Why Fantasy?

I love science. You see me quote it in my posts a lot. Part of the reason I like it is because it can actually help give us predictable outcomes, make life better for everyone, and it isn’t dependent on opinion.

Science doesn’t care that you want the Earth to be the center of the universe. It isn’t. It’s demonstrable, provable, and repeatable. Anything else is a hypothesis rather than proven science.

If it turns out to be wrong, we change. From Newton to Einstein to Hawking, our knowledge grows and changes. Then the engineers get a hold of it and make fabulous things, like the phone in my purse.

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Given this, why do I love fantasy? Why do I have a character use a teleportation spell when I could use a transporter and the theory of quantum entanglement?

Here are six reasons I write fantasy:

 

  1. Dragons. You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? No matter how hard I try to realistically wrap dragons into a science fiction world, it feels wonky at best. Even in a fantasy world, you have to be careful with how you use dragons, what limits on their power you put, and how to keep them from becoming the god-beings they already see themselves as being. Perhaps FTL dragon space travel…

do-not-meddle-d7r9ty

 

  1. The White Knight – This has always been a favorite trope of mine, so of course they feature in my work. Yet, the white knight doesn’t feel right in much of sci fi. While Star Trek, at least TNG, took the high road and showed humans in a more Utopian universe, most of my experience with science fiction doesn’t go this route. It tends to be gritty, filled with anti-heroes, and a very bleak outlook on our future.

 

  1. Aesthetics. – This is tougher to define, but there’s something more fun to me about horses, silk dresses, and castles. Yes, I know the smell was horrible, hygiene lacking, and the castles drafty. I know how women were treated since the advent of the plow. But that’s not what I’m writing about. This is a fantasy world with a different pantheon of gods and a different history. Once we add in magic, the benefit of brawn over brains diminishes. It allows me to experiment with good and evil in different ways.Which leads me to…

 

  1. Good Always Wins – I find this is easier to realistically achieve in fantasy world. Unless…

 

  1. Space Opera – Unless I am looking at writing Space Opera. Which, I have considered. I’ve had a few ideas floating around for alien words on the edge of the galaxy. I’d got he space opera route partially because a big portion of what interests me in Sci Fi is alien worlds, colonization, etc. That means FTL travel, and FTL travel doesn’t mesh with science as we know it. And yes, I do like space opera. Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly. Westerns aren’t my thing, but wow, I loved Firefly. Still mad as anything that they canceled that show.

 

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How about you? Do like sci fi or fantasy? Which do you prefer to read or write? Why?

3 thoughts on “Why Fantasy?

  1. TV…. I enjoyed Firefly and still lament its cancellation. I lean mostly toward science fiction on television and at the movies, enjoying Dark Matters, The Expansion, and Travelers. My wife leans toward fantasy, so we’ve been watching The Preacher. But she likes kick ’em ups, so we’ve also watched Into The Badlands, based on a dystopian graphic novel that seems to have science fiction and fantasy elements.

    Writing – I lean toward science fiction.

    Reading – all over the place. I enjoy historic mysteries and fiction, along with Scalzi’s work, but I’m a big G.R.R. Martin fan. GOT is fantasy but he’s written science fiction and fantasy, and that’s where I tend to go: write it all.

    Really, in any genre, I’m just hunting for a satisfying story.

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy reading both science fiction and fantasy. I enjoy writing science fiction.

    I used to think I wrote fantasy, too. Then my twin pointed out to me that my “fantasy” stories were actually sci-fi in low-tech settings. This is a good thing, because we collaborate on some stories, and he doesn’t do fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading – I tend toward most fantasy genres and space opera. Generally, I find I dislike “hard SF”, if I really wanted to know the physics behind the rocket I’d go read a NASA tech manual. Plus, most of the space opera & “soft SF” that I like (Larry Niven, CJ Cherryh, Harry Harrison) focuses more on the socio-historical elements.

    Writing – Fantasy, lately tending toward urban fantasy. I’ve tried writing sci-fi, even GM-ed a couple SF RPGs, but find them stalling out. Once I did do a series of science fantasy novellas (magic, dwarves, goblins, etc. in space) that turned out halfway decent.

    Liked by 1 person

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