1. Kyix
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    Kyix New Member

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    Can you cross science fiction and Fantasy into one Novel

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Kyix, Oct 24, 2012.

    I want to write a fantasy Novel but I also want to write a science fiction Novel so i was wondering if combining them would result in disaster.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you are capable, it certainly can be done. Read Piers Anthony's The Apprentice Adept series (begins with Split Infinity).

    But disaster is a very likely outcome, regardless.
     
  3. lixAxil
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    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

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    I have done it before, I assure you, is possible.
     
  4. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Genre is only a name. What matters is the story you're trying tell, not what genre it is or isn't. If it ends up in disaster is totally up to you!
     
  5. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    It takes a lot of panache to pull of either genre successfully by itself. To put them together and have the end-product be readable would be quite a feat. The Apprentice Adept seemed passable when I last read it, 30 years ago. The Dragnriders of Pern, which has elements of both genres as well, not so much, but that was more McCaffrey's writing than the structure of the original trilogy, anyway.
     
  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Star Wars.






    Ok.... not a novel, but still....
     
  7. Thromnambular
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    Thromnambular Member

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    And the Warhammer 40,000 franchise, which is a game franchise (though TONS of novels have been written in its setting) that combines fantasy and science fiction extremely well.

    If you asked me, I'd tell you to just do it and not wonder if it'll work or not. Whether or not it'll work is up to you.
     
  8. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it has fantasy in it, wouldn't it just be considered fantasy???????????
     
  9. lixAxil
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    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

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    How about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    What if it also has sci-fi in it?
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What sorta fantasy and sci-fi elements will there be? I know a user on this forum whose WIP is set in a fantasy world with kings and feuds etc but also with advanced technology - does that count as a mix? :D Tbh I'd love to mix sci-fi and fantasy - I love the wacky things that can happen in fantasy, but I hate coming up with a magic system, which is where "technology" becomes convenient, but equally I'm not into hardcore tech like real sci-fi.

    Something like Hunger Games was perfect for me - surreal setting that doesn't have all the background fantasy has for me to wade through and without the tech jargon! I've always wondered if HG is considered sci-fi? Something like soft sci-fi?
     
  12. Thromnambular
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    Thromnambular Member

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    Yes, Hunger Games is definitely dystopian science fiction--which is a genre I love. :)
     
  13. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm surprised that nobody has used the words "Science Fantasy" yet, which is definitely an established, if something of a niche, genre. I have to agree with a previous poster, though, about genre only being a name. You can write whatever story you like in whatever setting you like. Just remember that you need to be consistent with your setting details. Don't change stuff half way through.

    And remember that it's not so much a case of having parts be sci-fi and parts be fantasy. That's just a hotpot of tropes. I personally think Christopher Priest's Inverted World is a really good example of well-blended science fantasy. It's sort of hard to distinguish where the line between the fantasy and the science fiction is.
     
  14. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's like a vegetarian saying he can eat a cheeseburger because it has lettuce on it.

    Science fiction implies that your world, and its elements, are at least remotely plausible. If something in your story does have any plausible explanation for it, then the story itself is implausible, making it fantasy.

    Jurassic Park and Dinotopia are both novels about dinosaurs but only the former has any plausibility to it.

    Books like, for instance, Thomas Covenant series, or Neverending Story, or Harry Potter series, meld the real world with fantasy elements, but they're still called fantasy, as far as I know at least.

    So, I don't understand why sci fi worlds melded with fantasy elements would not be treated the same way.

    Yes, you can have a story that imitates popular trends in both sci fi AND fantasy novels, but the genre should still be some subgenre of fantasy by definition.
     
  15. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    That's all very nice, but Star Wars is a sci-fi fantasy. Alien is a sci-fi Horror. Genres CAN and DO get mixed all the time. And last I checked 'real world' wasn't a genre, so you may have to rethink your examples.

    And a cheeseburger can be vegetarian depending on what the patty is made of.
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    And on type of rennet in the cheese.

    In general, there is a boundary between science fiction and fantasy. In science fiction the way the world works is at least nominally scientific, even if the supposed science is nonsense. In fantasy there is no attempt to pretend that it's scientific. So Star Wars is securely sci-fi -- what are the fantasy elements? (Had you said "sci-fi romance" I would have agreed about the genre crossing.)

