Fafnir Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, Volume 1, Issue 3, pages 5-6.

Jyrki Korpua, Hanna-Riikka Roine & Päivi Väätänen

Editorial 3/2014


Fantasy is a natural human activity. It certainly does not destroy or even insult Reason; and it does not either blunt the appetite for, nor obscure the perception of, scientific verity. On the contrary. The keener and the clearer is the reason, the better fantasy will it make.

Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker.
(Tolkien, On Fairy-Stories)

The third issue of Fafnir celebrates fantasy. The articles, discussion and reviews in this issue postulate on questions of fantasy literature, fantastic milieus and the imaginative. They bring forward the idea Tolkien formulates above, that fantasy does not obscure our perception of the “real” world surrounding us, but rather can give us new insights into it.

In his article “‘Noble and Beautiful’ – Universal Human Aesthetics in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia,” Nicholas Wanberg analyses beliefs about human and humanoid aesthetics and discusses why and how these elements from Lewis’s Narnia-series have historically been seen as racist.

Iris Gassenbauer’s article “Into the Woods. Getting Lost and Meeting Witches” focuses on the subject of the woods as topos in the history of literature and in contemporary movies. The article discusses how the confusing spatial organisation of forests place them in juxtaposition with organised, more “civilized” areas and this allows the unknown, fantastic Other to emerge.

In their essay on Johanna Sinisalo’s Auringon ydin (2013, “The Core of the Sun”), Hanna-Riikka Roine and Hanna Samola discuss the always interesting genre logics of so-called speculative fiction, pointing out how the novel combines several aspects of fantasy, from fairy tales to alternate society to science fiction.

In addition to the articles and the discursive essay, Fafnir presents two literary reviews. Liisa Rantalaiho reviews Sanna Lehtonen’s book Girls Transforming. Invisibility and Age-Shifting in Children’s Fantasy Fiction Since the 1970s and Sanna Lehtonen reviews Brian Attebery’s Stories about stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth. According to the reviewers, both books present new and important insights into fantasy.

This fantastic issue of Fafnir gives you a glimpse of just what kind of human right fantasy is and how many different angles there are to study it from. Whether it is an alternate world in the back of a wardrobe, mystical and scary forests, invisible children, or the core of the sun, all themes imply a sense of wonder as well as adventure and excitement – and the research on those fantastic speculations is equally exciting. Join us for an adacemic thrill with Fafnir 3/2014!