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Book Cover for: Fantasy: A Short History, Adam C. Roberts

Fantasy: A Short History

Adam C. Roberts

One of the most popular genres of modern times, fantasy literature has as rich a cultural and literary heritage as the magical worlds that so enrapture its readers. In this book, a concise history of the genre, Adam Roberts traces the central forms and influences on fantasy through the centuries to arrive at our understanding of the fantastic today.

Pinning the evolution of fantasy on three key moments - the 19th-century resurgence of interest in Arthurian legend, the rise of Christian allegory, and a post-Ossian, post-Grimm emergence of a Norse, Germanic and Old English mythic identity - Roberts explores how the logic of 'the fantastical' feeds through into the sets and trappings of modern fantasy. Tracking the creation of heroic and high fantasy subgenres through antiquarian tradition, through C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and into the post-Tolkien boom in genre fantasy writing, the book brings the manifestation of the fantastic beyond literature into art, music, film and TV, video games and other mediums of cultural production such as fandoms. From Tennyson and Wagner, through Robert Graves, David Jones, Samuel Delany, Dungeons and Dragons, Terry Pratchett and Robin Hobb to the Game of Thrones, Skyrim, The Witcher and The Lord of the Rings media franchises, the book digs into the global dissemination and diversity of 21st-century fantasy written out of African, South Asian, East Asian perspectives amongst others. Accessible and dynamic, wide-ranging but comprehensive, this is a crash-course in context for the most imaginative form of storytelling.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publish Date: Apr 17th, 2025
  • Pages: 288
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.21in - 6.14in - 1.00in - 1.00lb
  • EAN: 9781350407824
  • Categories: Science Fiction & FantasyModern - 20th CenturyModern - 21st Century

About the Author

Adam Roberts is a writer, critic and scholars. He is the author of 12 science fiction novels and stories, which have been nominated for and won numerous awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke award, The British Science Fiction Association award, the John W. Campbell award and the Kitschies Red Tentacle, and he has written for The Guardian, The Times. Professor in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, he has published numerous scholarly works such as The History of Science Fiction (2016) and The Riddles of the Hobbit (2013).