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Thread: Why SF/F?

  1. #1
    California Mountain Snake Mad Queen's Avatar
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    Question Why SF/F?

    Why are there more writers writing Science Fiction and especially Fantasy than any other genre? What makes these genres so attractive and why are you writing SF/F?
    “Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.” — Lewis Carroll

  2. #2
    Decker Cybernaught's Avatar
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    Not sure I can speak for other writers, but I love the allure and sense of wonder that Sci-Fi and Fantasy provides. The worlds so different than our own, the speculation, adventures, the potential for limitless imagination. I don't know. Just makes me feel like a little kid again.

    It seems like more and more younger writers are starting with fantasy. I blame video games.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Queen View Post
    Why are there more writers writing Science Fiction and especially Fantasy than any other genre?
    I don't know about head-count of writers writing, but US fiction sales figures for 2006 (the only ones I was able to source) had Romance occupying 22% of the market with SFF occupying only 8%.

    Perhaps a related question is: what makes SFF readers want to write? "Geeky fandom" is my explanation. SFF attracts imaginative, passionate geeks; such people are naturally drawn to writing. And kids write a lot of fantasy too.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW Fenika's Avatar
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    Geek fandom is a lot of it.

    The other part is that, aside from the natural world, our own universe is simply too boring for me I need to build my own sandbox so to speak


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  5. #5
    I have plans... C.bronco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Queen View Post
    Why are there more writers writing Science Fiction and especially Fantasy than any other genre? What makes these genres so attractive and why are you writing SF/F?
    Because reality is miserable?



    "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Fenika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.bronco View Post
    Because reality is miserable?
    That too, but then I see what I've done to my characters and I realize that misery loves company and writing is just a good escape. (And SFF an even better escape)


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  7. #7
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Geeky fandom, D&D, conworlders, conlangers, young readers, bored physics professors, sca-types...

    There are so many small groups that can express themselves only in this sort of literature. And there's so much you can do with it. Real world? I can get that everyday in my own life. Not so (necessarily) with sci-fi fantasy. And I don't mean that in only the escapist sense, either. Rather, the "exploratory" sense.

  8. #8
    I have plans... C.bronco's Avatar
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    I was in the SCA in high school. I had a thing for guys in kilts and mead.



    "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  9. #9
    Mushroom Polenth's Avatar
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    I like imagining things I can't see. But lots of people don't. It isn't the most popular genre.

    It does get more publicity on the internet, probably due to the geeky connections. So if you restrict yourself to looking at the internet, it can appear more popular than it is.
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  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Dark Cyril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polenth View Post
    I like imagining things I can't see. But lots of people don't. It isn't the most popular genre.

    It does get more publicity on the internet, probably due to the geeky connections. So if you restrict yourself to looking at the internet, it can appear more popular than it is.
    Indeed this is a good point.

    As for why the number of authors choose to write this genre, I offer the following:

    Who can really tell you your wrong?

    You are the master of the world. If you're writing SF/F and you have a world where gravity is reversed and all your characters need to anchored to the ground by magnetic lines and have at least a semi-plausible reason for it (okay, maybe more than semi-plausible for hard SF), who can tell you you're wrong?

    That's the draw of it for me. I prefer to write where I can have the freedom to make the world as I see fit. I don't thrive when I'm writing in a setting that is a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul. I thrive when it's a world of my own imagining and populated myself.

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  11. #11
    Still Here! Alan Yee's Avatar
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    Since I don't play video games or D&D-type games, I don't really know whether that has any effect on the number of people writing SFF. I write mostly fantasy (pretty much everything except Tolkien-style epics, although I did like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) and horror because there is a lot more freedom to build a world or twist our world however you like it. The real world sucks, but in the speculative fiction genres, you don't always have to follow the "rules" of the real world. Lots of miserable things do happen to my characters, but they have more options to do something about it. Plus, writing fantasy is just so damn fun.

  12. #12
    Still Here! Alan Yee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Cyril View Post
    As for why the number of authors choose to write this genre, I offer the following:

    Who can really tell you your wrong?
    Agreed. In fact, my response to "Why SF/F?" was originally going to be "Why not SF/F?" A lot of people choose to write in a particular genre simply because they like reading it and also like writing it.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW Dark Cyril's Avatar
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    Indeed. That's what I love about the genre. It's very freeing not having to worry about getting the details of an internal combustion engine screwed up to the point where you have everything wrong.

