Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Though often used to describe anything strange and unusual, the word strictly means something outside our knowledge, the same as "beyond our ken", and thus not necessarily supernatural. Tzvetan Todorov's continuum of the Fantastic placed the uncanny at the most rationalized end of the scale (see Rationalized Fantasy). However, because the uncanny is beyond our understanding it brings with it obvious connotations of fear, and the term is thus frequently used in relation to both Horror and Supernatural Fiction. [MA]

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.