Full record for fantastic adj.

Definition having the quality of fantasy
OED requirements antedating 1934
Earliest cite Hugo Gernsback in Wonder Stories
Comment Jeff Prucher submitted a 1971 cite from Sam Lundwall's "Science Fiction: What It's All About". Jeff Prucher submitted a 1935 cite from a letter in Wonder Stories by Forrest Ackerman. Jeff Prucher submitted a 1934 cite from editorial comments by Hugo Gernsback in Wonder Stories. Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from a blurb by Paul Di Filippo in Polyphony 1. Mark English submitted a 1974 cite from a reprint of Clark Ashton Smith's 1931 "Out of Space and Time"; we would like to verify the original publication in the July 1931 Wonder Stories. Irene Grumman submited a cite from a 1971 reprint of Harry Harrison's 1970 anthology "Nova One".

John Locke submitted a cite from Otis Adelbert Kline's "Writing the Fantastic Story" in an (unpaginated) electronic verion of The Writer from January 1931; we would like to verify this in a print edition.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for fantastic adj.

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1934 Wonder Stories Feb. 793/1 Any one who can enjoy the beautiful tales of Clark Ashton Smith can really appreciate fantastic literature.
1935 F. J. Ackerman in Wonder Stories Feb. 1139/1 ‘The Final Struggle’ unfortunately impressed me as being very bad as a science-fictional, fantastic, or any kind of story.
1942 C. A. Smith City of Singing Flame in Out of Space and Time 61 Angarth, whose fame as a writer of fantastic fiction was already very considerable, had been spending that summer among the Sierras, and had been living alone until the artist, Felix Ebbonly, went to visit him.
1970 H. Harrison Nova One Introd. p. ix, Some of the more enthusiastic science fiction aficionados tend to overstate the claims of this medium. Modern SF definitely does not date back to the second century and Lucian of Samosata, or even to the Gothic and fantastic novels of the last century. It has roots there, of course, just as it has roots in all fiction, being a part of the greater main of fiction.
1971 S. J. Lundwall Sci. Fiction 23 Many fantastic stories and novels these days are set upon another world inhabited by people, and if the author of a particular work was to start off by saying, ‘There is a world in space inhabited by people, and the natural laws of this world are somewhat different from ours, and they are magical,’ one could, generally speaking, say that this is a fantasy. But if he says, ‘Here is this world’,—and it is the same story—leaving implications that this is the result of a colonization experiment from Earth of a thousand or two thousand or ten thousand years before, then it would suddenly become a science fiction story, because the reader has got a basis for suspending his disbelief.
1971 S. J. Lundwall Sci. Fiction 23 Many fantastic stories and novels these days are set upon another world inhabited by people, and if the author of a particular work was to start off by saying, ‘There is a world in space inhabited by people, and the natural laws of this world are somewhat different from ours, and they are magical,’ one could, generally speaking, say that this is a fantasy. But if he says, ‘Here is this world’,—and it is the same story—leaving implications that this is the result of a colonization experiment from Earth of a thousand or two thousand or ten thousand years before, then it would suddenly become a science fiction story, because the reader has got a basis for suspending his disbelief.