Fantasy author Sam Sykes just wrote an interesting piece titled "Ode to a Dark Elf." You might think that it's about R. A. Salvatore's popular character, but not exactly. Here's an extract:
For some reason, fantasy fans (or at least, fantasy fans who frequently talk about the genre) have an immense problem with being identified as such. And if you pay at all attention, it almost always links back to the desperation to be accepted by that successful and respected older sibling: mainstream literature. Fantasy always seems to be in a very big hurry to grow up, or at least to be seen as grown-up, hence why all we seem to write about these days is rape and widespread murder and all the other stuff we used to think made us look more adult when we were seventeen (note: I am not saying that these subjects, books or authors are inherently childish, but equating maturity with sex and violence certainly is). To that end, we get frustrated when people point at our magic wolves, our glowing weapons, our three-headed liches and say “looks like you’ve got some growing up to do.” And maybe it’s just me for whom this particular criticism isn’t having a lot of effect on anymore. Maybe I’m getting too comfortable in my ways. Maybe I’m not thinking hard enough. Maybe I’m just too old to continue to give a shit over whether anyone might see me enjoying this stuff. But the fact of the matter is that I’m having a much harder time caring about what other people are thinking of me. And I’m not alone.