Phoenix Category

Fantasy comedy or comic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that is primarily humorous in intent and tone. Typically set in imaginary worlds, fantasy comedy often involves puns on and parodies of other works of fantasy. Literature The subgenre rose in the nineteenth century. Elements of fantasy comedy can be found in such nineteenth century worksas some of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, Charles Dickens' 'Christmas Books', and Lewis Carroll's Alice books. The first writer to specialize in the subgenre was 'F. Anstey' in novels such as Vice Versa (1882), where magic disrupts Victorian society with humorous results. Anstey's work was popular enough to inspire several imitations, including E. Nesbit's light-hearted children's fantasies, The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904) and The Story of the Amulet (1906). The United States had several writers of fantasy comedy, including James Branch Cabell, whose satirical fantasy Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice (1919) was the subject of an unsuccessful prosecution for obscenity. Another American writer in a similar vein was Thorne Smith, whose works (such as Topper and The Night Life of the Gods) were popular and influential, and often adapted for film and television. Humorous fantasies narrated in a 'gentleman's club' setting are common, they include John Kendrick Bangs' A Houseboat on the Styx (1895), Lord Dunsany's 'Jorkens' stories, and Maurice Richardson's The Exploits of Englebrecht (1950). According to Lin Carter, T. H. White's works exemplify fantasy comedy, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt's Harold Shea stories are early exemplars. The overwhelming bulk of de Camp's fantasy was comic.

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