Believe it or not, I recently had the kernel of a fantasy novel jump into my head. Anybody who knows my writing also knows that I rarely write fantasy. I tend toward the hard SF* side of the spectrum. Part of the problem with me and fantasy is the same reason I don't really care for superhero stories. I'm not interested in extrordinary people doing extrordinary things. I much prefer a story where an ordinary person does something extrordinary.
So why a fantasy novel? Several reasons come to mind.
+ It sells better than SF (alas).
+ All novels are fantasies at some level--I mean, it ain't real.
+ To show I can write fantasy.
+ A story about people can be set anywhere.
This last reason has influenced my decision on settings in the past. In my story The Great Basikisk Race (appearing this summer in Tales of the Talisman) is a good example. It's a people story. The magic is incidental, more for flavor than critical to the story. The basilisks in the story could easily have been dinosaurs, alien creatures, or even elephants. In fact, one could argue that it isn't really fantasy because the magical aspect isn't critical to the story.
The novel I have in mind is a little different in that magic will be integral to the story. Also, the main character will be ordinary, non-magical, and quite out of his league.
The story is still fermenting in my mind, and I still intend to finish Rigel Kentaurus first.
* I should blog about this term and throw out my definition. Might make a good topic for tomorrow.