1. Rosszul
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    Rosszul New Member

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    Mixing Genres

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Rosszul, May 21, 2009.

    Hey guys, I ran into a little snag with a story I am trying to put together. I have a bunch of ideas scrambled into my head that I have been trying to place together into one story, I've omitted some already, but I've gotten down to a central element that I have to decide to keep or leave out.

    Basically, I'm trying to mesh fantasy and sci-fi, the main point of contention I run into is whether to make it sci-fi with swords and "magic" scientifically explained, or to keep magic and leave Earth (which is apart of the plot, though not the setting) out of it. Also, for more icing on the already sweet cake, I wanted a Western feel to it. I just don't see keeping all of it, as it seems too much to cram in... as much as I would LOVE having magic, that's still magic, but somewhat explained scientifically, in a futuristic-western setting.

    With all that crap out of the way, my question is: how many intertwined genre elements constitutes too much? Can Sci-fi and fantasy mix? Should I even worry about this?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    -Sebastian
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Read Piers Anthony's The Apprentice Adept series.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    China Mieville's work is a veritable bouillabaisse, dare I say mélange, of different genres rolled into one enticing and aromatic concoction to delight the senses and and pique the mind. Science Fiction plays off of Fantasy which is coated in a succulent glaze of Western with just a hint of Romance to tease the literary tongue.
     
  4. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    Read anything by Jasper Fforde (genius)

    That will help!
     
  5. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hah, I've been waiting for a chance to bust out this quote.

    "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science." ~ Girl Genius

    As far as my opinion, I don't see any reason you can't put it all in. It's not like science and magic have to be mutually exclusive; unless you're writing from the point of view that it's only magic until it becomes explained and then it becomes science of a different kind.

    Edit: I think I may have mis-read the OP a little, but oh well.
     
  6. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can never cram in too much, as long as you link it together (intrigue can lead to action) in some way, so it's not just a random mess.

    Take my story for example - action, intrigue, tiny (as in, standard) amount of romance, family politics, international politics, and murder. Not really different genres, but a lot of themes which are parts of different genres.

    Oh, and there's pagan magic and a lot of attention to historical accuracy in there, as well, with fingers in both fantasy and history ;)

    Contrast in books is a beautiful thing.
     
  7. Demiurge
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    Demiurge New Member

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    I say keep it all. Too me Fantsy and Sci-fi almost go hand in hand. My husband's got a story that I love that mixes all of the elements you have (except the western part) and it seems very natural. I can't go much into because it's not my story.

    However I did get an idea when I read what you're thinking, if you don't mind me giving it? Anyway take this or leave it. lol

    The setting would be in the outer planets colonized, where the law is what would've been in the begining days of the west, the technology is very advanced and mixed with magic. "Magic" has been scientifically defined would (at least in this universe) as physical happening in the universe caused by metaphysical means. Think wide spread ability to use ESP and maybe even a comericalized product to tap into it (hence the hybrid weapons).

    I'm not sure what you want for your plot but the above it what i thought when I read what you are wanting to do.

    I also thoughht of Firefly and the Scrapped Princess serieses

    Good luck
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Should you worry about it? Of course not. The only issue I have is with calling it magic while also explaining it scientifically. Magic is what science cannot explain or produce.
     
  9. Anir
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    Anir Senior Member

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    I think you would be able to do it easily. In your world, "magic" could be scientifically explainable and definable, thereby tying the sci-fi and fantasy, and it could definitely be put into a Western setting. I've seen plenty of things like that.
     
  10. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    sukiyaki western django!
     
  11. Yitz
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    Yitz Member

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    As my duty demands, I shall again mention Jim Butcher, creator of the "Dresden Files" series.
    He is a great author who mixes sci-fi, fantasy, magic, crime, and mystery with a dash of action.
    It's like a good Long-Island Ice Tea: too good to put down.
     
  12. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    Have you ever watched, read, or played anything Star Wars or Star Trek?
     

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