“We are looking for realistic worlds that exhibit some sort of magical or supernatural element taken by the people in that world to be real. If fantasy shows us a world where ghosts exist, magical realism offers up a world where ghosts are pedestrian. In fantasy ghosts are the whole point. In magical realism ghosts are not the whole point.”
—the guidelines for the magazine doppelgänger, edited by James Hodgson
I’ve always struggled with the distinction, so this is helpful.