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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > COMPETITION SPECIAL - October 2016 > Fantastic realms: Not as we know it

Fantastic realms: Not as we know it

NOT AS WE KNOW IT

Using real world settings brings your uncanny fiction closer to home for readers, says Alex Davis

Something I often hear from those seeking to deride science-fiction, fantasy and horror – and they are still out there, despite the genres’ growth – is that stories in the field simply aren’t realistic. Not an easy one to argue against, given the proliferation of alien technology, mystical creatures and hideous monsters than can inhabit them. One of the ideas of science-fiction is of course that it could be real some day, and horror can have a distinctly human aspect in many cases. However there are readers who look down upon or struggle with stories set in unrecognisable, altered or parallel worlds.

Thankfully, though, genre fiction is very rarely seen to be standing still and one of its more recent evolutions is to invade the real world – fantasy, SF and horror located in contemporary or historical settings is becoming more and more prevalent. These are stories of the fantastical transported into familiar locales, a real setting combined with elements of the unreal.

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