A Question

What is it about writing fantasy novels that makes authors feel the compulsion to create 10,000 pages' worth of Epic Saga?

I was at the library with Mle a couple of weeks ago and, nerd that I am, I was perusing the new fiction with the little "SciFi" and "Fantasy" stickers on the spine. Pretty much every fantasy novel I looked at said something on the cover along the lines of "DARK SORCERY - Book III of the Yet Another Story About Dragons Saga - Sequel to STEREOTYPICAL WIZARD!"

Honestly, if you really, truly have a compelling story that can't be told in anything less than eight 1200 page rat-squasher volumes, more power to you. On the other hand, if you're like most fantasy authors, you've got a story that could be told in a single volume with thousands upon thousands of pages of meaningless filler - Robert Jordan, I'm looking at you. Even the great George R.R. Martin, much as I love him, is guilty of it, too. I won't say I'm not hooked on "A Song of Ice and Fire" right thru to the end, but you can't tell me I'm the only one who thinks "A Feast for Crows" is at least a little dull. Still, better have a good story surrounded with filler than have a boring, poorly-written, trite and cliche story surrounded with filler - Christopher Paolini, Terry Goodkind, I'm looking at you.

There's plenty of writers out there writing good fantasy in self-contained volumes. But it's annoying that you have to put so much effort into finding it. In the end, it's at the feet of the readers. If we keep buying this shite, they're going to keep writing it. Simple as that.