View Full Version : Science Fantasy

09-20-2005, 11:08 PM
I googled the term (Science Fantasy) and got some rather interesting results - there's even a definition at Wikipedia.

The reason I'm posting this is that my work fits the term and was wondering if anyone else has found agents interested in this venue - and if it should maybe have its own category here at absolute write.

As a matter of fact, I think it's time to revise my query letter to reflect my novel as Science Fantasy - unless someone here has a good reason not to.

09-20-2005, 11:17 PM
I'd be interested in the same information. I finished my WIP last night (YES!) and had my first beta reader go over it today. She says it feels like science fantasy to her.

How established a term is "science fantasy"? If I describe my book as such in a query, will the agent/editor feel annoyed or enlightened?

09-20-2005, 11:22 PM
it's my impression this term is growing wider acceptance at least as far as writers go. personally, i always thought it was a BS term and have argued endlessly about it's use concerning 'star wars.' i've always felt a story has a governing genre and that's the name you should call it despite it having elements of something else.

*however*, if it helps clarify to an editor and he's the sort to accept it as a valid term, maybe it's something to consider. it's rather a nebulous term to me, though, and i wonder if an editor views it as amateurish and would automatically relegate it to science fiction. good question.

imo, no, it doesn't need its own category. it would be misintrepreted and, since it would be 'new', you'd have a lot of people dumping stuff there that doesn't belong.

09-21-2005, 02:49 AM
It's my impression that the term was used in the past, but in recent years has kind of dwindled away. At any rate, it doesn't seem to be a subgenre recognized by publishers--I can't think of any book I've seen over the past few years that has been described by its publisher as "science fantasy".

- Victoria

09-21-2005, 03:26 AM
One agent, and an editor I know (i.e. two different people) both call anything that's science fiction or fantasy 'Science Fantasy' - they don't understand why SF and F are (usually) different, or that science fantasy might actually mean a mixture of the two. I think the term means something to people who actually know about the genre, and little else to everyone else, including most readers.

09-21-2005, 02:39 PM
From my understanding, even if "Science Fantasy" isn't an established genre in the public eye, publishers and editors would still know what it means. Science Fantasy implies that it is equally both. Keep in mind that "Fantasy" often doesn't have an explanation, other than it's "magic," and so that's why it works. An example would be Hellboy, which contained both scientific devices and technology as well as demon uprisings and evil gods. I would argue that Star Wars would not be considered Science Fantasy for the simple fact that "the Force" is explained in a scientific manner, thus eleviating the "Fantasy" aspect. But, that's another matter.

In terms of finding an approproate agent/editor, I would recommend finding those who ate interested in BOTH Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Some only like one or the other, but most consider them in the same category. That way, they would find both aspects interested - if written well.