View Full Version : Choosing a genre

A Pathetic Writer
09-02-2004, 12:13 AM
Let's keep the topics coming in the forum folks.

Do you write just fantasy? Just sci-fi? Both? Do you dabble in the craziness some call science fantasy (Tolkien argued there could be no such thing!)?

Have you ever come up with an idea that was clearly a sci-fi idea, but later realized it would work better as a fantasy? Or vice versa?

Enquiring minds want to know, and since my Atreides-blooded force-witch precogs are on the fritz, I'm just gonna have to ask the old fashioned way.

09-02-2004, 12:45 AM
I'm currently writing what could be considered Science Fiction Paranormal Romance.

09-02-2004, 12:48 AM
Uhm... I'm writing something that's set in a non-existing world, so it's fantasy, but a lot of the themes/issues are bordered around that world's scientific achievement...???

Edit: I can't spell today.

09-02-2004, 02:32 AM
I write mostly SF, but I recently wrote a short story with a mermaid and a werewolf... that's fantasy, right?

09-02-2004, 04:07 AM
Only if it's not true. :grin

Kida Adelyn
09-02-2004, 04:33 AM
I'm writing a story that takes place is this world but it has demons. That's the closest thing I've ever come to writing SF instead of fantasy. I don't read SF either, except one book I read once. But in the view of one character it was fantasy. :eek good book.

In short I write fantasy.

09-02-2004, 04:46 AM
Do you write just fantasy? Just sci-fi? Both?Science fiction for now. I guess. No caves or huts or elves, or aliens, either. Just human beings trying to figure out things two millenia from now.

When I figure out what they're trying to figure out, I'll have a finished story.

I hope.

09-02-2004, 04:51 AM
I write both, but it's mostly fantasy. The short stories I published were all fantasy.

I wish I wrote better sf, but I like fantasy. It suits me.

09-02-2004, 06:59 AM
I've only written fantasy (and some horror). I read a fair amount of SciFi (and watch a heck of a lot of SciFi channel), but I don't think I know enough real science to be believable when I write it. Maybe I should just try it and see sometime. If it's really bad I can always line the catbox with it.

A Pathetic Writer
09-02-2004, 08:30 AM
Hconn.. did you find the work of modern sci-fi authors to be a detriment to your desire to write sci-fi?

Folks like Bear and Brin, and other "Hard" sci-fi writers who also packed a solid punch made me think my science was WAY underpowered for my fiction.

09-02-2004, 08:40 AM
APW, I did, until I read Bujold. Then I realized I could write shallow sf adventure and be just fine.

(Note: I like Bujold's work very much. She writes fun characters, and I would love to reach as many readers as she has. But her work is pretty much goofy space opera. Not a bad thing, but not hard sf either.)

09-02-2004, 09:10 AM
Bear, I can understand...but Brin, IMHO, can't write his way out of a paper bag. Now Vernor Vinge . . .

09-02-2004, 08:52 PM
I like some of Brin's stuff, but in 'The Uplift War' he used a word I couldn't find in a collegiate dictionary. Threw me right out of the story. I finally came across it in my Oxford Dictionary. Naturally, I can't remember what it was. A good lesson in going overboard with the big words, tho.

09-02-2004, 09:32 PM
I write YA fantasy which is set in the real world. I call it Contemporary YA Fantasy. Another project I'm working on is a Alternative History with a scifi bent. On the backburner(planned but not actually plotted or started), I have a space scifi-murder mystery story.

A Pathetic Writer
09-02-2004, 09:39 PM
Chunky, I think sometimes a writer is forced to use words that either are terribly obscure, or entirely made up because it either phonetically or rhythmically needed in the cadence of the story.

Of course, sometimes writers are also trying to pull a whole ton of fast ones out of the Websters! :p

09-02-2004, 09:52 PM
I've done a little of both sf and fantasy. But my natural bent is certainly high fantasy.

~ R.Q.


Iustitia, Consilium et Aequitas

09-03-2004, 07:48 AM
I would like to write SF as well as fantasy, but I know I don't have the scientific grounding I would need. I've tried space opera, but even there I'm not really comfortable with the technical stuff. So fantasy it is.

Actually I'm not writing either at the moment.


