Supernatural fiction

Supernatural fiction or supernaturalist fiction[1] is a genre of speculative fiction exploiting or requiring as plot devices or themes some contradictions of the commonplace natural world and materialist assumptions about it.

Description and types

In its broadest definition, supernatural fiction overlaps with examples of weird fiction, horror fiction, vampire literature, ghost story, and fantasy. Elements of supernatural fiction can be found in writing from the genre of science fiction. Amongst academics, readers and collectors, however, supernatural fiction is often classed as a discrete genre defined by the elimination of "horror", "fantasy", and elements important to other genres.[1] The one genre supernatural fiction appears to embrace in its entirety is the traditional ghost story.[2]

In the twentieth century, supernatural fiction became associated with psychological fiction. The result is that the supernatural is only one possible explanation for what has been described. A classic example of this would be The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, which offers both a supernatural and a psychological interpretation of the events described. The ambiguity is considered to add to the effect.[3] A similar example is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wallpaper".

Occult detective fiction combines the tropes of supernatural fiction with those of detective fiction.


  1. ^ a b Cavaliero, Glen (1995). The Supernatural and English Fiction. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Wilson, Neil (2000). Shadows in the Attic: A Guide to British Supernatural Fiction, 1820–1950. London: The British Library.
  3. ^ Bleiler, Everett F. (1983). The Guide to Supernatural Fiction. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press. pp. 277–278.

Further reading

External links

Body swap

A body swap is a storytelling device seen in a variety of science and supernatural fiction, in which two people (or beings) exchange minds and end up in each other's bodies. In media such as television and film, the device is an opportunity for two actors to temporarily play each other's characters, although in some cases, dialogue is dubbed by the original actors.

There are different types of body swapping. For non-technology swapping, switches can be caused by magic items such as amulets, heartfelt wishes, or just strange quirks of the universe. The switches typically reverse after the subjects have expanded their world views, gained a new appreciation for each other's troubles by literally "walking in another's shoes" and/or caused sufficient amounts of farce. Notable examples include the books Vice Versa (1882) and Freaky Friday (1972), as well as the film versions of both.

Switches accomplished by technology, exempting gadgets advanced sufficiently to appear as magic, are the fare of mad scientists. Body-swapping devices are usually characterized by a highly experimental status, straps, helmets with many complicated cables that run to a central system and a tendency to direly malfunction before their effects can be reversed. Those without such means may resort to brain transplants. Such experiments can have overtones of horror.


Brahmarakshas - Jaag Utha Shaitaan is an Indian Hindi drama supernatural fiction television series, which aired at 9 pm (Sat-Sun) on Zee TV. The series is loosely based on fantasy thriller film, Jaani Dushman and the western fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. It is aired on weekend nights (Saturday-Sunday). The series is produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor under their banner Balaji Telefilms. In Pakistan it airs on A-Plus

Comic fantasy

Comic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that is primarily humorous in intent and tone. Usually set in imaginary worlds, comic fantasy often includes puns on and parodies of other works of fantasy.

Contemporary fantasy

Contemporary fantasy, also known as modern fantasy or indigenous fantasy, is a subgenre of fantasy, set in the present day or, more accurately, the time period of the maker. It is perhaps most popular for its subgenre, urban fantasy.

Strictly, supernatural fiction can be said to be part of contemporary fantasy - since it has fantasy elements and is set in a contemporary setting. In practice, however, supernatural fiction is a well-established genre in its own right, with its own distinctive conventions.

E. F. Bleiler

Everett Franklin Bleiler (April 30, 1920 – June 13, 2010) was an American editor, bibliographer, and scholar of science fiction, detective fiction, and fantasy literature. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he co-edited the first "year's best" series of science fiction anthologies, and his Checklist of Fantastic Literature has been called "the foundation of modern SF bibliography". Among his other scholarly works are two Hugo Award–nominated volumes concerning early science fiction—Science-Fiction: The Early Years and Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years—and the massive Guide to Supernatural Fiction.

