1. Solokeh Krontos
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    Solokeh Krontos New Member

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    Blurring the Lines Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Solokeh Krontos, Apr 5, 2016.

    I am writing a novella about an angel of sorts. She has been sent to Earth by the council of the Gods to free the holy soldiers bound to this planet. At least, that's the simplistic explanation. When you look at this story through a Sci-Fi lens you see that the "Gods" are actually alien species who have ascended to become singular beings. They cannot themselves commit acts, lest they lose their holy standing in the council. Instead, they genetically engineer holy beings such as this angel and these soldiers, to commit acts for them. Each member of the Ultimacy (Council) is at war with all other members of the council, but cannot make war directly. Thus we have the soldiers. This angel is a special being. She is immortal, sent to certain ages of the earth to free soldiers left behind millennia ago by past battles. My question is, does this sound like Sci-Fi or Fantasy, and is there even a difference? Thank you for all response and consideration.

    - Sincerely, Solokeh Krontos
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  2. sahlmi
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    sahlmi Active Member

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    I think is sci-fi with fantasy touches. Someone else may say Fantasy with sci-fi touches. But I'd be more concerned about writing a really good story than classifying it.
    Considering it's written well and engaging, fans of either genre might enjoy it. I lean more to the fantasy side (using "fantasy" in the old classical sense, not so much what it is today), but I'd hardly put down a story I liked because sci-fi elements came into play. Wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to me if I liked the story.
     
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  3. Solokeh Krontos
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    Solokeh Krontos New Member

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    @sahlmi
    I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for the response. Is there anywhere on these forums where I could post what I have for review? I'm quite new here.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    @Solokeh Krontos

    The Workshop is the place to post work for review. But you have to be a member for 14 days before you can use it, and you have to have 20 posts in the forum. Also, you have to post critiques of two other works posted there before you can use it, so that people don't just post their work without ever contributing in return.

    Welcome to the forums, by the way. The premise of your story sounds interesting. I think whether it is SF or Fantasy will depend on the implementation.
     
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  5. Solokeh Krontos
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    Solokeh Krontos New Member

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    @Steerpike
    Thanks, I'll definitely check out the Workshop, it sounds like an excellent tool.
     
  6. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    I absolutely love a good sci-fi fantasy hybrid. Or the idea of it at least. Star wars is a great example. Are you actually planning on letting the reader in that they are aliens, or will it just be open to interpretation?

    Is the angel a hybrid or an android?

    Sounds like you've been listening to alot of coast to coast am, haha. But that's not a bad thing. I've gotten lots of sci-fi ideas from that show
     
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  7. Uisdean
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    Uisdean Member

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    I'm new here, too. I've been reading the thread where the Romance Writers read Sci-Fi: they're reading Dune. The question came up about Fantasy vs. Sci-Fi, and I offered the following in my comments:

    "Concerning Fantasy vs. Science Fiction: consider the iPad or your computer connected to a WebCam. Is this not much like a crystal ball? I can see and talk to my wife using my iPhone. What would Shakespeare think of that? I won't go back and copy the quote, but someone suggested that Fantasy used Magic and Sci-Fi used Science. The idea was that if it's plausible then it is Science Fiction. Many of our ancestors believed that Magic was plausible. We don't consider Aladdin's lamp to be plausible, but our ancestors did. Same for the magic mirror in Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. I think the Brothers Grimm would see their story as plausible. For them the mirror is Science Fiction: perhaps not normal or even possible, but certainly plausible. Even today's children see it a plausible."

    Reading your description of your story makes me think of Tolkien's description of the beginning of the world. (I think in Children of Hurin, but I'm not sure which book.) C. S. Lewis, in his sci-fi trilogy, gives us a glimpse into what the heavens are like, and how angels interact on earth.

    I don't know much about publishing. But I think you get classified by the publisher. I am guessing that "genre" is a marketing tool, not an actual aspect of the writing process. Write the story. Don't worry about what genre.
     
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  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Before or after George Noory screwed it up? :D
     
  9. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    (Hehe, I knew someone on here would take the bait.)

    Well both, I guess. George Snoore-y does do more of the more outlandish stuff I think, with angels and such.

    I'm really liking Jimmy Church though, I wish he would have been asked to take over Midnight in the desert.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not familiar with Church. I really haven't listened much since Noory took over from Bell. I lived in St. Louis when George had his local show and thought he was pretty bad.
     
  11. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    Jimmy is on weekends, I think. I really only listen to what my partner puts on at bedtime, so I don't know if it's all weekend or just Saturdays. He has a very conversational tone, like Bell, and doesn't act like every outlandish thing is completely believable.
     
