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Old 04-03-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
Jold
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Genre Question: Is getting published science fiction or fantasy

I'm wondering if the idea of getting my novel published fits into the science fiction genre or if it fits better on the fantasy side of the aisle. If science fiction, that implies it is something that may happen someday in the future, even if long after I am gone from this world. If fantasy, then I guess that means it will require the intervention of some form of magic or perhaps the re-awakening of an elder god to ever happen.

I won't push this into further exploration of sub-genres--hard vs. soft, etc. Perhaps some of my fellow writers can relate to the feeling, though.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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It's not a good idea to think of getting published as either fantasy or science fiction. That sort of thinking leads to the quest for the magic button, where you're sure if you find it, one press will get you published. But reality doesn't have magic buttons. Just because someone got a book published with purple aliens from Mars doesn't mean purple aliens are the magic button. Someone getting an agent by meeting them at a conference doesn't mean attending a conference is a magic button.

But if you think there are magic buttons, you'll copy these things, fail, and then say, "I don't understand... it worked for them!"

It's better to think of it as reality, where you have to work hard and accept that the factors for success are complex.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:27 AM   #3
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I'm wondering if the idea of getting my novel published fits into the science fiction genre or if it fits better on the fantasy side of the aisle.
What is your novel about?

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Old 04-03-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
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Just call it "science fantasy" and see what happens.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jold View Post
I'm wondering if the idea of getting my novel published fits into the science fiction genre or if it fits better on the fantasy side of the aisle. If science fiction, that implies it is something that may happen someday in the future, even if long after I am gone from this world. If fantasy, then I guess that means it will require the intervention of some form of magic or perhaps the re-awakening of an elder god to ever happen.

I won't push this into further exploration of sub-genres--hard vs. soft, etc. Perhaps some of my fellow writers can relate to the feeling, though.
I kind of like the idea of thinking about it as SF. It may be more a matter of luck, so that seems to imply a quantum element, eh?

The option of fantasy doesn't work for me. That implies magic, and I don't think there's any magic behind getting published. Lot's of hard work, time and sometimes brutal self-honesty, but no magic.

Personally, I think there's an alternate reality where it DOES get published, so I just need to figure out how to get my time line to sync up with *that* one.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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I'm wondering if the idea of getting my novel published fits into the science fiction genre or if it fits better on the fantasy side of the aisle.
Since we didn't read your novel we could not say. Make it to 50 posts and use SYW section...uh...is that what are you doing here?
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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A new author getting published, if we must put it to a genre, is neither fantasy nor science fiction. It is realistic fiction.

It can happen, it has happened, and barring the end of the world as we know it, it will continue to happen.

Go out there and make yourself one of the protagonists who accomplishes it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jold View Post
I'm wondering if the idea of getting my novel published fits into the science fiction genre or if it fits better on the fantasy side of the aisle. If science fiction, that implies it is something that may happen someday in the future, even if long after I am gone from this world. If fantasy, then I guess that means it will require the intervention of some form of magic or perhaps the re-awakening of an elder god to ever happen.
I wouldn't say that science fiction implies something might be feasible nowadays. As an example, backwards time travel is impossible as it would break several laws of the universe. I'd also say that 'magic' has occasionally appeared in science fiction as well, the most famous example being Star Wars.

In essence, I think the trappings of the story helps define the genre of the media piece, even if the boundaries have become more mutable as of late. Also, this quote by Arthur C. Clarke seems (somehow) relevant:

Quote:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
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I take you mean is the process of getting published SF or fantasy?

Neither

More like a whodunnit - once you know all the clues, who did it is a lot easier to figure out.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jold View Post
I'm wondering if the idea of getting my novel published fits into the science fiction genre or if it fits better on the fantasy side of the aisle. If science fiction, that implies it is something that may happen someday in the future, even if long after I am gone from this world. If fantasy, then I guess that means it will require the intervention of some form of magic or perhaps the re-awakening of an elder god to ever happen.
At the moment the idea of having your novel published is just a dream. Dreams are cliche. Let's not go there.

If it's a fantasy, your parents are not really your parents. You're a prince, given up at birth for some fairly traditional and unimportant reason, and you're going to have to put up with a lot of shit to get your throne back. You will get it back, but the sooner you learn to handle a sword and ride a horse-like beast the better.

If it's science fiction, anything can happen, and probably will. But whatever happens, remember that:
- nothing is really quite what it appears to be
- you don't need to use the loo anymore
- right at the end it will all come good using some technology that was hinted at all along but only became significant at that vital moment

Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:56 AM   #11
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Good points, all.

I particularly enjoy the suggestion of alternate history. It may have already happened in another universe. Indeed, it almost has to have happened in some reality. This gives me great pleasure.

[I was attempting to make a joke, in case I didn't make that obvious. I appreciate all the responses. : )]
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