Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Things Bought at Too High a Cost

Short-term gains which have dire penalties in the long term. They are often a result of greed, and may be the outcome of treasures gained through Three Wishes. The sampling of the fruit of the tree of knowledge by Adam and Eve – resulting in expulsion from Eden – is the primary example. Anything gained as a result of a Pact with the Devil will always be a TBATHAC, as exemplified in the Faust legend and in such classic novels as Vathek (1786) by William Beckford and Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) by Charles Maturin. Some TBATHACs may result in self-Sacrifice to save others. [MA]

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.