Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Older characters in genre fiction

Romance is about the fantasy most of the time, which is why characters tend to be young and on the prettier side. That's not to say there's not diversity within that group, but finding protagonists that fall outside the norm isn't an easy task. Like having people in their 40s, 50, and upward as the central characters.

The same holds true for urban fantasy. I think the rationale is they need to be younger and fit to handle the badassery that usually comes with books like that, but it sounds like rubbish to me, mostly because I can think of plenty of people in both age demographics that defy that expectation.

So when I saw this article about why Harry Connolly writes what he dubs "attack novels," I kind of fell in love. He has an urban fantasy book with a heroine in her 60s. Guess who owns that now?

I adore protagonists that defy common tropes, especially if they're older. They bring wisdom and maturity that younger characters often lack, though in some cases, they can be more impetuous because they don't have the patience for stupidity or incompetence any more.

Do you have any favorites you'd recommend? I don't care too much about genre. I read everything from sci-fi to romance to mystery to western. What I care about is a good story and unforgettable characters.

Rec away!