Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

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Providing Genre-Fantasy women with adequate roles as protagonists, mages or rulers has not been – given the medieval fixity of Fantasyland as a venue – a task very plausibly accomplished. But it is a task that needs constant doing. Therefore, it is welcome to see female warriors; Amazons who do not commit suicide when their men die; young girls triumphantly going into menarche and coming out the other side with Talents and lovers and power; older women who like Sex (as older men have always been allowed to); and so forth. But even serious fantasy novels may be overburdened by the weight of traditional Story, and may at times struggle too visibly to make Revisionist-Fantasy hay out of intractable material. Again, it is a task that needs constant doing. [JC]

see also: Gender.


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.