In recent years fantasy novels have become increasingly dark and gritty, as authors try to replicate the phenomenal success of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Fantasy author Craig Shaw Gardner has mixed feelings about this trend, known as “grimdark.”

“I love some of the grimdark stuff,” Gardner says in Episode 303 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

“But it does tend to get depressing after a while.”

Gardner is best known for a completely different style of fantasy—”funny fantasy,” in which lighthearted banter, talking animals, puns, and slapstick humor tend to predominate.

The genre’s heyday was the 1980s, when humorous fantasies by authors such as Terry Pratchett, Piers Anthony, Robert Asprin, and Gardner himself achieved bestseller status.

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