A recent talk given by Ursula K. Le Guin (one of my favourite writers) on the assumptions made about writing fantasy stories (and why they’re wrong). She notes the assumptions are:
1. The characters are white.
2. Fantasy Land is the Middle Ages.
3. Fantasy by definition concerns a “Battle Between Good and Evil” (BBGE).
Some interesting comments on the perils of each perspective, including criticising the implicit understanding in point 3 that violence is the only answer to evil.