Fafnir 1/2017

Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research 1/2017

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Aino-Kaisa Koistinen & Jyrki Korpua:
Editorial 1/2017

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Eduardo Lima:
The Once and Future Hero: Understanding the Hero in Quest Fantasy

Abstract: This paper examines the figure of the hero in Quest Fantasy novels, George R. R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. It employs Frye’s taxonomy for the categorization of genres and Bakhtin’s seminal ideas on the Epic and the Novel as references to analyse the characterisation of the Quest Fantasy hero in selected Fantasy texts and compares them with two Heroic works, Beowulf and The Poetic Edda. This analysis is based on the premise that Fantasy fuses elements of the Epic and the novel in a dialogic tension that is manifest in the setting and in the characterisation of the hero. It starts by looking at the general understanding of the hero figure, especially in the Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse tradition. It then discusses how shifts in the way contemporary Western societies understand the world requires a new view of the hero. This is followed by an analysis of the narrative chronotope and its effects on the characterisation of the Quest Fantasy hero, from its beginnings to its journey into the adventurous world.

Keywords: characterisation, chronotope, dialogue, Quest Fantasy.

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Chen F. Michaeli:
‘Back to the Real London’; or Mapping the City of the Past in
Gaiman’s Neverwhere

Abstract: Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed novel Neverwhere belongs to the rapidly growing sub-genre of urban fantasy. Set in 20th century London, the novel evokes fantastical and supernatural elements to paint the history of the city and encompasses its historic memory. The city is divided into two separate spaces, London Above and London Below, that are parallel to one another and mirror each other. Lower London contains all that is suppressed by London Above and inhabits all that is lost and forgotten (certain moments in history, those in need, broken objects, etc.) The repressed ‘things’ eventually haunt the city of London Above and exist within their own terms of fantastical reality in London Below.

This paper, focuses on Gaiman’s emphasized allusions to the 19th century as the main influential era on the city’s development as both asocially oppressive space but also a fantastical one. Therefore, associating it with neo-Victorian fantastical genres; steampunk and gaslamp fantasy. Drawing upon known Victorian symbols, such as the London Underground or the London fog, Gaiman renders them into having double meanings and thus, deepens our understanding of the city’s historical and social memory. The dichotomy of classes and societies presented in both versions of London stresses the cultural and social gaps of the city. Examining the purpose of the fantastical and the way it functions in the novel with relation to history (the 19thcentury in particular), leads to a thorough understanding of the city’s social milieu in past and present.

Keywords: urban fantasy, London, Neil Gaiman, 19th century, social history, memory.

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Sayyed Ali Mirenayat and Elaheh Soofastaei:
13 Questions on Science Fiction: Interview with Professor James Edwin Gunn

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Jari Käkelä:
A Book Review: Winter, Jerome – Science Fiction, New Space Opera, and Neoliberal Globalism: Nostalgia for infinity

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Call for Papers Fafnir 3/2017

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