Fiction Genres: Fantasy and Sci Fi

Here are two I know fairly well.  I’ve read Fantasy most, but I’ve dabbled in some Sci Fi – Michael Crichton’s The Hot Zone, Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Those count, right?

Science Fiction:  Well, according to AQ, yes, they do because Crichton’s work and Hitchhiker’s “incorporate various types of science into its story, setting, characters and the challenges that they must overcome”.  Okay, now you may think, “Hitchhiker’s is a bit of a stretch”, but AQ says that “scientific details, facts, and rules are either adhered to or broken, but either way they contribute to the contextual story line as well as the world created within the novel”.  Hitchhiker’s takes place in space.  Science!


Fantasy: I suppose you could say that’s really more to my liking.  Aside from the description I’m sure you already know – imaginary worlds, mystical creatures, princes/princesses, knights, dragons, wizards, etc. – AQ also mentions that the “only limitations are the expectations and preconceived notions of its dedicated readership”.  As one who is very close to this “dedicated readership”, the best way to get an idea of these “limitations” is to read the work already out there.  I might recommend Katharine Kerr’s Deverry series or Piers Anthony’s Xanth series; for those who have already exhausted the works of Tolkien.  Keep in mind that each author creates their own world, often including history, religions, and languages, so it’s always best to begin at the beginning.




Filed under agent hunt, publishing, reading

3 responses to “Fiction Genres: Fantasy and Sci Fi

  1. Hitchhiker’s Guide is definitely sci-fi, given that it’s main plot device, the Infinite Improbability Drive, is offered as a scientific explanation for everything else that happens.
    The Hot Zone is a tougher call. The fact that the book is subtitled “A Terrifying True Story” leads many people to believe it is non-fiction. However, the version you refer to takes place in a parallel universe where The Hot Zone was written by Michael Crichton. Alternate universes are very sci-fi. In our universe, The Hot Zone was written by Richard Preston, and is clearly non-fiction. 🙂

    • Jennifer Marshburn

      So that was my way of demonstrating that research is very important to writing. Could have sworn that was Crichton. I am appropriately shamed. I really did not think it was nonfiction though! It’s beena whole sincei read it, obviously.

      • Jenn, my intent was not to shame you, of course. I’ve read all Crichton’s fiction, and my first reaction was, “Wait, which one was Hot Zone? Have I read that?”
        In that same spirit, can I assume your statement, “It’s beena whole sincei read it, obviously.” is your way of demonstrating that spell-checking is very important to writing?
        I only ask because I care. 😀

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