Bleiler worked at Dover Publications from 1955, becoming executive vice-president of the company from 1967 until he left in 1977; he then worked for Charles Scribner's Sons until 1987. He edited a number of ghost story collections for Dover, containing what the genre historian Mike Ashley has described as "detailed and exemplary introductions".Bleiler received the Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction scholarship in 1984, the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1988, the First Fandom Hall of Fame award in 1994, and the International Horror Guild Living Legend award in 2004.In the 1970s Bleiler wrote two works of fiction, which were not published until 2006: the fantasy novel Firegang: A Mythic Fantasy, set in the tree of Yggdrasil as well as moving across time and space, and Magistrate Mai and the Invisible Murderer, a detective story set in ancient China, similar to the work of Robert van Gulik.

Bleiler's son, Richard, is also a science fiction historian and assisted his father on several of his works.

Fantasy literature

Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe, often but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Magic, the supernatural and magical creatures are common in many of these imaginary worlds. It is a story that children and adults can read.

Fantasy is a subgenre of speculative fiction and is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes, respectively, though these genres overlap. Historically, most works of fantasy were written, however, since the 1960s, a growing segment of the fantasy genre has taken the form of films, television programs, graphic novels, video games, music and art.

A number of fantasy novels originally written for children, such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Harry Potter series and The Hobbit, also attract an adult audience.

Gaslight series

The Gaslight series is a set of four anthologies of short fiction combining the character of Sherlock Holmes with elements of fantasy, horror, adventure and supernatural fiction. It consists of Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2008), Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2009), Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2011) and Gaslight Gothic: Strange Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2018).

The first volume was published in October 2008 by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The book was edited by J. R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec, with a foreword by David Stuart Davies. Cover art was by Timothy Lantz; the book features twelve full-page black and white illustrations by Phil Cornell.

The story "His Last Arrow" by Christopher Sequeira was nominated for a WSFA Small Press Award in 2009.

Ghost story

A ghost story may be any piece of fiction, or drama, that includes a ghost, or simply takes as a premise the possibility of ghosts or characters' belief in them. The "ghost" may appear of its own accord or be summoned by magic. Linked to the ghost is the idea of "hauntings", where a supernatural entity is tied to a place, object or person. Ghost stories are commonly examples of ghostlore.

Colloquially, the term "ghost story" can refer to any kind of scary story. In a narrower sense, the ghost story has been developed as a short story format, within genre fiction. It is a form of supernatural fiction and specifically of weird fiction, and is often a horror story.

While ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales. Ghosts often appear in the narrative as sentinels or prophets of things to come. Belief in ghosts is found in all cultures around the world, and thus ghost stories may be passed down orally or in written form.

I, Lucifer

I, Lucifer may refer to:

I, Lucifer (O'Donnell novel), an action-adventure novel by Peter O'Donnell

I, Lucifer (Duncan novel), a 2003 supernatural-fiction novel by Glen Duncan

I, Lucifer (Destroy the Runner album)

I, Lucifer (Real Tuesday Weld album)

Interdimensional being

An extradimensional being or intelligence (also intra-dimensional and other-dimensional) is a type of theoretical or a real entity in a dimension beyond our own. Such beings are common in science fiction, fantasy and supernatural fiction.

Jack Snow (writer)

John Frederick "Jack" Snow (August 15, 1907 – July 13, 1956), born Piqua, Ohio was an American radio writer, writer of ghost stories, and scholar, primarily of the works of L. Frank Baum. When Baum died in 1919, the twelve-year-old Snow offered to be the next Royal Historian of Oz, but was politely turned down by a staffer at Baum's publisher, Reilly & Lee. Snow eventually wrote two Oz books: The Magical Mimics in Oz (1946) and The Shaggy Man of Oz (1949), as well as Who's Who in Oz (1954), a thorough guide to the Oz characters, all of which Reilly & Lee published.