    Granted, hard SF takes a different kind of research and working knowledge altogether. That's why I stay firmly rooted in soft SF and Space Opera when I do that writing.

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  14. #14
    The Provocative One Beach Bunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.bronco View Post
    I was in the SCA in high school. I had a thing for guys in kilts and mead.
    The guys were in mead? Didn't they know they were supposed to drink it, not get in it?


    As for the OP, I write Fantasy because it allows me to do things that I can't do in any other genre. I also like dragons and faeries.
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  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Dark Cyril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Bunny View Post
    The guys were in mead? Didn't they know they were supposed to drink it, not get in it?


    As for the OP, I write Fantasy because it allows me to do things that I can't do in any other genre. I also like dragons and faeries.
    Oh, you will get along famously with Nago.

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  16. #16
    bedazzled /bootay shaker!! xiaotien's Avatar
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    there's a feeling that you aren't limited
    by anything when you write fantasy.
    i love that.

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  17. #17
    It's green they say FennelGiraffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Queen View Post
    Why are there more writers writing Science Fiction and especially Fantasy than any other genre?
    Are there more writers writing SF/F than any other genre? Or are SF/F writers more likely to be active online?
    In a science fiction novel, if I describe what's on a desk, the reader will use this to figure out the level of technology in the society.

    In a mystery novel, if I describe what's on a desk, the reader will understand that one of those objects is a clue.

    In a literary novel, if I describe what's on a desk, the reader will understand it to be a metaphor for the protagonist's mental state.
    - James D. Macdonald, discussing Reading Protocols, 6 Apr 2009

  18. #18
    bedazzled /bootay shaker!! xiaotien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FennelGiraffe View Post
    Are there more writers writing SF/F than any other genre? Or are SF/F writers more likely to be active online?
    COMPUTER GEEKS UNITE!!!!

    /bootay shake!

    haha!

    actually, i'm pretty sure there's a lot
    of romance writers, too, no? that's a big section
    in the bookstores...

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  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW Dark Cyril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruv Draba View Post
    I don't know about head-count of writers writing, but US fiction sales figures for 2006 (the only ones I was able to source) had Romance occupying 22% of the market with SFF occupying only 8%.
    Those numbers were posted above.

    The reason you see a lot more of it online is that, the net is where more of the communities of the SF/F readers gather.

    Winter Is Coming.
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  20. #20
    bedazzled /bootay shaker!! xiaotien's Avatar
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    yes, i think the romance writers are watching
    sunsets, drinking champagne and making out.

    /bootay shake!!

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  21. #21
    California Mountain Snake Mad Queen's Avatar
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    Are there authors that don't gather online? Is there a place outside the Internet where these weirdos gather?
    “Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.” — Lewis Carroll

  22. #22
    Muppet Girl payitforward's Avatar
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    Many gather at fantasy and sci-fi conventions. Worldcon, Milehicon (which I just went to in October). Writers and fans all together in the same place...

  23. #23
    yes Nakhlasmoke's Avatar
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    I am none of the things listed above - gamer, sca type, fangeek.

    I like fantasy and SF because of the new, the unexpected, the strange turns a story can take. I love literary as much as I love fantasy, and the best thing you can give me is a literary fantasy, something that plays with its tropes, that has beautiful language for the story's sake, and injects the bizarre into the mundane.

    Give me that, and I'm a happy beast.

  24. #24
    Chalice the Hatchet Knight Karen Duvall's Avatar
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    I think fantasy writers are more social with each other than other genre writers, with the exception of romance writers, whose numbers FAR exceed those of the sf/f genre. There are definitely fewer sf/f writers than other genres considering how few books are published in the genre, but we tend to be more expressive in public so we stand out above the crowd. Yeah, us!
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  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW Dark Cyril's Avatar
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    *offers high fives to everyone in the thread*

    Winter Is Coming.
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    Dead Memories (working title, short story) - 2,965/10,000
    Unnamed Novel - 0 words at the moment

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