Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Magic supernatural beings from Islamic Folklore, some good, some bad, most adept at Shapeshifting. They help or hinder, sometimes frivolously. A well known genie is the female version played by Barbara Eden in the US tv series, I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970).

Genies are frequently confused or identified with djinns, who are supernatural beings specifically (though not necessarily accurately) identified with Arabia by Western users of traditional material. These also manifest themselves as good or evil, and shapeshift. They may be Invisible; they can be trapped, and can be forced to obey those who release them from bottles or lamps, etc. They are lower than Angels, but not necessarily much. They appear in many Arabian Fantasies. The djinn in Aladdin (1992) is described as a genie. [JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.