There are a lot of different answers, and a lot of different arguments.Fantasy's detractors often try to argue that it's in some way a morally inferior kind of literature: it's "not real," "escapist," "consolatory," "backwards looking," "monarchist," "made up." It divides the world into good and evil, black and white, without shades of gray.It is uniquely capable of compressing the scope of human experience into a narrative—and I think that's what can make it epic, or give it that epic feel. Michael A Stackpole: Short question that requires a long answer.A quest is usually one critical component; but I think having events which will reshape the world is also critical.
Fantasy can serve as a kind of hyper-reality, a social allegory.The 28 participants are at varying places in their careers—some have been publishing for decades (Terry Brooks, Kate Elliott, Steven Erikson), others await the publication of their first novel (Gaie Sebold), and the majority are somewhere in between. Jones, Paul Kearney, Juliet Mc Kenna, Robin Mc Kinley, Robert V. Redick, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Michael A. Refer to the for more information about each author and for links to their web-pages.There are best-selling authors and rising stars from the smaller presses. My guess (and hope) is that you'll find many new authors to read.Imagine the world before and after Prometheus gave man fire.The changes need to be that earth-shattering or epoch-breaking.