Fantasy, and leave me mid breath.

If you’re looking for an easy starter, I wrote a short story, Godsknife: Lineage that takes place prior to the praying mantis invasion that takes shape in Revolt.

About Timothy C. Ward

Timothy C. Ward is a former executive producer and Hugo Nominee of Adventures in SciFi Publishing. He has been broke and lost on the other side of the world and now dreams of greater adventures from his keyboard in Des Moines, Iowa. This summer, he released his second Sand Divers book, Scavenger: A.I., where two parents use an ancient technology to fight a reproducing A.I. while trying to resurrect their deceased infant, and a new series that begins with Godsknife: Revolt, an apocalyptic battle for godhood in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up for his newsletter for news, sales, giveaways and more: http://www.timothycward.com/newsletter/.

One Response to What books are Modern Day Fantasy?

  1. Well, one of the first modern fantasies that comes to mind is CS Lewis’s Narnia series. Then there’s Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence, Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books, Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, Lauri Owen’s Embers series, and also Jacqui Henderson’s Horizon series.

    My suggestion would be to drop the “modern day” moniker and just call it fantasy. That would put it right where you want it.

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