While it can easily be argued that the earliest forms of literature were all what today might be called fantasy –Beowulf, The Odyssey, the epic of Gilgamesh—and that the fantastic was a part of mainstream literature for a long time after—Shakespeare, anyone?—in recent decades fantasy and its younger sibling, science fiction, have been relegated to the fringes—read and loved by many, certainly, but not considered to be literary by the cognoscenti and often dismissed in favor of more realistic works. This, however, is a trend that seems to be reversing itself. The current interest in George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” book series, prompted in part by the popular HBO miniseries based upon the books, is but one example. In addition to the public’s discovery of SF-F authors like Martin, those who have been writing in the genre for many years, there is an emerging trend of literary fiction authors turning to more speculative themes. The success of Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Lev Grossman’s The Magicians and, more recently, Justin Cronin’s The Passage seems to have opened a door for other authors to walk through. A variety of other authors, best known for their previous works of literary fiction, have recent or forthcoming works of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.
Bohjalian, Chris. The Night Strangers
Duncan, Glen. The Last Werewolf
Jordan, Hillary. When She Woke
Koryta, Michael. The Ridge
Perotta, Tom. The Leftovers
Shteyngart, Gary. Super Sad True Love Story
Whitehead, Colson. Zone One