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Thread: Checking my genre?

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  1. #3
    profoundly de minimis pharm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie Maxwell View Post
    I think the big question is "are the things that make this world/time different from modern earth technology-based or magic-based?" If it's low-tech but on another planet, sort of like Redwall but not Earth critters, then it's probably fantasy unless it MATTERS that it's in the same universe as Earth (such as humans appearing as a plot point). If it doesn't matter, then it may as well be other-world fantasy even if there's no magic.
    ^ This feels closer than any rubric I could come up with. For me, a core component of sci-fi is some preoccupation with extrapolating human futures (or sometimes pasts) and speculative technology. If there’s nothing to tether it to our world and/or if it doesn’t resemble some possible future of our world, I’d call it fantasy.

    There are definitely edge cases out there—there always are—but I would call Star Wars and its ewoks “fantasy” or “science fantasy” in light of the fact that they take place in an apparently alternate universe heavily featuring magic. Whereas I would call something like Mass Effect “science fiction” since, despite it also featuring psychic wizards, it takes place in a speculative future of our world where science has attained feats indistinguishable from magic.

    Dune is right on the edge. I’ve heard people call it science fiction, science fantasy, or just straight-up fantasy. I’d call any of those labels correct. Which one it’s billed as is a matter for marketing experts based on current sales trends

    OP, I wouldn’t obsess too much about it. If your work could plausibly fit either category, I’d go ahead and pitch it as either whatever you personally feel it is or what you think a given agent/publisher might prefer.
    Last edited by pharm; 07-24-2019 at 07:49 PM.

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