There is science fiction and there is fantasy, and never the twain shall meet. At least, that is the silly notion adopted by so many SF writers, readers and reviewers.
Personally, I find the StarTrek world, which I dearly love, to be one of the greatest fantasies in fiction. Beam me up, Scotty? Really? Warp nine, Geordi? Sure. Just let me reverse the polarity…
The distinction, as best as I can see, is that science fiction sometimes involves spaceships and uses pseudoscience as a basis for the magic of faster than light travel, teleportation and other marvels.
One way I’ve heard that particular hair split is that science fiction is the genre of things that could conceivably exist somedayonedaymaybe but just haven’t happened yet, and fantasy is the genre of things that can simply never be without positing some sort of secondary-world factor. A bit of a distinction without a difference, if you split the hair far enough.
There is a new world out there, a world of Werewolves and Wereowls and Weremice and Werecats. I know all about it, because I created it. Welcome to my new series, The Were Chronicles.
But is it fantasy? You might say it is purest fantasy because there IS that “secondary world” touch to it all And besides, Werewolves have been the stuff of fantasy – and nightmares – for eons, always conjuring up images of howling murderous mindless beasts.
I set out to develop a genetic basis for the “being Were” thing, which is touched upon in Random, and is more fully developed in the next two books, Wolf, and Shifter.
I wanted Weres to be real. I want the reader to start glancing nervously at the person sitting next to them on the bus or the subway and start to wonder whether that strange fox-faced sharp-featured woman or the pig-nosed broad-featured guy dozing in the corner actually turns into the things you think they might be turning into, when the moon is right.
I realized that the way to do that, to make them that real, was to develop a genetic basis for Were creatures. And I was just the woman to do that. After all, I do have a a MSc in Molecular Biology and Microbiology and even, briefly, worked toward getting a PhD in the field.
It all started when I sat down to write a wildly fun short story about Were-critters. The short story stopped being “short”, in any sense, very quickly. And started being a lot more solid, a lot darker, a lot more sophisticated…and I heard once again a still small voice I had not been listening to for years.
My long-gone youth, glittering with science, was speaking to me once again. And so I set out to do what is, likely, flatly impossible. After all, if Were had a “true” genetic basis, they would probably already exist. That did not stop me, however, from sitting down and working out how it would all work, if they did exist.
I was faced with the problem of a question of science in a head-on collision with fantasy. ‘High Science and High Fantasy walk Into a bar…’
The crash was spectacular, the debris on the story road was fascinating, and putting everything back together again in a new and never before seen shape…was exhilarating.
I develop these thoughts a bit more in an SF Fiction article which you can read HERE:
Meanwhile, Random is due out from the publisher, Dark Quest Books, very soon now and you can pre-order it HERE:
or from Amazon HERE
You can read an excerpt from the first chapter of Random by clicking on ‘Free Story‘ in the menu at the top of the blog.
it’s all real, the Were world. There is science behind it. Honest.
Quote of the day
“If you’re only reading the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” ~ Haruki Murakami
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