About the Journal

This international and peer-reviewed journal is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the fantastic in today’s entertainment media. The journal is double blind peer-reviewed and 1-3 issues are published per year. 


Call for papers for vol. 2 (2023), issues 3 and 4 for Imagining the Impossible: International Journal for the Fantastic in Contemporary Media

Issue 3: Imaginary Beings

Imaginary beings, from the winged horse Pegasus to the monstrous creature in Alien, have consistently been a key feature of the fantastic. Noel Carroll, in A Philosophy of Horror, argues that monsters horrify us because they are “categorically interstitial, categorically contradictory, incomplete, or formless” (32), and so they combine forms or states that violate our sense of ontologically distinct categories, such as the living dead or the werewolf. Yet the same fusion of categories can also be a source of wonder, such as mermaids or superheroes. In some narratives, the same being can be either wondrous or terrifying, as the dragon is. In this issue we welcome original articles on the role of imaginary beings in classical and contemporary narratives.

Issue 4: Imaginary Artifacts & Design

The fantastic is replete with imaginary objects, often imbued with great power, such as magical swords, truth serums, occult figurines and technology so advanced it borders on magic. Artifacts frequently serve as plot catalysts, as in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, or as totalizing concepts, as in Boye’s Kallocain. On screen, objects and design are crucial for world building and often impart vital story information about sci-fi or fantasy universes. Unlike imaginary beings, however, which often combine ontologically distinct categories, imaginary artifacts are harder to define. Some imaginary objects could theoretically be created, whereas others are fundamentally impossible. Sentient AI complicates all of these categories, as it can be both an imaginary being and an imaginary object that many believe will be created one day. This issue focuses on the role and design of imaginary artifacts in fantastic fiction and entertainment media.

Read more about Call for papers for vol. 2 (2023), issues 3 and 4 for Imagining the Impossible: International Journal for the Fantastic in Contemporary Media

Current Issue

Vol. 2 No. 1 (2023): Worldbuilding & Design
This cover image shows a space shuttle over a bustling sci-fi city.


"Assembling the Fantastic" (Stephen Joyce, Christian Mehrstam, Rikke Schubart, Jakob Ion Wille)

Theme Section

  1. “Video Games in Transmedia Storyworlds: The Witcher and the Mothership Problem” (Stephen Joyce, Aarhus University)
  2. “Transmedia Worldbuilding and Mashup Mythology in Penny Dreadful” (Anita Nell Bech Albertsen, University of Southern Denmark)
  3. “Unworlding in Nameless: The Negation of World-building” (Steen Ledet Christiansen, Aalborg University)
  4. “Making the Fantastic Real: From Design Fiction to Engineering Fandom” (Tem Frank Andersen, Peter Vistisen and Thessa Jensen, Aalborg University)
Published: 2023-06-28
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