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Authors gone rogue
#1  pwalker8 10-19-2020, 07:19 PM
Ok, the title is a bit misleading. There are certain subgenres that seem to belong mostly to indies. However, very occasionally, a name author will take a whirl at that subgenre.

One example of that is the whole Zombie Apocalypse subgenre and John Ringo's Black Tide Rising series, which shows the difference between a pro and the wantabes.

Another subgenre that seems to be the female equivalent is what I tend to call the Magic High School genre. It was likely inspired by Hogwarts, but it tends to be more, older high school girls being the cool, popular girl at the magic high school, kind of a variant of the romance novels, I guess.

Naomi Novik, of Temeraire fame, has taken a swing at this genre with her new book, A Deadly Education, the first in the Scholomance trilogy. In this book, the protagonist, Galadriael aka El, is more of a future Disney evil queen in this pro version.

Novik is a very talented author. One of the major differences between a lot of these type books and Novik's book is the set up and back story. Most budding wantabe authors tend to skip the setup and back story and go straight to punchline, with such books frequently coming across more as a series of scenes than a coherent story. Noviks backstory and setup is both interesting and gives an interesting justification for the school. Equally interesting is her rather unique spin on a school without teachers.

Well worth reading. The book came out in September.
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#2  davidfor 10-21-2020, 01:24 AM
I'm not sure if Naomi Novik is a good example for this. Before Temeraire, she was a well known, and I believe, respected fanfiction author. She could just be returning to her roots. I don't know what universes she wrote in, so she could be pulling something out she wrote years ago and changing the names. Much as what the "Fifty Shades of Grey" author did. Having read Temeraire, that might not be a bad thing.
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#3  hildea 10-21-2020, 02:16 AM
Thank's for the recommendation! I've read and enjoyed other books by Novik, I'll seek out that one!

I'll have to quibble with part of the premise of this thread, though The Magic (High) School genre is much, much older than Hogwarts. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea (published in 1968) springs to mind, where a poor boy (I think an orphan?) is admitted to a prestigious magic school, has problems fitting in because he has a much more humble background than the other students, and turns out to have some extraordinary talents. Looking in my bookshelf, I also find A College of Magics by Stevermeer, published 1994 (also recommended!). I'm sure there are many others.

Rowling's books gave the genre a boost, but that doesn't mean she invented it.
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#4  darryl 10-21-2020, 02:34 AM
I read and enjoy the prolific Christopher Nuttall's Schooled in Magic series. In more recent years I have not read an enormous amount of fantasy. However, I had read most of his Science Fiction novels and because I enjoyed them decided to give this series a try. I'm glad I did.

I don't know who wrote the first magic school's type book, but it certainly well predates Rowling. But full marks to Rowling for writing a series good enough to now be almost synonymous with the genre.
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#5  Pulpmeister 10-21-2020, 04:48 AM
Unseen University, Terry Pratchett, for starters.
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#6  John F 10-21-2020, 08:37 AM
Quote hildea
Thank's for the recommendation! I've read and enjoyed other books by Novik, I'll seek out that one!

I'll have to quibble with part of the premise of this thread, though The Magic (High) School genre is much, much older than Hogwarts. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea (published in 1968) springs to mind, where a poor boy (I think an orphan?) is admitted to a prestigious magic school, has problems fitting in because he has a much more humble background than the other students, and turns out to have some extraordinary talents. Looking in my bookshelf, I also find A College of Magics by Stevermeer, published 1994 (also recommended!). I'm sure there are many others.

Rowling's books gave the genre a boost, but that doesn't mean she invented it.
It been a while since I read it but I'm not sure the "magic school" theme was very prominent (in A Wizard of Earthsea)? Doing a quick look at the book, it looks like he leaves the school after 100 pages (of a 300 page book). And subsequent books didn't feature the school?

There was another thread requesting such genre books, and going from memory, there were not many older books mentioned, as I recall.

And FWIW, A Deadly Education and A Wizard of Earthsea don't come under "wizardy schools" on Amazon (I'm guessing they don't have such a genre).
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#7  pwalker8 10-21-2020, 09:50 AM
Quote hildea
Thank's for the recommendation! I've read and enjoyed other books by Novik, I'll seek out that one!

I'll have to quibble with part of the premise of this thread, though The Magic (High) School genre is much, much older than Hogwarts. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea (published in 1968) springs to mind, where a poor boy (I think an orphan?) is admitted to a prestigious magic school, has problems fitting in because he has a much more humble background than the other students, and turns out to have some extraordinary talents. Looking in my bookshelf, I also find A College of Magics by Stevermeer, published 1994 (also recommended!). I'm sure there are many others.

Rowling's books gave the genre a boost, but that doesn't mean she invented it.
The premise of the thread is the school girls at magic school is a popular indie setting, not that Rowling wrote the original wizard school book. She did make wizard schools famous.
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#8  pwalker8 10-21-2020, 09:56 AM
Quote darryl
I read and enjoy the prolific Christopher Nuttall's Schooled in Magic series. In more recent years I have not read an enormous amount of fantasy. However, I had read most of his Science Fiction novels and because I enjoyed them decided to give this series a try. I'm glad I did.

I don't know who wrote the first magic school's type book, but it certainly well predates Rowling. But full marks to Rowling for writing a series good enough to now be almost synonymous with the genre.
I've read the first several of those as well and liked them, but then again, he's an indie. There are a few non indie that I've seen, but the point was simply that it's a popular theme for indie writers and there aren't all that many non indie. Keep in mind that the theme isn't magic schools per se, but rather teen age girls in magic school, thus the romance twist. Schooled in Magic does fall in that category, IMPO.
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