Talk:Bangsian fantasy

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Bangsian fantasy:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests: Create a new, broader article on the general topic of 'fictional depictions of the afterlife', which have major cultural impact totally separate from Bangs's legacy.
  • Cleanup: Move the huge list into the category


Hades was a God, not a location. His domain was the Underworld, which is the correct synonym for Hell, not Hades.

This contrasts with Hades, please sort it out there. Vagary 08:01, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

"Hell" doesn't sound right[edit]

Bangsian fantasy is the school of fantasy writing that sets the plot wholly or partially in Hell.

Based on the two existing Bangs book articles, this opening sentence sounds just plain wrong. As is pointed out in these articles and in the Bangsian fantasy article itself:

  1. "Hell" clearly has a modern connotation of a Christian afterlife for a selected set of evil people.
  2. Bangs wrote about a universal afterlife, modelled after the Greek Hades.

Does the literary term follow the Hell connotation or the Bangsian approach? The article text seems to be ambiguous and even self-contradicting on this rather critical point. I'm especially interested in the answer because, if "Bangsian fantasy" follows Bangs' writings more than Dante's Inferno, then one of my all-time favorite stories, Philip José Farmer's Riverworld series, is surely one of the best modern takes on this concept, including both the universality of the afterlife and the use of notable historical figures as chief protagonists and antagonists. In fact, it sounds like Farmer's work was inspired directly by Bangs. — Jeff Q 03:31, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I've read that Riverworld was a "direct descendent" of Bangsian fantasy. In any case, Bangsian fantasy deals with the afterlife. Perhaps Hades is, in fact, the best description. -Litefantastic 10:45, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Bangers Society[edit]

A relatively new secret society, the Bangers Society, is based on Bangsian fantasy. It is a society that anyone can join. The members express their opinions through writing (fiction and non-fiction), art, philosophy, film, theatre, and other such things.

Usually there is an annual Bangers Ball that the society holds. The attendants are usually dressed as dead people or ghosts or grim reapers. The Bangers Ball is not usually held on Halloween, but in the spring.

The Bangers Society is usually a society that is formed at universities and colleges. Usually members start by watching Bangsian fantasy films and reading books on the theme. Examples of these sort of things would be: 'The Inferno' by Dante, John Kendrick Bangs' Associated Shades series of books, books by Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Beetlejuice', 'Meet Joe Black', 'Death Takes A Holiday', and tv shows like 'Dead Like Me'. The group will usually review these and have group discussions. The Bangers Society also promotes and encourages its members to express their views through art and literature and by any other means. The Bangers Society is also known to hold seances fairly regularly in order to learn anything new.


I'm not 100% sure I understand this concept, but the Dragonball saga features the afterlife very prominently. Would it qualify as a Bangsian fantasy? --Feitclub 00:16, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

Nevermind, I forgot the "mostly historical figures" aspect.--Feitclub 00:17, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
  • Well, the historical figure aspect is secondary, so maybe we should reconsider this? Jack Cain 08:30, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Also, Disgaea, which also takes place almost entirely in a sort of afterlife. Jack Cain 08:32, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Read or Die[edit]

This Anime features clones of historical figures prominently, should it be mentioned?

So does Clone High, from which I've just removed the description as "Bangsian". It's not. The most salient feature of Bangsian fantasy is that it takes place in the afterlife, not that it features historical characters (though prominent, it's a secondary feature). 28 June 2005 11:11 (UTC)

Dante wrote fanfiction?[edit]

"For his part, Dante's works verge into the territory of fan fiction at times, using not just the dead but famous fictional personae as well." Is this a joke? Please tell me it's a joke.-Silence 07:35, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

I strongly suggest that the above phrase ("For his part, Dante's works verge into the territory of fan fiction at times, using not just the dead but famous fictional personae as well") be removed from this article as it is not directly related to the topic covered in this article, is questionable in its accuracy, and appears to qualify as original research. — James.S 07:35, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Sources, anyone?[edit]

While the phrase "Bangsian fantasy" can be understood by anyone who has read John Kendrick Bangs, I'm not aware of it being widely used as a descriptive term by critics, scholars, writers, or literary taxonomists. It's not often applied to stories set in an afterlife--perhaps because so few people have read Bangs. Phil Farmer has, and copped the idea of a boatload of famous dead folk interacting for Riverworld. But that's about it. Or have I missed a notable and widely-used term? RLetson 03:52, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, it would seem a lot more appropriate to me for there at least to be a more inclusive title, as one of the earliest and most famous titles under this moniker is 'The Divine Comedy', which of course greatly predates Bangs himself. Why not, in the absence of a more agreed-upon neutral term, something like 'Fictional depictions of the afterlife'?Rdr0 (talk) 12:56, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

works of bangsian fantasy[edit]

