Mapping the Impossible: Journal for Fantasy Research

by Oliver Langmead

Mapping the Impossible is a brand new open-access student journal publishing peer-reviewed research into fantasy and the fantastic. The editorial board and reviewers are composed of current students and recent graduates from institutions across the world, and we are so pleased to be opening for submissions this month. If you’d like to get involved, we are currently looking for reviewers and we would love to hear from you.

We currently have two issues lined up. Our first issue, to be published in October 2021, will be a special issue for papers submitted from this year’s GIFCon. Our second issue, to be published in March 2022, will be a general issue. We operate with a rolling submissions window, and if you’re interested in submitting to us, we would love to see your paper no matter when it’s ready! Check out our submissions page for the details and guidelines.

Mapping the Impossible has been developed specifically with early-career research into fantasy and the fantastic in mind. We exclusively publish papers by current students and recent graduates, and we define “fantasy” very broadly. Our aim is to highlight the brilliant work being done by undergraduates, postgraduates and student researchers looking into fantasy, and give them a new avenue to publication.

We are affiliated with and supported by the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic along with the annual fantasy research conference GIFCon, and are generously hosted by the University of Glasgow. It’s wonderful to be a part of such a vibrant community of fantasts, and we strongly encourage checking out the Centre, GIFCon, and the University of Glasgow’s Masters in Fantasy if the research we’re publishing inspires you.

On a personal note – putting together this journal, along with my colleagues Katarina O’Dette and Emma French, has been a real work of love, and we have a lot of people to thank for helping us get it off the ground. In the first instance, we have to highlight the wonderful work being done over at our sister publication, Press Start, who are publishing early career research in Game Studies and were the inspiration for Mapping the Impossible. The Press Start team have provided us with brilliant support in setting up, and without Matt Barr it’s likely we would have never got off the ground. Everyone at the Centre for Fantasy has been so enthusiastic and helpful, and their guidance has helped us work out the fine details of what you see today. And a special thanks must go to my brilliant sister, Lois Langmead, who was generous enough to donate some really wonderful illustrations to the site.

D&D and Fantasy Fiction: Giants in the Oerth

Calling all aspiring adventurers! Join us on our quest to uncover the literary history behind Dungeons & Dragons with scholar and RPG editor John D. Rateliff, in this event co-hosted by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic and the Games and Gaming Lab at the University of Glasgow!

How has fantasy literature influenced and inspired the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons? How has the relationship between the two fantasy media developed over time? Join us on 28th January 2021 at 6pm (GMT) for an event discussing the history of this much beloved game. Tolkien scholar and RPG designer/editor John D. Rateliff will discuss its early roots in the works of twentieth-century fantasy authors, including J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard. His talk will be followed by a Q&A.

The event will also include a short introduction to contemporary Dungeons & Dragons by Grace A. Worm – with a brief, but fun, dip into how to play!

To participate in the Zoom webinar, book your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dd-and-fantasy-fiction-giants-in-the-oerth-tickets-135728980033

We are also planning to stream this event via our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv3mkKQUDyZ_OcP-uLqJTMA/