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John F Roe

Much science and fantasy fiction is written in a predominantly realist mode. This is the most economical means of signifying the internal truth of its fictional worlds, no matter how strange its aliens, or how superhuman the powers of its heroes. So, for example, Tolkien writes, ‘Holding the hobbits gently but firmly, one in the crook of each arm, Treebeard lifted up first one large foot and then the other; and moved them to the edge of the shelf.’ Whatever his nature – half-Ent, half-tree – Treebeard comfortably occupies the grammatical subject position.

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