What is in a label? I have been told that my writing is somewhat hard to classify with today’s readers. By that I mean that what the readers anticipate or expect when they see “Science Fiction” or “Fantasy” is not really what they are finding between the covers of my books. That isn’t the fault of the genre label as much as what is out there now with those classifications.
There are trends in everything: fashion, cars, movies ..and books. Mine don’t tightly dove-tail with the current trend parameters even though they fit within the definitions. So lets look at those labels.
When I say science fiction the response I get is: “I don’t like Star Trek or outer space stories.” That may be a simplification but not by much. My books can fit into that genre because they take place on another planet and are based on the scientific elements of that world that the characters must deal with.
Yet there is a fantasy side to the stories too. If I mention that particular label I hear: “I love vampire and werewolf stories.” or “Do your books have orcs, fairies or dwarves?” To those statements I respond, “No. There are none of those in my books. No monsters. People can be monstrous enough. Though I do take some liberties with a few native creatures of the planet I created. Where my fantasy enters in is in the psychic talents of the sages and the way they can communicate with stone henge posts and some animals.
I bow to the experts when they define the genres:
Jeff Prucher. 2006. Science fiction is “a genre in which the setting differs from our own world, and in which the difference is based on extrapolations made from one or more changes or suppositions; hence, such a genre in which the difference is explained (explicitly or implicitly) in scientific or rational, as opposed to supernatural, terms.”
Rod Serling. 1962. “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.”
Arthur C. Clarke. 2000. “Science fiction is something that could happen – but you usually wouldn’t want it to. Fantasy is something that couldn’t happen – though you often only wish that it could.”
Wikipedia: Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from the genre of science fiction by the expectation that it steers clear of scientific themes, though there is a great deal of overlap between the two, both of which are sub-genres of speculative fiction.
All I know is that people find that they like my Sage Seed Chronicles stories when they didn’t think they liked works in those two genres. So when asked I say that my books are science fantasy. It is the closest I can come.
~Does that help, dear reader?~