a genre of fiction which contains elements of magic or the supernatural, frequently set in a world other than our own
In early use sometimes in the broader sense imaginative fiction.
All lovers of the diverse forms of fantasy are invited. (This goes for you Strange Tales readers, too!)
Fantasy or pure science, let ’em all come. But don’t attempt to camouflage either way. Mr. Smith was at his best when he wrote the ‘Singing Flame’ stories, and they were undoubtedly fantasy. But if he had tried to suggest that the science contained therein materially added to the interest he would have been quite wrong. Read as fantasies, Mr. Smith’s stories are wonderful. Treat them as having a real scientific basis and they flop.
So if you like a variety of good stories, I don’t think you’ll ever get tired of reading SCIENCE FICTION—because I try to get as much variety into one issue as possible, without passing out of the realm of fantasy. Not all interplanetaries—not all laboratory yarns—not all world dooms, but a generous sprinkling of all types.
Raymond Z. Gallun’s absorbing scientale, Renegade from Saturn, featured in this issue and illustrated on the cover, offers something different in the way of suspense to fantasy fans. In Gallun’s story the hero is faced with a serious problem. He has to decide which one of the three transparent cases shown on the cover houses the menace from Saturn.
You’re not a full-fledged scientifiction fan unless you own a membership card in the Science Fiction League. Thousands of science-fictioneers the world over belong to this active, international organization devoted to fantasy fans’ fraternization.
Then there’s that weak-minded mug who calls ‘There Shall Be Darkness’ fantasy. It had a depth and beauty of setting that is a little more common to fantasy fiction, perhaps, but the story was really science-fiction.
Directly, Amra’s articles deal with what we call Heroic Fantasy, or sword-and-sorcery fiction—that kind of story in which heroes and villains may cast a spell or wield a blade with equal propriety, according to the terrain and the tactical situation: in a general sense, stories with pre-gunpowder technology in which magic works. In addition to their basic devotion, they touch on other heroes created by Howard; some other Conan-like heroic heroes written of by different authors; and people in sword-and-sorcery settings who are principal characters without being exactly heroic about it.
A player may portray either a Warrior, a Priest or a Magic User. This is irrespective of the fact that the typical adventurer of heroic fantasy is not precisely any of these three professions.
We might note that games which are limited to the acquisition of power are of the ‘sword & sorcery’ variety; those games which also include nobler objectives are, at least, moving toward High Fantasy.
Donald A. Wollheim…has done more to encourage fantasy and science-fantasy in this country during the lean years before ‘adult fantasy’ became respectable.
Heroic fantasy, often commercially applied to Sword and Sorcery tales featuring muscular barbarian heroes, but sometimes to any variety of Epic or Quest fantasy, particularly those that derive from specific heroic tradition, such as Arthurian tales.
High fantasy, fantasy set in a fully imagined Secondary World, according to Boyer and Zahorski, as opposed to Low Fantasy which concerns supernatural intrusions into the ‘real’ world.
Fantasy was considered a subset of s.f. for many decades before it began being marketed as its own genre.
Yet you’re planning to feature fantasy also. Mistake—S.F. fans don’t really want fantasy, or else they’d request it.
Whether through choice or publishing stricture, the authors have chosen to categorise Le Guin’s novels as either SF or fantasy, and to discuss the two sets of books almost entirely independently of one another.
Forrest J. Ackerman, in Astounding.
Earliest cite in the OED: 1949.
Last modified 2021-01-25 04:00:34
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.