Satan, Dracula, Sauron, Lord Foul, Darth Vader. The motif of the Satanic Dark Lord is ever-present in science fiction and fantasy, a malign intelligence seeking to thwart the Chosen One.


In the literature of the 1980s and 90s, the Dark Lord is always defeated. However, post-millennium, there are signs that he has finally begun to get the upper hand, as we witness his change from anti-hero to hero.


In this enthralling study, prize-winning author A J Dalton considers how our understanding and characterisation of Satan has developed over time. From early depictions of Satan as a brutal dragon in the Bible, to the playfully seductive friend in the works of Chaucer and Marlowe, to the sympathetic and sensitive vampire of the modern-day, to the alien and unknowable artificial intelligence of tomorrow.


This book provides a starting point for researchers, writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy interested in the development of one of the biggest tropes in speculative fiction.

The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy

SKU: 9781913387044
  • Print ISBN: 9781913387044

    E-book ISBN: 9781913387051

  • 5* "The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy provides a gripping, provocative look at the myriad (and ever-evolving) religious and cultural manifestations of Satan (both as character and as concept). From "his" religion-borne inception all the way to today's myriad mass-cultural incarnations of a "Dark Lord" by any name, Satan, according to Dalton, seems as common in our lives as is the rising sun. While the book delves deep into the sci-fi and fantasy world as its title promises, it simultaneously sweeps beyond genre to encourage readers of all walks towards a deeper understanding of the human condition--specifically, our shared (and often precarious) balancing act between the light and "the dark side." In his introduction, the author points out that while "Satan" may now be the star of most any popular book or movie with a well-developed villain, it may be that he has "changed from anti-hero to hero" and so, Dalton asks, "do we now recognize ourselves in him? [and] Were we really fighting against ourselves all along?" Such questions are relevant to everyone, and praise be the book that delivers relevance on every page! The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy challenged me to discover answers not only about the world of speculative fiction, but moreover about myself. Highly recommended!" Jos Emerson on