    There are ways of crossing genres, and they involve blurring or undermining the boundary. In Terry Pratchett's discworld, which by all rights ought to be high fantasy, the wizards of the Unseen University are studying magic in a scientific way and magic is explained through magical particles and an "eighth colour". Something similar happens in the low-fantasy Harry Potter series. Simon Morden's The Lost Art seems to be fantasy until about half way through, when scientific reasons for the fantasy elements emerge. Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars leaves it ambiguous whether Carter's means of travel to Mars is scientific (a hallucination) or magical.

    The point is that it's not the story that decides whether it is fantasy or science fiction, it's how you choose to describe and interpret how the world works. A sonic screwdriver does exactly the same things as a magic wand, but the former is sci-fi (it is "explained" by being sonic and somehow high-tech) whereas the latter is, well, magic.

    If the original poster wants to write a fantasy novel that is also a science fiction novel, it means working out how that boundary is to be blurred or subverted. If one just ignores the boundary then, as Cog says, the likely outcome is disaster. If you can find something interesting to do with the boundary then the prospects are better.
     
  17. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I'm talking PURELY episode 4, which I personally consider still called simply Star Wars.

    The fantasy elements include: The evil wizard with magical powers, the old sage with magical powers, the farm boy going to rescue the princess.

    According to the cheeseburger poster, that's enough to make Star Wars a sub genre of fantasy.

    And yes, the cheese would also be a concern.
     
  18. Audiomeleska
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    Audiomeleska New Member

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    I've forgetten where I read this but I remember reading that sci-fi and fantasy essentially boil down to the same thing. In both genres you have fantasic things become possibilities. The difference is that science fiction uses technology to explain how these things are possible, while fantasy uses magic/supernatural elements to explain the new rules.
     
  19. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Selbin, I'm sorry the analogy was lost on you. Please look up the definition of a hamburger.

    I dislike talking about movies in a writing forum, but since those are the examples you use, let's stick with them for a while.

    The movie Alien is considered sci fi because the story is considered remotely plausible, and it is also considered horror because there are elements that are terrifying.

    But can a story be considered both plausible and non plausible at the same time? I write a story about a space ship and a wizard. The space ship is considered plausible and the wizard is not. You're right, in that case I would be blending speculative fiction with fantasy. However, the overall world I created is non plausible because it allows for the existence of wizards. Therefore, I would consider the story a fantasy.

    I've heard Stars Wars often labeled as fantasy, not sci-fi fantasy, mind you, just fantasy. I don't agree with that. I think Star Wars is soft sci fi, in that much of the world is highly unlikely, and that it lacks rigorous use of science as we understand it. The "wizards" you mentioned in Star Wars are explained in the one of the films, as people with special cells in their body that can manipulate a physical force that exists within the Universe. Is that hard core sci fi? Absolutely not, but it's not quite magic, either.

    If I was not to call Star Wars a soft sci fi, then I would call it fantasy.

    I like what digitig said.


    "The point is that it's not the story that decides whether it is fantasy or science fiction, it's how you choose to describe and interpret how the world works. A sonic screwdriver does exactly the same things as a magic wand, but the former is sci-fi (it is "explained" by being sonic and somehow high-tech) whereas the latter is, well, magic."

    The difference between sci fi and fantasy boils down to how well the reader can understand the world of the story. One person might understand it and another wont, but there's no in between. It's got to be one or the other. And real world simply means general fiction.
     
  20. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Under that definition, then yes, a story can definitely be both fantasy and sci fi.
     
  21. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Why?

    Anyway, you went from 'it can't be' to 'it can be' so I really have nothing to add.
     
  22. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    That guy's argument made sense.
     
  23. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    This whole thing is academic. Point is you can do anything you want in a story, and people are going to call it whatever they want to. If you think about it, all fiction is fantasy by the real definition of the word.
     
  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Arthur C Clarke understood this and embraced it when he said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." The lines between fantasy and science fiction are therefore inevitably fuzzy. Both are forms of speculative fiction.

    Furthermore, there are several even fuzzier sub-genres within both categories. The "science" aspect of science fiction is not all that dominant in many subclasses of it. Often, all that is needed for the story is a sociopolitical setting that cannot be found on our planet. Put people on another world, with different resource shortages and the attendant power struggles, and you have a strong basis for a science fiction story.

    Often the line is drawn, such as in the case of Star Wars, when widely understood principles of science are disregarded casually for the sake of expediency. The biggest difference it makes is to provide fodder to Internet pundits for passing the time of day. :)



    Oh, and why do devout vegetarians feel such a need to form vegetables into something that looks and tastes more or less like a hamburger? I don't see any dedicated carnivores compelled to form meat into something that resembles a broccoli casserole.
     
  25. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    lol, perhaps you're just not dedicated enough?
     

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