Modern fantasy can be divided into five main types:
This is fantasy concerned wholly with another world, usually one with unique places and intelligent races besides humans, although this is not a requirement. In High Fantasy, no link exists between the fantastic world and ours; the stories simply take place in the lands of the author’s imagination. Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain and Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea are good examples of high fantasy. This website will mainly concern itself with this, the "purest" form of fantasy.
This type of fantasy involves people from our world traveling to a fantastic place or, very rarely, people from that fantastic place coming to ours. The fantastic places that the heroes travel to usually have much in common with the worlds in High Fantasy; that is, they are magical and self-sufficient lands where magic is used and various fantastic creatures exist. Good examples of Crossover Fantasy are C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story (1979). Many examples of Crossover Fantasy are present in this website. This type of fantasy also includes fantasy which involves people in this world finding fantastic objects or fantastic creatures.
This type of fantasy is usually presented by the author as a dream. It is often very strange and usually allegorical. A good example of Dream Fantasy is George MacDonald’s Phantastes (1858). Dream Fantasy will not be discussed in this website.
This type of fantasy is similar to the "traveler’s tails" discussed elsewhere. While it usually contains some fantastic creatures/places, this type of fantasy lacks magic and is altogether too "normal" to be included here. Examples include Edgar Rice Burroughs’ At the Earth’s Core (1922) and Charles Derennes’ Le Peuple du Póle (1907).
This type of fantasy is not to be confused with straight science fiction. Stories in this vein take place on other planets or in the far future, usually after an atomic war. It is sometimes very hard to distinguish between Science Fiction Fantasy and straight science fiction; attempts has been made to distinguish between the two in the material on this site. An excellent example Andre Norton’s Witch World (1963).
These types, obviously, are often very blurry; there are no solid lines in fantasy. For now, just relax and enjoy the site.