Realms of Imagination - Essays from the Wide Worlds of Fantasy

British Library


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Realms of Imagination - Essays from the Wide Worlds of Fantasy, edited by Tanya Kirk and Matthew Sangster, preface by Neil Gaiman / ISBN 9780712354493 / 272-page hardback, 7.4 x 10 inches, published by the British Library (seemingly out-of-print)


‘Fantasy, we know, from the oldest stories in the oldest languages, has always been with us.’ – Neil Gaiman

Fantasy is an expansive genre, encompassing sprawling epics, ancient folklore, impossible worlds and forays into the dark and horrifying. In this new volume, twenty authors have mustered for a journey across four vast realms: Fairy and Folk Tales, Epics and Quests, the Weird and Uncanny, and Portals and Worlds.

Prepare to delve into the heart of Fantasy, with explorations of the art of world-building, the undying appeal of the quest narrative, the diversity and interconnectedness of the world’s fairy stories and weird tales, and the unique power of the uncanny in videogames. Here, you will find contributions from a host of writers including Maria Dahvana Headley, China Miéville, Sofia Samatar, Marina Warner and Terri Windling, alongside sage insights from expert British Library curators and Fantasy literature specialists.

Featuring awe-inspiring illustrations and representing the gamut of fantastic creativity from Gilgamesh to Ursula K. Le Guin, from Beowulf to the Brontës, and from The Dark Crystal to the Dark Souls franchise, Realms of Imagination is a treasure trove of new perspectives and fresh discoveries.

Tanya Kirk is Lead Curator of Printed Heritage Collections 1601–1900 at the British Library. Matthew Sangster is Professor of Romantic Studies, Fantasy and Cultural History and Co-Director of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow. Tanya is the lead curator and Matthew is the external curator for the British Library exhibition Fantasy: Realms of Imagination (2023–4).

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