09-03-2004, 10:26 AM
FYI, I also love police procedurals, but I won't be writing them because I don't have a lot of background or research on police investigations. And I'm not interested enough in the topic to have done a ton of research on it already.

Same deal with regency romance. I couldn't write it even if I wanted to because I don't know doodly about the period. (Here's a too-lazy-to-google question: What historical period does "regency" cover? I'm just curious.)

But I've read Beowulf and Gilgamesh and Herodotus (well, not *all* of Herodotus). I've also immersed myself in the fantasy genre. I write fantasy best because it's where my main interest lies. I enjoy science fiction, police procedurals and techno thrillers, but not enough to be an expert in the fields. Not enough to write them.

A Pathetic Writer
09-03-2004, 11:37 AM
Have you considered writing a harlequin romance centered around the Gilgamesh story, Hconn?

09-03-2004, 12:21 PM
Hmmm. They do have that new Luna line....

09-04-2004, 06:51 AM
For HConn:

A quote from another website:

The English Regency began in 1811, when King George III went completely, irrevocably mad and his eldest son, the fat, fashion-conscious Prince of Wales, was named Prince Regent.

Officially, it began in 1811 and ended when George III died in 1820, however, according to the website I googled, the hallmarks of the period lasted from about 1790 to 1830 or so. Most of the regency romances I have read are set firmly in the "actual" regency period, though.

Flawed Creation
09-04-2004, 08:07 AM
i write fantasy currently. i may try my hand at sci-fi in the future. i like hard science fiction, but can't picture myself writing it.

in my fantasy, i've strived to make everything logical. magic follows laws, people have defined talents, and magic IS the science of the world. just different natural laws.

in my current book, that's also the case, except it's more mystical, because the world of my WIP is one where magic is a function of enlightenment. (usually). thoughts and emotions are part of reality, and part of the natural laws.

it's unscientific holism, but can still be explained reductionistically through the existence of low-level particles sensitive to high-level phenomena.

09-04-2004, 08:18 AM
Thanks, Yesh.

09-04-2004, 09:47 AM
I wonder if Jane Austen could be considered to have written Regency romances. After all, her novels are set during the Regency, and one of them was even dedicated to the Prince Regent himself (at his invitation).


09-04-2004, 10:08 AM
Jane Austen is the prototype for all Regency romances. Yes, writers in the genre do consider her books proper regencies.

09-04-2004, 12:36 PM
Flawed: if you haven't read Gerrold's book (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1582970076/104-4110157-0247966?v=glance), you should. Also, Card's (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/158297103X/qid=1094279755/sr=1-40/ref=sr_1_40/104-4110157-0247966?v=glance&s=books). Good examples in both as to the differences in technique between fantasy and science fiction.

Flawed Creation
09-04-2004, 08:18 PM
thanks, i'll take a look at them.

09-28-2004, 01:29 AM
I write mostly space opera and cyberpunk.

But usually, I write whatever idea floats to the top. :grin

09-28-2004, 10:07 AM
I write mostly a mixture of high fantasy, sometimes straying into S & S, and dark fantasy, most often about vamps. And I suppose a bit of alternative history, since some of my fantasy is set in a European country that never existed.

Jane Austen wrote contemporary romance, it's only "regency" when we read it now. The equivalent in her day was gothic romance, which she parodied. And the dedication was a command, not an invitation. She tried to get out of it.

09-28-2004, 06:30 PM
I write military sci-fi (usually) and fantasy. My current fantasy piece might be considered "fantasy/comedy", much in the sense of Robert Aspirin's "MYTH, Inc." books or Glen Cook's "Garrett, P.I." series.

I'm a really big fan of David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series as well.


10-12-2004, 12:17 AM
I myself tend to swing between space opera and fantasy. I'm more interested in the story than anything else, and I have moved storylines from one genre to the other when it suited me. I am currently experimenting in a bit of a crossover in my WIP. It centers on the conflict between two nations, one that is based on more traditional magic and knights fare, and the other nation is in the early stages of industrial revolution.

10-12-2004, 07:46 AM
>>Jane Austen is the prototype for all Regency romances. Yes, writers in the genre do consider her books proper regencies.<<

I know that people think this, but I find it bizarre, given the amount of social commentary and satire her books contain, not to mention the exquisite writing style--not really things that define the average regency romance. (ducking the flames that will probably now be coming my way...)

- Victoria