Saw Peter V. Brett today at Waterstones Deansgate (Manchester). I asked him whether he saw his work as ‘Grimdark’, whether it was a useful term and why it seemed to be a dominant type of fantasy at the mo. Bear in mind Mr Brett was a member of the ‘Grim Gathering’ that took place in Bristol a few days back, a gathering that included fantasy authors Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns) and Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself) to boot.
In reply, Mr Brett said the term Grimdark was mainly a way for book-sellers to categorise and sell books. Grimdark is something of a ‘joke’ term for books where bad things happen to the heroes and there is an unhappy ending. There was a trend in authors seeing how far they could take things, but that it was a pursuit of some dark ideal that could never really be attained. Mr Brett did not see his books (and I agree with him) as Grimdark. There is as much hope and celebration in his books as there is misfortune. Hurrah!