In his second year in high school, the precocious Snow created the first radio review column in American journalism, in The Cincinnati Enquirer. After graduation, Snow pursued a career in print journalism and primarily in radio, with periods in teachers college and the U. S. Army. He named the Ohio radio station WING, and spent seven years with the National Broadcasting Company in New York. In 1944, he attempted to get NBC to produce a radio series based on the stories of fellow Weird Tales author Ray Bradbury.

Snow published five stories in Weird Tales over the space of two decades: "Night Wings,"(Sept 1927); "Poison," (Dec 1928); "Second Childhood," (Mar 1945); "Seed," (Jan 1946); and "Midnight," (May 1946). These were all included in Dark Music and Other Spectral Tales(1947) with the exception of "Second Childhood". A full description of each tale in the collection appears in the entry on Snow in E.F. Bleiler's Guide to Supernatural Fiction Snow also published several letters in the letters column of Weird Tales over the years. "Seed" has also been reprinted in Marvin Kaye's 1988 anthology Weird Tales: The Magazine That Never Die".

When Snow assembled his 1947 collection Dark Music he wanted it to include a dozen of his best stories, including one of his more sinister tales, “Midnight,” which had appeared in the May 1946 issue of Weird Tales with Bradbury's story "The Smiling People." Later, Bradbury agreed to write the foreword for the volume. But the publisher insisted on padding the volume with a number of Snow's stories that were juvenilia. Bradbury, only twenty-six years old at the time, had agreed to write a foreword for Snow's collection but he reneged when he read these additions, rejecting them as "patently unpublishable". It has been rumored that the jackets for all copies of Jack Snow's book, Dark Music and Other Spectral Tales, (whose cover art is by Ronald Clyne – his first published book jacket) had to be overstamped with a bar of ink, to block out Bradbury's name- but no copy has ever surfaced with such a bar of ink. A facsimile of the jacket can be seen here: Snow wrote to Bradbury "You are a literary craftsman with ambitions to become a skilled and recognized artist in the field. I have no such ambitions. I want to write because I enjoy it."Snow also wrote a short story, "A Murder in Oz," for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, but the editors rejected it, and it was posthumously published in The Baum Bugle. That story has been published in a recent collection titled Spectral Snow (Hungry Tiger Press, 1996), which collects several of the horror stories Snow sold to popular magazines, such as Weird Tales. There is a good deal of overlap between Snow's two collections but each contains stories not found in the other. The eponymous story has been anthologized in other collections.

Anthony Boucher praised Who's Who in Oz for its comprehensive set of character sketches, plot synopses, biographical notes, and "skilled discussion of many arguable points in the chronology and history of Oz"."There have been rumors over the years of a third unpublished Oz book by Snow, entitled Over the Rainbow to Oz (involving either Polychrome, the rainbow's daughter, or an early history of Oz), but no manuscript has ever been discovered.

Snow's address book of Oz fans, discovered after he died, became the basis of the mailing that established The International Wizard of Oz Club.The Baum Bugle winter 1987 issue contains biographical and bibliographical information about Snow as well as critical analysis of his horror output.

An entry on the movie website IMDB indicates that he died in New York of internal hemorrhaging and is buried in an unmarked grave in Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio (his birthplace), next to his father, John Alonzo Snow. Both father and son are buried in lot 021 001.

Jerusalem (Moore novel)

Jerusalem is a novel by British author Alan Moore, wholly set in and around the author's home town of Northampton, England. Combining elements of historical and supernatural fiction and drawing on a range of writing styles, the author describes it as a work of "genetic mythology". Published in 2016, Jerusalem took a decade to write. At the time of publication it was one of the 10 longest novels written in the English language. The novel is divided into three Books, "The Boroughs", "Mansoul", and "Vernall's Inquest".

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is a 2009 supernatural fiction and black comedy novel written by Jonathan L. Howard. It is the first book of an ongoing series chronicling the ventures of Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy.

