The popularity of the work may in part be due to greater popular knowledge of history and geography since it was written.
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This meant that the plausibility of great marvels had to be set at a greater distance of time "long ago" and place "far away". This is a process that continues, and finally culminates in fantasy fiction having little connection, if any, to actual times and places.
A number of elements from Arabian mythology and Persian mythology are now common in modern fantasysuch as geniesbahamutsmagic carpetsmagic lamps, etc. Frank Baum proposed writing a modern fairy tale that banished stereotypical elements he felt the genie, dwarf and fairy were stereotypes to avoid.
One example is "The Adventures of Bulukiya", where the protagonist Bulukiya's quest for the herb of immortality leads him to explore the seas, journey to the Garden of Eden and to Jahannamand travel across the cosmos to different worlds much larger than his own world, anticipating elements of galactic science fiction;  along the way, he encounters societies of jinns mermaidstalking serpentstalking treesand other forms of life.
Other Arabian Nights tales deal with lost ancient technologies, advanced ancient civilizations that went astray, and catastrophes which overwhelmed them.
These works are said to have been inspired by several Moorish delegations from Morocco to Elizabethan England at the beginning of the 17th century. Both of these narratives had protagonists Hayy in Philosophus Autodidactus and Kamil in Theologus Autodidactus who were autodidactic feral children living in seclusion on a desert islandboth being the earliest examples of a desert island story.
However, while Hayy lives alone with animals on the desert island for the rest of the story in Philosophus Autodidactus, the story of Kamil extends beyond the desert island setting in Theologus Autodidactus, developing into the earliest known coming of age plot and eventually becoming the first example of a science fiction novel.
Rather than giving supernatural or mythological explanations for these events, Ibn al-Nafis attempted to explain these plot elements using the scientific knowledge of biologyastronomycosmology and geology known in his time. His main purpose behind this science fiction work was to explain Islamic religious teachings in terms of science and philosophy through the use of fiction. These translations later inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoea candidate for the title of " first novel in English ".
Persian literature and Pahlavi literature Ferdowsi 's Shahnamehthe national epic of Iranis a mythical and heroic retelling of Persian history.
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It is the longest epic poem ever written. From Persian culture the book which would, eventually, become the most famous in the west is the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
Amir Arsalan was also a popular mythical Persian story, which has influenced some modern works of fantasy fiction, such as The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Examples of early Persian proto- science fiction include Al-Farabi 's Opinions of the residents of a splendid city about a utopian society, Al-Qazwini 's futuristic tale of Awaj bin Anfaq about a man who travelled to Earth from a distant planet, and elements such as the flying carpet.
The epic took form in the 10th century and reached its final form by the 14th century; the number and type of tales have varied from one manuscript to another.