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Contributions are sought for an edited collection of essays on Dark Fantasy novels.

Dark Fantasy emerged in the 1960s as a direct attack on high fantasy conventions, aims, and archetypes. Dark Fantasy narratives typically subvert, challenge, or abandon crucial fantasy elements, such as utopian landscapes, the experience of wonder, the virtuous hero, the moment of “eucatastrophe”, and the satisfying resolution to plot. Dark Fantasy has recently experienced a surge in popularity, yet has received little critical attention.

We invite Dark Fantasy scholars to submit essays to an edited collection. Essays should be between 4000 and 5000 words. The aims of the volume are, firstly, to bring scholars in the field to one place—given Dark Fantasy’s diffuseness—and secondly, to offer a collection that demonstrates the ways that Dark Fantasy texts can be analysed through various critical lenses. Finally, the volume would stake a place for Dark Fantasy within studies of popular culture.

Possible topics include

  • Contested definitions of Dark Fantasy (for instance, Clute and Grant’s Encyclopaedia of Fantasy [1999, 249] definition relies on what Dark Fantasy is not as much as what Dark Fantasy is)
  • Dark Fantasy’s relationship to other fantasy genres
  • Specific Dark Fantasy texts, such as Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone series, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, Stephen Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, Stephen King’s the Dark Tower series, as well as urban Dark Fantasy texts such as the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Stacia Kane, and the Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris.
  • Heroes and villains in Dark Fantasy
  • Appropriations of Dark Fantasy in fan fiction

Abstracts of 500 words plus a brief biography should be sent to Glen Thomas ( & Tyler Bartlett (

Abstracts should be received by 28 February, 2014, with final essays due by 30 September, 2014.