Canons of Fantasy: Lands of High Adventure

Canons of Fantasy: Lands of High Adventure by Patrick Moran has recently been published by Cambridge University Press. It is part of their new series titled “Elements in Publishing and Book Culture.”


Despite publishing endeavours such as the “Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series” in the 1970s and “Fantasy Masterworks” in the early 2000s, the canon of modern fantasy is still very much in flux.

This Element examines four key questions raised by the prospect of a fantasy canon:

  1. the way in which canon and genre influence each other;
  2. the overwhelming presence of Tolkien in any discussion of the classics of fantasy;
  3. the multi-media and transmedia nature of the field;
  4. and the push for a more inclusive and diverse canon.



Dr. Patrick Moran is a fantasy novelist in addition to being a medieval scholar. He is an Assistant Professor of Medieval French Literature at UBC since 2018, after teaching at various French and Canadian universities (Université Paris-Sorbonne, Université Lyon 2, Université Montpellier 3, McMaster University, University of Ottawa, Université Laval). He holds a PhD from the Université Paris-Sorbonne and is a former student of the École Normale Supérieure. His research focuses on Medieval narrative genres of the 12th and 13th centuries, primarily Arthurian romance and chanson de geste. His work explores the intersection between literary theory (especially reader-response, narrative theory and cognitive poetics) and material philology. He has also published a fantasy novel and a handful of science fiction and fantasy short stories.