Murari (film)

Murari is a 2001 Indian Telugu-language supernatural drama film written, and directed by Krishna Vamsi. The film features Mahesh Babu in the title role with Sonali Bendre, Lakshmi, Sukumari, Kaikala Satyanarayana and Gollapudi Maruthi Rao. Mani Sharma composed the music while Bhupati handled the cinematography. Peter Hein debuted as choreographer of action sequences with this film. The film marked the last on screen appearance of veteran Telugu actor Dhulipala Seetarama Sastry.

The film revolves around the happy-go-lucky Murari whose Zamindar ancestors have been victims of Goddess Durga's generational curse since the mid 19th century. Every 48 years the Royal Family's heirs lose their life in their early 30s due to this curse. No matter how many religious rituals are being performed since ages, the family loses their heirs. In this generation, Murari is the one to be succumbed by the curse. The film deals with Murari's redemption to overcome the curse through his spiritual will, and through his grand mother's self sacrifice. The film was released on 16 February 2001 to positive reviews, and became a Super Hit in Telugu cinema.

The film was later dubbed into Hindi as Rowdy Cheetah by Goldmines Telefilms in 2014.

Ring (novel series)

Ring (リング Ringu) is a series of horror novels written by Koji Suzuki. The novels were initially a trilogy, consisting of Ring, Spiral, and Loop. A short story collection called Birthday was released shortly after, introducing extra stories interconnecting the trilogy. Two further books, S and Tide, were published in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The novels revolve around a curse, embodied within a videotape, unleashed by Sadako Yamamura, the ghost of a psychic who was raped and murdered before being thrown into a well. Though the curse was initially presented as a supernatural force, it is eventually revealed to be a cataclysmic virus which Sadako utilizes for her own misanthropic ends.

The success of the novels led to the release of numerous film adaptations in Japan, South Korea, and the United States of America.

Shudder (streaming service)

Shudder is an over-the-top subscription video on demand service featuring horror, thriller and supernatural fiction titles owned and operated by AMC Networks.

Speculative fiction

Speculative fiction is an umbrella genre encompassing fiction with certain elements that do not exist in the real world, often in the context of supernatural, futuristic or other imaginative themes. This includes, but is not limited to, science fiction, fantasy, superhero fiction, horror, utopian and dystopian fiction, fairytale fantasy, supernatural fiction as well as combinations thereof (e.g. science fantasy).

Thrill (TV channel)

Thrill is a Southeast Asian pay television channel focusing on the horror, thriller and supernatural fiction genres. It primarily airs imports from the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia.

Weird fiction

Weird fiction is a subgenre of speculative fiction originating in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John Clute defines weird fiction as a "Term used loosely to describe Fantasy, Supernatural Fiction and Horror tales embodying transgressive material". China Miéville defines weird fiction thus: "Weird Fiction is usually, roughly, conceived of as a rather breathless and generically slippery macabre fiction, a dark fantastic ("horror" plus "fantasy") often featuring nontraditional alien monsters (thus plus "science fiction")." Discussing the "Old Weird Fiction" published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock says, "Old Weird fiction utilises elements of horror, science fiction and fantasy to showcase the impotence and insignificance of human beings within a much larger universe populated by often malign powers and forces that greatly exceed the human capacities to understand or control them." Weird fiction either eschews or radically reinterprets ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other traditional antagonists of supernatural horror fiction. Weird fiction is sometimes symbolised by the tentacle, a limb-type absent from most of the monsters of European folklore and gothic fiction, but often attached to the monstrous creatures created by weird fiction writers such as William Hope Hodgson, M. R. James, and H. P. Lovecraft. Weird fiction often attempts to inspire awe as well as fear in response to its fictional creations, causing

commentators like Miéville to say that weird fiction evokes a sense of the numinous. Although "weird fiction" has been chiefly used as a historical description for works through the 1930s, the term has also been increasingly used since the 1980s, sometimes to describe slipstream fiction that blends horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

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