This week: Fantasy is the Essence of ScienceEdited by: Kate ~ NaNo Team Pink
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Greetings, and welcome to the Writing.Com Fantasy Newsletter, where this week we explore science fantasy.
"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need
for a logical universe that makes sense.
But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."
(Dune) Frank Herbert
Science Fantasy ~ it's real, think about it yes, it's real ~
It's a blended genre combining elements from both science fiction and fantasy, under the common umbrella of speculative fiction. Science fantasy is open to creative interpretation and I believe, is still evolving, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction states that as a genre, science fantasy "has never been clearly defined."
Rod Serling claimed that the science fiction was "the improbable made possible" while fantasy was "the impossible made probable". As a combination of the two, science fantasy gives a scientific veneer of realism to things that simply could not happen in the real world under any circumstances. Where science fiction does not permit the existence of fantasy or supernatural elements, science fantasy explicitly relies upon them.
The label was first used after many science fantasy stories were published in early pulp magazines (think Robert Heinlein). These science fantasy stories deliberately applied techniques and attitudes of science fiction to traditional fantasy subjects. The form gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960's (think reruns of those 'B' movies of spaceships landing on and coming into conflict with fantastical beings weaving magic).
Science fantasy takes several known forms:
Dying earth with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction are sometimes classed as science fantasy because the cosmology used is not compatible with that of classic science fiction. Supernatural events may cause the downfall of civilization or perhaps they are the means by which civilization survives after science has been misused to cause catastrophic events.
Otherworld adventures set on a planet with native life forms, cultures, offering a broad scope for science fantasy, in the sense of fantasy being rationalized by reference to science-fictional conventions. Think Edgar Rice Burroughs (John Carter of Mars series). Alien life forms may also be magical, or live in a parallel universe, magical elements barely rationalized, at odds with pseudo-scientific machinery (i.e., not yet available to us today, as far as we know), The otherworlds often have a social system different from Earth's and their weaponry is either archaic (i.e., swords) or futuristic (i.e., invisible rays) and along with magic there is machinery. In a post-apocalyptic Earth, perhaps think Steampunk meets mutated magicians or magically evolved mortals.
Science fantasy is also a popular subject for online or video role-playing games, that use fantasy elements in a dystopian or futuristic world. Or, back in the day, Dungeons and Dragons. Anime and manga also rely on science fantasy, where aliens, robots and high technology often exist with supernatural concepts like gods, demons and magical manipulation.
I hope you've enjoyed this exploration - If you've a science fantasy story ready to venture into the world of print, Mythic is accepting submissions through February 28th. For your convenience, here is a link to their guidelines:
Kate ~ NaNo Team Pink
Travel the between world of science and fantasy, explore the possibilities and engage the probabilities with a review perchance? and create one of your own
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Thank you for this respite in your virtual home. Until next time
Thought for the week,
If nothing is improbable then nothing is impossible.
Kate ~ NaNo Team Pink
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