I never used to understand why bookstores had a section called Sci-Fi/Fantasy. They seemed so completely different. Then again, I read neither.
I read spy novels (Jean le Carre, Nelson DeMille), straight fiction (Sydney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer), and later, action/adventure (Stuart Woods, Clive Cussler).
Multiple dimensions, time travel, parallel universes, mystical/fantastical creatures, unexplainable phenomenon.
And now I know why. It depends on whether you are looking forward or backward.
Forward: If you took a cell phone and traveled back in time, depending on how far back you went you would…
- Be ignored
- Be attacked
- Be mobbed
- Be embraced
I left off burned at the stake but that is definitely on the roulette wheel.
This suggests that technological advancement would be considered science fiction as opposed to fantasy if you were backward in time.
I’m simplifying in order to make a point.
Backward: If you were backward in time and saw the use of pyrotechnics (gun powder – a technological advancement) as brought from Asia to Europe, you would likely consider it “magick” and therefore in the realm of fantasy.
Cauldron of the Gods. I was using a spell as a plot device earlier today and recalled a similar use in a science fiction series I’d seen years earlier – though it wasn’t accomplished by way of a spell. It made me see how a person’s view – sci-fi or fantasy – would change depending whether they were looking forward or backward.
As I wrote this, I recalled a confrontation in Star Wars IV: A New Hope between Darth Vader and Motti.
“Don’t try to frighten us with your sorceror’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels’ hidden fort…”
Another example of the two genres coexisting within one framework.
Much as Lucas’ unseen until then special effects technology brought an uneducated audience into the future of cinema.
I’ve always found it ironic that I have never been a big fantasy or science fiction reader, though I have read a variety of books classified under those genres throughout my life.
One of my very favorites is a short story I read in 8th grade. Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed by Ray Bradbury.
In the end I just accepted that what I am is a storyteller and though my settings may vary, my art does not.
The art of telling a good story.
Looking Forward. If all goes as scheduled I should have the first draft of Cauldron of the Gods, – first in the Dragon Core series – finished within the next week. In the meantime, Metatron’s Legacy, a science fiction story, is set for release in late 2019.