The extended Hobbit movies came out in theaters last week and this week, one night only. We went to see the second one. There were only eight people there.

Unlike the crowds during the Lord of the Rings re-release back in 2011.

Maybe it was a publicity problem, or maybe because so many people dislike the Hobbit. Because it’s not faithful to the books (wrong. So wrong buddy) or because there was too much CGI. But I started considering something else.

It’s fantasy. Legitimate high fantasy.

As far as I can tell, the only other high fantasy movie or book that is popular is Game of Thrones. There’s nothing else. Finding a straight (meaning no world hopping or urban fantasy) fantasy book is a little difficult at the library, and I almost never see previews for a fantasy movie (Disney movies don’t count). That made me wonder: is the fantasy genre dying? Or maybe people can’t handle it anymore?

I’ve been searching for publication for a short story of mine. All the sites I’ve visited that host ‘speculative fiction’ always seem to lean heavy on the sci-fi. That’s what all the magazine covers seem to be. Now it makes sense that sci-fi and dystopian and whatever would be more popular now in the 21st century. It’s really like the fairytales of the our time. I said above that maybe people can’t handle it anymore. I said that because high fantasy is so different from the world around us. Do people feel like they have nothing in common with it anymore? Can they understand “there is one I would follow. There is one I could call king.” (the Hobbit)?

Amazons list of best selling books for 2015 had no fantasy. TIME’S best books didn’t have any either. And I might have seen one of the NY times bestseller list. Where everything from sci-fi, paranormal, dystopian and everything in between seemed to thrive.

Something to consider.

~Alp

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