Encyclopedia > Contemporary fantasy

  Article Content

Contemporary fantasy

Contemporary fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy, also known as Contemporary urban fantasy, Modern-day fantasy, or Indigenous fantasy. These terms are used to describe stories set in the putative real world (often referred to as consensus reality) in contemporary times, in which, it is revealed, magic and magical creatures exist, either living in the interstices of our world or leaking over from alternate worlds[?]. It thus has much in common with, and sometimes overlaps with, secret histories.

Novels in which modern characters travel into alternate worlds, and all the magical action takes place there (except for the portal required to transport them), are thus not considered contemporary fantasy.

Contemporary fantasy is also to be distinguished from horror fiction, which also often has contemporary settings. When encountering magical events and creatures, the protagonist of a horror novel is horrified, while the protagonist of a fantasy novel (contemporary or otherwise) is filled with a sense of joy and wonder. Horrifying events may happen, but the fundamental distinction is vital.

Contemporary fantasies often concern places dear to their authors, are full of local color and atmosphere, and attempt to lend a sense of magic to those places.

Charles Williams, whose 1930s novels are mostly set in London, is called the father of contemporary fantasy. More recent notable authors include Charles de Lint[?] (who uses a disguised Ottawa, Ontario as a setting) and Tim Powers (whose novels in this subgenre are mostly set in California). Other particularly notable contemporary fantasy novels include War for the Oaks[?] by Emma Bull[?] (set in Minneapolis, Minnesota) and The Folk of the Air[?] by Peter S. Beagle[?] (set in a disguised Berkeley, California).



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Zakat

... and savings held for a full year if their total value is more than a basic minimum known as nisab. At present nisab is $1,050 or an equivalent amount of any oth ...