Journal article Open Access
Croatian speculative fiction in the last quarter of the century has been dominated by the city of Zagreb. There are three anthologies depicting the capital of Croatia and visions of its future: Zagreb 2004 (1995), Zagreb 2014 (1998) and Zagreb 2094 (2004). Also, in Croatian dystopian fiction, the popularity of which has grown rapidly since 2010, the city becomes a metaphor for the problem of exclusion and deep inequalities between the centre and the periphery. The changes in the literary image of Zagreb over the last twenty-five years illustrate not only the changing perception of an urban space and different ways of experiencing the city by writers, but also depict the evolution of speculative fiction in Croatia by distinguishing its most important elements: the growth of the importance of local motifs and places, as well as blurring the rigid genre boundaries and the evolution towards the so-called slipstream fiction. Thanks to the analysis of literary images of Zagreb, questions about the attitude of fantasy literature of that time towards the main contemporary issues can be raised. The article finally offers a possibility to define either the subversive or conciliatory character of fantasy works in the context of the most dominant ideologies of that time.