When I am writing fiction, my taste runs toward something called “magical realism.”
The wiki has a good summary of the concept:
Magic realism or magical realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction in which magical elements blend with the real world. The story explains these magical elements as real occurrences, presented in a straightforward manner that places the “real” and the “fantastic” in the same stream of thought. It is a film, literary and visual art genre.
I admit to being fascinated with the idea that the most magical things are often those that are the most real and the firmest grip on “reality” often includes things that are just plain magical. I should add that by “magical” I don’t mean warlocks and wands and spells (not that there is anything wrong with all that) but rather events that seem supernatural but exist side by side with perfectly natural happenings.
Perhaps some examples might help. It would be an example of magical realism if:
“a character in the story continues to be alive beyond the normal length of life and this is subtly depicted by the character being present throughout many generations. On the surface the story has no clear magical attributes and everything is conveyed in a real setting, but such a character breaks the rules of our real world. The author may give precise details of the real world such as the date of birth of a reference character and the army recruitment age, but such facts help to define an age for the fantastic character of the story that would turn out to be an abnormal occurrence like someone living for two hundred years.”
I like the friction that occurs when something that seems unreal or impossible exists, side by side and without comment with things that are perfectly normal.
Matthew Strecher defines magic realism as:
“…what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe.” This critical perspective towards magical realism stems from the Western reader’s disassociation with mythology, a root of magical realism more easily understood by non-Western cultures.”
Ahhh. Mythology, that’s the thing. In fact, mythology is the tap root of all magical realism. I think that the great myths all had two intertwined objectives. For example,
A) The city was attacked by an invading army and destroyed which is a truth.
B) “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad,” which is a TRUTH.
“Tribes of Eden” blends the ordinary with the extraordinary in an effort to create a mythical story.
I hope you like it.