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What makes a story SciFi and not Fantasy? Options
#1 Posted : Sunday, May 3, 2009 11:06:12 PM
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 6
So do I need futuristic bleeding edge technology in my story to be called science fiction? Without it do I then fall into the realm of Fantasy? Or must there be a sword encompassed within for the realm of Fantasy to be accepting.

So much of genre writing requires categorization.... and then there is the cross-over. A book that lies in between one category or another. Or a book that encompasses many categories... enough to give a librarian a migraine trying to file the book appropriately within the catalog system.

So much of society is regimented... why must genre writing follow that norm.

I just want to write... but for anyone to read it I have to pick a category... a label... an immediate bias is then formed, subjective and conjecture at best...

I digress...

The topic at hand: SciFi vs Fantasy.

Where to I belong?

Happy Writing

#2 Posted : Thursday, May 14, 2009 11:51:33 PM
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 3
Actually, some fiction is simply best classified as a 'Hybrid.' This label encompasses anything that doesn't readily match up to any particular genre. I know what you mean, though, Bitten2ice. The rubrics have become blurred, almost running together. It can be very difficult to know what precise genre your work falls under.
#3 Posted : Sunday, May 17, 2009 4:12:16 PM
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 6
Thanks for the response Scifi... I'm finding this a difficult aspect from the perspective of marketing to an agent. It would seem that everyone wants you to fit tidily into one box or the other... the aspect of the crossover genre does not seem to be considered.
#4 Posted : Friday, June 29, 2012 12:32:13 AM
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 3
I was wondering that myself. A story that I'm working on is a sci-fi western, but it has undead people. Not zombies, though. These are people who act like anyone living, just a bit smellier, and they tend to lose body parts. I have a justification for it, but I have a feeling it won't be enough to escape the gravitational pull of the fantasy genre. It also has psychics, but that is also justified by all sorts of extra-dimensional things, which brings me to the subject of hyperspace. The general idea with hyperspace varies, but it's used almost universally as a Deus Ex Machina to justify getting to point B from point A without breaking the speed of light, and it's entirely made up. Back when it was conceived, there was little to no evidence to back up such a possibility. It is only by blind luck that quantum physics came along to justify the theoretical existence of hyperspace. No one called Foundation fantasy when it used hyperspace. Just something to think about.
#5 Posted : Monday, July 23, 2012 11:55:22 PM
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 2
I always used the rule of thumb that scifi describes a world we could eventually get to, be it space travel, computers (good or evil) running everything, or humans being the slaves of robots. Once somebody pulls out a wand and shoots a fireball (because only he knows the secret) as opposed to a ray gun that anybody can pick up and use, you've crossed the line into fantasy, and on the other side of that line, you'll find incantations, spells, enchanted items, and all that jazz. It's the difference between Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.
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