I removed the followng list from the article:

The woks may be listed in the article only if you provide a reference to a critical work which defines the particular item as "Bangsian fantasy", per WP:CITE. `'Míkka>t 00:42, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Since the article is about an obscure "school of fantasy", they're not going to get critical works using the term. A new article should be made about all other works which are set in the afterlife but aren't in the legacy of Bangs. Such an article would meet notability requirements since, starting with Dante, they have a major cultural impact. Therefore, please create a new article? - (talk) 15:17, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
In the absence of a definition that states about dead people( I simplify the current def.) and in the style of Bangs the books about dead people belong in the list. I would limit it to the written word and remove other media.Nitpyck (talk) 00:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
An improved definition is in order. Why isn't Dante's Divine Comedy a Bangsian fantasy? Heinlein's Job? They seem to fit the definition as it stands. For that matter, the legend of Orpheus takes place substantially in the afterlife. Wyvern (talk) 09:28, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I've removed these also from the list since the references to Bangsian are to this page.
  1. Heaven/Hell/Earth/Wasteland/War (2007), Podiobook novellas by Mur Lafferty [2]
  2. Lucifer and Lacious (2007), novella by Sean Vincent Lehosit[3]
  3. ^ Heaven Novel "About Heaven". Mur Lafferty. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  4. ^ Lucifer and Lacious Review "Hope Chest Review". Julie Miles. Retrieved 2009-04-26.Nitpyck (talk) 06:45, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Who When and Where[edit]

Who coined the term Bangsian Fantasy; where was it first used; and when was it first used? Most of the internet hits lead back to this article. I'm confused by the proliferation of sub-genres found in Wikipedia and wonder if many of them are just made up. Nitpyck (talk) 06:25, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

With much searching I have found one reference to Bangsian Fantasy which predates this article. In that source it is defined as by or in the style of J K Bangs. Unless someone can come up with some sources we should consider killing this page. Nitpyck (talk) 04:29, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Bleiler, Everett F. "The Guide to Supernatural Fiction" page 25, Kent State Univ Press (March 1983)

ISBN-10: 0873382889 ISBN-13: 978-0873382885 Nitpyck (talk) 20:23, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Removed the earlier definition again. A reliable source for that definition has been requested since 2007 without any response. As far as I have been able to determine that definition was made up in this article. There is no earlier citation for it. Nitpyck (talk) 05:52, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

What is this article about?[edit]

In its current state, it seems to me that this article gives absolutely no definition of Bangsian fantasy. I don't feel qualified to make any edits to the effect of explaining it, but I feel like it needs to be mentioned. Shardwing (talk) 01:51, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

The definition is "a story in which important literary and historical personalities serve humorously as characters in a slender plot line". Nitpyck (talk) 04:39, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
But I was previously under the impression that it had something to do with the afterlife? Shardwing (talk) 01:16, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
There were no sources reliable or otherwise for that definition. Nitpyck (talk) 14:04, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Added in a few more definitions. Damiantgordon (talk) 14:49, 7 June 2010 (UTC)


This is an article asserting the existence of a literary (sub?)genre, and manages to cite not a single example of the genre, apart from Bangs' own works. Seems rather pointless. (talk) 02:07, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

There are some examples here: Damiantgordon (talk) 14:53, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

3 cites are no good[edit]

In order to add the afterlife part of Bangsian fantasy you need a cite that comes from something older than this page. It appears, that all the references to Bangsian referring to stories set in the afterlife derive from this Wikipedia article. (talk) 15:42, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I get what you are saying, and totally respect your view, but two quick points, 1) I've added a book from 2003 which pre-dates this article, 2) Even if the term didn't include "the afterlife" element before this article (which it did), is that a big problem? Clearly there are books that now accept "the afterlife" element, so it has become part of the canonical definition of Bangsian, we should not worry as to where terms originate, we should just look at how they are being used canonically, I see this as the "prevaricate"/"procrastinate" arguement. Damiantgordon (talk) 16:48, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Fantastic - as you can see this has been asked for since 2007 - and I had given up hope of ever seeing a source that predated this page. I could find a lot of online uses but all of them came after this was up. I was concerned that in fact Wikipedia had created this definition and usage; and that is something we should worry about. Nitpyck (talk) 01:44, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

lead sentence[edit]

the opening sentence says "often wrote it". he wrote the genre? he wrote IN that particular genre. careful with the grammar. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 20:34, 21 August 2012 (UTC)