Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Jack the Ripper

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In 1888 five women were viciously murdered in the Whitechapel area of London; their as yet unidentified killer is universally known as JTR. He has become a minor fantasy Icon, featuring in such tales as the movie Time After Time (1980), where he is chased by H G Wells through time (see also Time Travel), and the novel Anno Dracula (1992) by Kim Newman. Within the fantasy genre, JTR is the archetype of the Serial Killer; but the figure links also with Spring-Heeled Jack, who, according to 19th-century Urban Legend in London, could leap high walls in a single bound and perform other, more horrifying, deeds. JTR's nickname testifies to the dual nature of public regard for him: he was loathed as a murderer but also, because of his assumed cleverness, somehow also respected as a Jack. [JG]

see also: Jack the Knife (anth 1975) ed Michel Parry; Ripper! (anth 1988) ed Gardner Dozois and Susan Casper.


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.