My essay, “Rambles in the Fantastic: Digital Mapping Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and The Last Man” Accepted in Spaces of the Fantastic. forthcoming from Routledge

“Rambles in the Fantastic: Digital Mapping Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and The Last Man” Accepted in Spaces of the Fantastic, Edited by David Punter (University of Bristol) and C. Bruna Mancini (Universitá della Calabria), for publication by Routledge Press. More as details (a table of contents, a cover, a pub. date) become available.



My Chapter, “Fantasy,” is forthcoming in the Cambridge History of Children’s Literature, Origins to 1832

More when this title comes closer to publication!



Philip K. Dick Conference Poster

Be sure to check out the collection forthcoming from McFarland that came out the 2016 Philip K. Dick Conference. Poster by Cliff Cramp.




Keynote delivered at The Romantic Fantastic Conference in Berlin, 2019

I delivered a keynote just recently in Berlin. Here’s a title and link for more information:

David Sandner: Romanticism, Fantasy Literature, Politics. Resistance in the Age of Gaslighting,

at the


Friday, September 20, 2019.



Fantastic Literature: A Critical Reader

My edited collection outlining the historical shape of the critical debates about the nature of the fantastic, Fantastic Literature: A Critical Reader (Praeger, 2004). ISBN 978-0-275-98053-5

Available for purchase at ABC-Clio–Praeger.

Here’s the product description:

Culls together important criticism of fantastic literature from Plato and Aristotle to present critics.

Unprecedented in range and scope, this volume serves as a record of and reference for the development of fantasy literature. Working to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, opening a dialogue wherever possible, Sandner presents the full range of debates concerning the fantastic and its relationship to the sublime, the Gothic, children’s literature, romance and comedy, and the purposes of imaginative literature. Introductions to each essay, presented in full or excerpted for the most relevant commentary, situate the reader in the history of fantasy literature and the criticism it has inspired.

New and important here are the claims for the early development of fantasy literature from the 18th century sublime. Previous histories of the genre regard Romanticism as a limit, but this reader draws from 18th, 19th, 20th, and even 21st century texts, revealing the unimagined scope of the field and developing a map of its early history for the first time. This important new volume presents, ultimately, the development of critical debates about the fantastic and its relationship to literature generally.


The Fantastic Sublime

My first book, The Fantastic Sublime: Romanticism and Transcendence in Children’s Fantasy Literature (Praeger, 1996).

ISBN 978-0-313-30084-4 and eISBN 978-0-313-02977-6

Still available for purchase at the ABC-Clio site.

Here’s the description:

Examines the ways in which Romanticism took part in the revolution of the view of fantasy literature, arguing that nineteenth-century children’s fantasy cultivated a new image of children and the role of imagination.

Many Victorian and Edwardian fantasy stories began as extemporaneous oral tales told for the delight of children and, like Alice in Wonderland and The Wind in the Willows, were written down by chance. These fanciful stories, told with child-like spontaneity, are analyzed here to argue their role in the revolution not only of children’s literature, but of the general conception of childhood. In contrast to the traditional moral tales of the 18th century that were written with the express purpose of instructing children how to become adults, this literature that Sandner identifies as the fantastic sublime reveled in the imagination and the enjoyment of reading. By looking at the structure of the Romantic sublime and inventing and exploring the structure of the fantastic sublime, this work offers a completely new way to examine 19th-century children’s fantasy literature, and perhaps, fantastic literature in general.

The study begins with a look at works by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, focusing on the 18th-century view of childhood and fantasy. This book expands on the notion that English Romanticism played a significant role in preparing adults to accept fantasy literature for children. Connections are made to the works of Kenneth Grahame, George MacDonald, and Christina Rossetti.


Critical Discourses of the Fantastic, 1712-1831

Purchase a copy at Critical Discourses of the Fantastic, 1712-1831 (Ashgate, 2011). This work was a Finalist for the 2013 and 2014 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies.