Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

These take many forms in fantasy: any phenomenon, from a rainbow to a rain of frogs, may be interpreted within the Story context as a pointer to future events. Usually the importance will not be left to the reader's imagination: thus in Piers Anthony's A Spell for Chameleon (1977) the troubling omen of a chameleon seized by a hawk is finally interpreted by the hero as his own capture (by marriage) of the woman named Chameleon. Omens, despite their reflection in the word "ominous", may presage favourable as well as unfavourable events – unlike Portents. [CB/DRL]

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.