Gally Wrote: Not to derail or detract from the topic, but when I read 'different races' I thought of homo sapiens vs, say, homo erectus or whatever dozen or so species/subspecies of early extinct humans have been discovered.
I feel, in a fantasy setting, that would be far more interesting to explore than the same old same old of 'totally not a European-inspired nation vs a totally not-Asian inspired nation' or whatever other combination thereof. Besides that, it's whatever. Just as long as they having an actual meaning to exist in the story--better yet if they're explored in a fun, 'innovative' way and aren't just caricatures of xyz because the author failed to actually research/put much thought into them--I don't care about races in fantasy.
I've read a few of those. I think the first I read was A Greater Infinity, by Michael McCollum. That one's science fiction, but it involves a Many-Worlds setup where technological Neanderthals are at war with "regular" humans. Short book, good premise, had lots of room for more but I don't think the author ever wrote a sequel. Would be interesting to see if he might toss in Denisovians, Hobbits, or other recent discoveries.
However, usually the other hominids are seen as the bad guys, almost always too alien to coexist. I'd like to see something where Neanderthals, etc., continued evolving and instead sparked legends of elves, dwarves, and so on.