This fictional genre contains elements that are not realistic in terms of the contemporary everyday world in which most of us live. Fantasy stories may contain magic, talking animals, paranormal creatures and human-like characters that possess paranormal or supernatural powers.
The what-if of make-believe is what this genre is all about.
Another description of a Fantasy Novel is any story that contains unrealistic settings. Many fantasy tales, especially sword and sorcery or high fantasy tales are often set in a medieval universe, or possibly involve mythical beings or supernatural forms as a primary element of the plot, theme, or setting.
Something magical is almost always part of fantasy and magic may be seen in the setting or in the plot. It may even be practiced by the characters.
Fairy tales by known authors, such as Hans Christian Andersen, are considered modern fantasy and have no problem relating to young children. Most children grow up believing in fantasy. They wish on stars, clap their hands, wait for tooth fairies, talk to their stuffed animals and play with imaginary friends.
Lovers of paranormal enjoy some form of fantasy. There are dozens of subgenres in fantasy, and the category is still growing.
Urban fantasy is a genre of stories that most often take place in urban or modern settings that contain a secretive subculture of supernatural beings and/or paranormal elements. The settings are often exotic and the story lines often contain a lot of action and adventure, with the heroes on a quest to accomplish some near-impossible task or retrieve some world-altering boon.
It is one of the fastest growing categories in terms of popularity, especially with the advent of such apocalyptic hits as The Walking Dead, Under the Dome, and The Whispers.
Science Fiction differs from fantasy because of the addition of high tech devices and alien beings or locations.