I’ve heard people say books are getting more ‘gritty’, meaning more violent and less stylised in general. The realism there might be in terms of warrior not shrugging off their wounds and being fine the next day etc. Researched realism and detailed city/country mechanics are not something I was aware of a movement toward. To me nothing is added by, for example, the author working out a grain distribution network. I’m interested in story and character, not mechanics.
I’ve sporadically run an interview series with fantasy authors who generally write in the burgeoning genre of gritty / hard / dark epic fantasy. (I’m, obviously, a fan.) The series began with this book review post, and continued with interviews of George R. R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss. The series continues today as I interview Mark Lawrence. Mark is the author of the Broken Empire trilogy, and the forthcoming Red Queen’s War. His work has been lauded on both sides of the Atlantic (Mark was raised in the U.K., where he works as a research scientist). He was gracious enough to respond to my email queries, which follow after the jump.