  12. Yoav
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    Yoav Member

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    The book I am writing myself is also a hybrid of fantasy and Science fiction, where society reemerges after a world apocalypse and it's a mostly feudal dystopian world. Somewhat along the lines of Fallout.
     
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  13. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    I personally don't really think it matters if it's Science Fiction or Fantasy. A book is a book is a book. Not sure why it can't have multiple tags.

    What if your main character was a zombie cyborg magician victorian vampire poet? Good luck telling me the genre of that book.

    My book's background plot is Sci-Fi. My character development is Young Adult. My plot development is Sci-Fi. Yet due to my Sci-Fi roots, I can put in absolutely any genre and make it a majority of any book in the series. Romance, horror, fantasy, or whatever. Bits and pieces in each if I want.
     
  14. sahlmi
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    sahlmi Active Member

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    that would be "Bizarro." heh.
    Yes, that's an actual genre.
     
  15. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're definitely in the "SFF" continuum (Sci-Fi/Fantasy), but you're also definitely existing in the blur zone between the two.

    The term I've been hearing applied to such stuff is "New Weird" - and it's definitely marking itself out as a subgenre. I've not read any of it frankly, but the exemplars I usually hear cited are China Mieville and Jeff VanderMeer. People like Nnedi Okorafor also seem to blur those lines.
     
  16. Kinzvlle
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    Kinzvlle Active Member

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    Well science fantasy is a thing.
    Taken from it`s Wikipedia page. I would say you`r story falls somewhere along those lines, or at least the very edge of scfi and science fanstey only because there not really gods and you can explain the immortality and time travel with science mumbo jumble if you really wished to. Dark Matter on the Scify channel (just realseid that`s why they spell it with a fy...) explains Two`s healing powers by fixer nanites. Really though just focusing on writing the story you want to write, the genre matters more when you get to publishing and marketing stage of things for now just write the story that you`re setting out to write and see where it leads. You can boil down the genre later, once it`s done.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's the names you've chosen to use that hint at fantasy rather than sci-fi. If you wrote the same story without using the names, god, angels and holy, it would be more sci-fi than not.

    A number of books, sci-fi and fantasy, take this path, implying humans on Earth assigned the names to explain phenomena that seemed miraculous to them. Or in the case of Childhood's End by AC Clarke the alien keeps himself hidden because he looks like the human image of the devil as does his home planet look like hell. It adds an element of, 'should you trust this guy'?

    The time travel aspect could go either way.
     
  18. Domino355
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    Domino355 Contributing Member

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    I love that idea. Sci Fi and Fantasy are very similar genres, look at how much conventions they share. Also, as mentioned earlier, the lines between these genres blur quite often.
    Examples:
    Inheritance: While I didn't really like the series, it had an interesting approach to magic. The magic system has so many rules and structures, you can almost call it a science. Just a different sort, from an alternate universe and such.
    His Dark Materials: Firstly, I loved that series. On the whole it is a fantasy series, but its basis, the Dust, acts more like an additional set of rules. And any "magical" device there is described more like an invention than anything else.
     
  19. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    I feel that you could write that entire story without bringing in any fantasy. None of it is beyond the realm of current science (unless they are traveling superluminally?). The universe is very old and estimates of how heavy elements are created puts the first potential lifeforms at about 7 billion years ago. Out there in the depths of space, there are probably beings that have existed for a billion years or more. Uploading a mind to a computer is within the grasp of humanity in one, maybe two more generations, so immortality is nothing fantasy.

    My biggest problem is: why? Why would immortal creatures give a crap about mortal beings on an obscure planet at the edge of the galaxy? And what makes humans so special? The intellectual difference between humans and chimps would be nothing compared to the gap between us and your gods. It'd be like me intervening with an ant colony for some reason. If I lived for a billion years, I would have no interest in a species who's entire civilization has only been around for 10,000.
     
  20. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    It depends on which classification you feel most creative working with. They technically have different definitions.

    In general, sci-fi has an expectation of being believable in terms of the concepts being plausible based on the rules of real-life science.

    In fantasy, you create your own rules. They need to be consistent and well-planned, but they don't need to be limited by the possibilities of real world science, and you can invent anything you want.
     
  21. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Your work sounds very much like Christopher Moore but without the comedy element (you didn't say anything about comedy/humour, so I'm assuming it's not a factor). He's classified by Wikipedia as comic fantasy, so I'd say yours is fantasy.

    A mixture of science fiction and fantasy is almost always classified as fantasy by the mainstream.
     
  22. WingDingGaster
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    The stories I've had in mind are a sci-fi/fantasy blend as well, with psychic abilities and magick existing in an otherwise futuristic setting. So it can be done, I think.
     

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