First, let's comeback on the previous one.
In my last poll, the question was : ''Is innovation overrated in Fantasy?''. That questioning came from the talk generated by the release of more traditional Fantasy novels and more recently, the comments for The Emperor's Blade by Brian Staveley. You can return to the post here.
The results are in and while at first the yes was 'winning', in the end, the no received more votes (67% voted no). I thought that the results would have been closer.
I think that the good news about these results is that many authors, not to say a majority, are trying to innovate in the Fantasy field. Hopefully, there's still enough 'old school' writers coming up with traditional Fantasy to quench the thirst of the conventional or long-established tropes savvy.
If it's not broken, don't fix it? It seems that's its not applicable for the Fantasy readers. Authors beware, you ought to come up with ways to twist the genre and spice it up!
To the next one.
The idea for my next poll also originated from one of my latest read, or I should say, audiobook. The book in question is The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes. The book is not a parody of the Fantasy genre like the Diskworld books by Terry Pratchett or the Xanth series by Piers Anthony but let's say that as they did, Weekes is playing with the tropes and with a whole lot of them. Necromancy, talking war-hammer, elves, unicorn, illusionist, thief you name it! However, tropes are not my topic, I already covered that in a previous poll.
This type of Fantasy book has to exist, it deserves its place in the genre. I haven't read much of Pratchett and Anthony since its not really my cup of tea ('parody-wise') even if when I consider the movies, I realize that I enjoyed some of Mel Brooks parodies and really liked The Princess Bride, which is originally a book by William Goldman. However, I think that books with a significant level of humor are really refreshing, mostly so in the current wave of 'Grimdark' and military Fantasy or even generally speaking for the Epic genre. Even so, dark humor is present more often than not in these sub categories. It's a great tool playing an important role in the tone of a novel and the overall enjoyment of a work.
Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, Luke Scull and even Richard Morgan are all well versed in this biting humor and even sarcasm (for me, Abercrombie's the king). Steven Erikson, in all his seriousness can make you laugh more than most author and when the Malazan marines or the duo of necromancers are involved, there's always funny stuff around the corner. I remember having a great time, many grins and several laughs when reading the Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Mat Cauthon from the Wheel of Time series was funny most of the time. Alex Bledsoe's Eddie LaCrosse can also guarantee a considerable dose of chuckles and good puns.
Let me ask you your opinion in the form of three question:
Is humor fundamental in Fantasy literature?
Do you like funny/parodic books?
What type of humor do you prefer?
(making a list of the types of humors is not obvious, you can challenge this in the comments...)
I would answer that yes, it is fundamental, I don't really like parodic books and my favorite type of humor in Fantasy would be sarcasm. What about you?