Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Adventurer Fantasy

Genre Fantasy features many stories whose protagonists are ordinary or extraordinary people trying to make a living in Fantasyland. This large body of work, at its best often intriguingly Picaresque – and at its not infrequent worst merely a revision of standard Template wish-fulfilment with fantasy tropes – can appropriately be called AF (a term devised by Eric Korn in 1995) rather than Heroic Fantasy, which implies that larger-than-life Quests are essential to the form, or Sword and Sorcery, which term has a derogatory sting – as though the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser tales of Fritz Leiber were intrinsically less significant than Epic Fantasies by the not necessarily very interesting writers who dominate the popular market. But the term AF, though most closely describing the central characters and plots of the form, has yet to attain any widespread use. A full discussion of the form indicated appears under Sword and Sorcery. [JC/RK]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.