Fantastic Story – Concept, examples and wonderful story

We explain what a fantastic story is, several examples of this literary genre and its relationship with the wonderful story.

Fantastic tale
A fantastic tale defies the laws of reason and has no verifiable existence.

What is a fantastic story?

When speaking of a fantastic story, an allusion is made to a specific type of literary story, often traditionally aimed at a young audience, in which a possible world different from the real world is inaugurated in its laws and operating rules. In other words, fantastic tales propose fictional universes as detached as possible from reality.

The fantastic, seen in this way, is a category of fiction that serves to distinguish between different modes of literary narration, for example, between realistic stories (inserted in a world identical to the real one), or science fiction (similar universes to the real one except for some significant scientific and / or technological detail), etc.

Therefore, what is represented in a fantastic tale defies the laws of reason and lacks verifiable existence through our experience of the world. Fictional events such as magic, ghosts, imaginary creatures, gods or supernatural forces often define the imaginary of the fantastic.

The fantastic tale has been widely cultivated throughout the history of literature, reaching in many cases aesthetic and poetic levels of utmost importance, and in others being relegated to children’s entertainment readings.

Fantastic tale examples

Some examples of fantastic stories are:

  • Cinderella, a traditional tale attributed to Perrault.
  • The Lord of the rings, a multi-volume fantasy novel, written by JRR Tolkien.
  • Arabian Nights, a compendium of fantastic tales set in Asian antiquity and of anonymous origin.
  • Alice in Wonderland, a fantasy novel written in the 19th century by Lewis Carroll.
  • “The rain of fire”, story of the Argentine writer Leopoldo Lugones.
  • “The feather pillow”, a story by the Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga.
  • “La cena”, short story by Mexican writer Alfonso Reyes.
  • “The doctor of the dead”, short story by the Venezuelan writer Julio Garmendia.
  • “Tantalia”, short story by the Uruguayan writer Macedonio Fernández.
  • “El aleph”, short story by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges.
  • “The Call of Ctuhulhu”, short story by the American writer HP Lovecraft.
  • The shadow, novel by the Spanish writer Benito Pérez Galdós.
  • Metamorphosis, novel by Czech writer Franz Kafka.
  • “Colonel Chabert”, short story by the French writer Honoré de Balzac.

Wonderful tale

The term marvelous often is used as a synonym for the fantastic, despite the fact that it contains connotations more linked to the world of children, with fables, fairy tales or traditional childhood stories. It is considered an escapist genre, which evades reality as much as possible.

A wonderful story is characterized, thus, by posing magical and supernatural settings that incite amazement or amusement, and whose plot is usually linked to the adventure story.

It is not unusual to find in this type of text a more or less explicit final learning, although never directly stated as in the case of the moral at the end of a fable.