fantastic n. 1

of a creative work: that which has the qualities of fantasy n. 1

SF Encyclopedia


SF Criticism

  • 1923 S. A. Coblentz Science, Pestilence and Deliverer in N.Y. Times Book Review 9 Sept. 2/5 Stanton A. Coblentz

    A notable scientific romance by a professional scientist is ‘Urania,’ by Camille Flammarion. In this beautiful and impressive tale, wherein the author draws both upon his imagination and upon his astronomical knowledge to transport the reader not only to the planet Mars but to the remotest depths of interstellar space, there is a philosophic undercurrent that makes the book a delight to the serious reader as well as to the lover of the fantastic.

  • 1947 Letter in Startling Stories May 101/1

    I've read some good verse dealing with the weird and fantastic and since I like poetry I would love to see Startling Stories with such a department.

  • 1948 Thrilling Wonder Stories June 128/1

    Lovecraft must have something people like; he is virtually the only legend to survive from the literature of the macabre, or supernatural, or fantastic. He is about the sole writer of the weird I would include with the best of older horror writers—William Hope Hodgson, Arthur Machen, and Algernon Blackwood.

  • 1981 B. Bova We Have Met The Mainstream… in F. Herbert Nebula Winners Fifteen 175 Ben Bova

    As L. Sprague de Camp has been pointing out for years, the literature of the fantastic was the mainstream of world storytelling from the time writing began until the beginning of the Seventeenth Century A.D.

  • 1987 J. J. Pierce Great Themes of Science Fiction (facing title-page) John J. Pierce

    Recent Titles in Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy Series Editor: Marshall Tynan Forms of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Third International Conference on the Fantastic in Literature and Film William Coyle, editor The Fantastic in World Literature and the Arts: Selected Essays from the Fifth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts Donald E. Morse, editor

  • 1987 Horrorstruck: World of Dark Fantasy Nov.—Dec. 16/1

    It means using the same qualities of prose found in the best mainstream writing to set up quotidian reality, and then to move the reader beyond it into the realm of the fantastic—while maintaining his belief in something that just isn’t so.

  • 2002 G. K. Wolfe Malebolge, or Ordnance of Genre in Conjunctions No. 39 Gary K. Wolfe

    What passed for literary debate about the nature of the fantastic was by now purely proletarian: in the letter columns of the magazines, a farmer from Kansas might have an equal platform with the writers and editors themselves, and might even have an edge, since he (or she) was holding next month’s quarter.

  • 2002 D. Layne & J. Lake Polyphony 1 (unpaginated),

    SF, Fantasy and Horror—the genres of the ostensibly fantastic—have long ago hit the snooze button and rolled back over for a long lazy hibernation.

  • 2002 Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct.—Nov. 102

    He returns now with a tale that lies in the fringes of the fantastic, in that disquieting realm where you’re never quite sure what might happen next.


Research requirements

antedating 1923

Earliest cite

Stanton Coblentz, in the N.Y. Times

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from the editorial introduction to Robert Reed's "The Sleeping Woman" in F&SF.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1987 cite from an article by D.W. Taylor in "Horrorstruck".
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from Garky K. Wolfe in "Conjunctions:39".
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1981 cite from Ben Bova's "We Have Met the Mainstream...".
Irene Grumman submitted a 1987 cite from the titles of the books "Forms of the Fantastic" and "The Fantastic in World Literature and the Arts".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1948 cite from a letter in Thilling Wonder Stories.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from a letter in Startling Stories.

In addition to antedatings, we would like to interdate this term between 1948 and 1981.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.