Fantasy is a fiction genre set in an imaginary universe, often but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Most fantasy uses magic or other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Magic and magical creatures are common in many of these imaginary worlds. Fantasy is generally distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the expectation that it steers clear of scientific and macabre themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three, all of which are subgenres of speculative fiction.
In popular culture, the fantasy genre is predominantly of the medievalist form. In its broadest sense, however, fantasy comprises works by many writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians from ancient myths and legends to many recent and popular works.
Fantasy is studied in a number of disciplines including English and other language studies, cultural studies, comparative literature, history and medieval studies. Work in this area ranges widely from the structuralist theory of Tzvetan Todorov, which emphasizes the fantastic as a liminal space, to work on the connections (political, historical and literary) between medievalism and popular culture.