Sci-fi or fantasy?

I’ve just realised, I read Jamies blog a lot.

You know what made me realise this? the amount of blog posts I’ve written inspired by some comment or post of hers, for example I started keeping a list off all the books I read last year because of something she said about her man.. It’s kind of amazing how much impact a complete stranger can have on your thoughts isn’t it?

The thing is, she’s lately started a whole load of trouble with her ‘sci-fi sux‘ post and I can see why. It’s a genre that encompasses a whole host of themes within the term ‘science fiction’ some people like it because of the absurdity (think Harry Harrisons the technicolor time machine) Others like it for the moral quandries and the character interaction (think Orson Scott card, specifically the Ender series and the follow up ‘shadow’ series) and others like it for the complexity of weaving the ‘now’ into the ‘later’, to see how things once thought possible only within the realms of this genre can become reality in the years to come – look at the work in cybernetics and cloning, technology is a marvellous and frightening thing in its own right here in the ‘real’ world, in the literary world these frightening leaps of technology can be discussed at length, projections of the effects both mental and physical on the population are bandied around and often discussed at length in forums around the world – Sci-fi to my mind does not ‘suck the big one’ purely because it’s too broad a genre to class in such a way – It’s like saying ‘religion sucks the big one’

Something that creates so much discussion and diversity cannot ‘suck’ portions of it cand be deemed so, from a purely personal point of view, but as a whole I think not.

You tend to think of the people who read sci-fi as ‘nerds’ that’s simply not true, I’ve found that the people who read sci-fi tend to be much greater thinkers than those who don’t, this does not make them nerds as such, it just means they have an imagination to go with all that intelligence. I’m not saying that you need to be a sci-fi lover to be a great thinker – far from it, my man is incredibly intelligent, he just doesn’t like sci-fi because the things that get his juices flowing have to be based on reality, he’s not a fan of fiction in general and cannot understand my love for this type of thing.

The thing is, both the fantasy and sci-fi genres are what moulded my personality, from an early age I was an avid bookworm. I had no real role models at home and so I learned right and wrong from these books, I wanted to be Alanna of Trebond, I wanted to adhere to the principles of good as described in the books I devoured from morning to night – I needed to believe that anyone could better themselves no matter their lowly beginnings – and not just in a material sense!

Fantasy books were great, they fulfilled my craving for some beauty and magic in the ugly world around me, but Sci-fi.. Those books opened my eyes to what the world around me could become.
Yes, I’m still more easily drawn to the worlds of myth and magic because they are an ever changing landscape of wonder, I know they can be incredibly similar in theme, but that’s quite comforting and is a good lesson to learn young, that the more things change the more they stay the same. But Sci-fi tends to lend itself more easily to questions of politics and morality, these stretch your mind and allow you to question the world, they are not merely fiction, they are an ever evolving discussion on the whys and wherefores of what we, as humans, are and will be.

4 thoughts on “Sci-fi or fantasy?

  1. militarygirlfriend

    I too prefer the world of Fantasy. Sci-Fi like Shadowrun or Cyberpunk is pretty interesting. Especially Shadowrun, because it mixes the two genres of Sci-Fi and Fantasy :o)

    Nice one Sandra – I used to love shadowrun for the same reason, that and it was a fun system to role play – I only played cyberpunk once but I liked a few of the books that came from it.

  2. mojo shivers

    I was getting put off by that anti-Sci-Fi post as well. But, because I appreciate her writing so much too, I decided not comment on it. She’s entitled to her opinion and I think her opinion is strong enough that no one will be able to dissuade no matter how hard you try.

  3. debambam

    I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion on different genres. Personally I prefer fantasy fiction over sci-fi. My floor is covered with them! But I don’t think that sci-fi can be canned because of the ‘lame’ things that authors envisage for our future. Ultimately it’s not about the gadgets, it’s about what changes to us as a society the future will bring, the setting is really irrelevant isn’t it?

    Oh I totally agree with your last paragraph too, although for me a good fantasy fiction book is purely escapism….


  4. K. Restoule

    I believe it the the ‘technology’ in the sci fi books that she had a problem with. I was a little “huh” myself with that post but I sort of understand what she’s talking about.

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