Bangsian fantasy

Today I learned that “Bangsian Fantasy” is the name for stories using the afterlife as the main setting, where characters are often famous historical or fictional figures.

Bangsian Fantasy is named for John Kendrick Bangs (1862–1922), who often wrote in the genre. Other examples include the Riverworld series, by Philip Jose Farmer, and the Heroes in Hell books by numerous authors.

Would “Beetlejuice and “Ghost” be considered Bangsian Fantasy? These are stories where the ghosts aren’t scary monsters – or just scary monsters – but rather are characters. I say “definitely yes” to Beetlejuice and “maybe” to “Ghost.” In Beetlejuice there’s a clear sense of a world and society existing for the dead—less so for “Ghost.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s