|Trope · Genre|
|Related:||Bodyswap, Genderswap, Merpeople, Wings in Fanworks|
|See Also:||Magic (trope)|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Magical realism, or magic realism, is a genre in which fantastical or otherworldly elements are present in what is an otherwise ordinary or mundane setting.
Bodyswap, genderswap, wingfic and other such tropes often fall into this genre, particularly when the physical change in question happens suddenly or without explanation. Time distortions, psychic abilities, curses and the appearance of mythical creatures (e.g. dragons) are also not uncommon.
The balance between magical and mundane is the defining characteristic of this genre; therefore, fics set in environments that are canonically magical or in any way extraordinary (e.g. Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, et.al.) are generally not considered examples of magical realism.
History of the Genre
The first emergence of magical realism in fanfiction is unclear.
Magical realism was highly visible from the early 2000s through the mid 2000s in RPF fandoms such as popslash, bandom and Lotrips; the genre's dependence on real world settings means that it has been warmly embraced by RPF fandoms.
It was also popular in Due South. A fan wrote: ""For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture" is possibly the most useful phrase EVAR. Every fandom should have something akin... it's just unfortunate every fandom isn't steeped in convention-warping magical realism." 
Examples in Fanfiction
Popslash & Bandom
- The Babel Fish Has Forsaken Us and Sixteen Snapshots From the House of Pachinko, both by indiachick (Supernatural)
- lay your head on the riverbed: a One Direction/Radio 1 RPF Tomlinshaw AU where Louis is a river monster, by stigmata
- The Pearl of the Antilles: a Hunger Games Fanfiction/ historic AU in which Peeta Mellark is the Captain of the French Army and Katniss Everdeen is a mulatta courtesan. Steeped in voodoo, The Pearl of the Antilles invokes many of the genres tropes, by titania522
- Meta on Magical Realism by ChokolatteJedi (2018)
- Sexuality and slash fandom (2007 post), indywind