Modern Fantasy


Modern fantasy stories involve magic, the "quest," and/or "good versus evil."  Fantasy creates an alternative universe, which operates on laws different than our own. Sub-genres of fantasy include animal fantasy, quest fantasy, machine fantasy, toy and doll fantasy, time fantasy, comic fantasy, high fantasy, and other world fantasy. High fantasy are complex stories characterized by recurring themes and often take place in created or imaginary worlds.



Modern fantasy is broken down into the following categories:

Articulate Animals

In this category, animals talk like people and have human emotions but still retain animal qualities. Often the animals become caricatures of the human quality they portray (i.e. the sneaky snake, the sly fox, the wise owl, etc.).


In this category, the stories are told from the point of view of children's toys. This is an easily suspended disbelief for most children, since many already treat their toys as if they are real.

Preposterous Characters and Situations

In this category, the impossible is very possible and likely. Cars and nannies can fly, you can ride in a giant peach, and tongue twisters lie around every corner.

Strange and Curious Worlds

In this category, Earth as we know it is left behind. The laws of physics, nature, and conduct are often different from what we are used to. These worlds often have their own language and belief systems.

Little People

In this category, stories deal with creatures like faeries, trolls, gnomes, or simply "little" people. These stories often look at life from the perspective of these creatures and often deal with the complications that arise when the little and big world come into contact with each other.

Spirits Friendly and Frightening

In this category, the stories focus on ghosts and other visitors from the great beyond. Sometimes these spirits or beings are friendly, many times they are malicious.

Time Warps

In this category, characters travel backward or forward in time, or sometimes both. Generally these stories allow the readers to consider what the future might hold, or look back at past events, and think about why they happened. Often characters that travel back in time make life changing discoveries or insights.

Science Fiction

In this category, science and technology run the show. The incredible places visited and things done are usually due to machines and technology. This is an often misplaced category, as it often fits more than one slot. There is almost one constant with science fiction: Just about everything that occurs is can be traced to Man's development of technology to allow him to do the impossible.


Information from:

Subject Guide

Web Resources