Fantasy is, broadly, fiction about imaginary things. All fiction is, at a basic level, fantasy, and even factual writing is fictional in the sense it is transformed by the author and not merely a representation of reality. However, the term fantasy is usually reserved for a form of weird fiction, particularly stories involving magic.
There are a number of significant, often overlapping subgenres:
- Swords-and-sorcery: A form originating in the pulp magazines depicting tough, swashbuckling adventurers in an imaginary world
- High fantasy: Set in an imaginary world of magic and adventure, high fantasy explores romantic themes and echoes Earth's historical past
- Low fantasy: Set in an imaginary world that somewhat resembles historical Earth, but magic is absent or muted.
- Urban fantasy or weird fiction takes place in something resembling our modern world, but has fantastic elements.
- Modern fantasy: Refers to genre fantasy in general.
- Fairy tale fantasy : Fantasy in a magical imaginary world connected to, yet apart from, our world.