Posted by: Mark | September 22, 2014

Encyclopedia of Fantasy

Here’s a few definitions from John Clute and John Grant’s The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997).

An alternate world “is an account of Earth as it might have become in consequence of some hypothetical alteration in history” (Brian Stableford). Alternate realities include alternate worlds but can also include worlds of magic and other significant changes.

Alternate world – What if the South won the Civil War?

Alternate reality – What if Old Gods conquered the world?


Horizon of Expectations – Hans Robert Jauss’s term to describe “the context within which a given generation of readers will understand a work. Within that context–that horizon–the particular generation may come to view certain kinds of material (e.g., faerie, the supernatural, and hell) as being clustered together into a genre, where previously such material may have borne no genre import and not have been perceptually associated. Any attempt to define fantasy must suggest a point in literary history at which readers (and writers) began to define previously scattered topics as being clustered together within a horizon of expectation.


Theodicy – Gottfried Leibnitz’s term for the belief that a god who permitted evil to exist could be just. Evil exists as a measure of good.


Winscots – secret societies of men or talking animals.


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