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Science Fantasy vs Speculative


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#1 cmmg

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 09:57 AM

Here's the story: robot girl discovers she's in a book, a book where she gets murdered , and decides to use this knowledge to be one step ahead.

 

On the one hand: Robots. Sci-Fi.

 

On the other hand: There turns out to be a girl who can travel into books, and the robot girl uses other, book girl, to help her exact revenge. Magic book traveling? Not Sci-FI.

BUT Travelling into books, while meta, isn't really the traditional definition of fantasy. Especially because they stay in the same book.

 

So! Is the book travelling fantasy enough to call it science fantasy? Or is just in that grey area of speculative.

 

I've been leaning toward Speculative, but I feel like sometimes speculative can imply it's closer to contemporary. Like "there's some magical realism" or "there's some science-y stuff, but it's not enough to be Sci-Fi." whereas, the robot girl, is the main character.


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#2 mwsinclair

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 03:55 PM

My first thought would be science fiction. When does it take place?

 

Your implying by your description that your robot has some level of sentience. That to me can't be contemporary.



#3 Pen

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:59 PM

Code of Destiny is what the story should be called if it were sci fi.

 

Robot reads about events that have already happened. It just so happens her code perceives it as a future. The "traveling" into the book is basically her reading the printed text. Maybe the ink can contain some kind of nanotechnology to where when she and only she reads the book, it will cause her to start running a program while she's reading it. Perhaps giving the appearance that's she's traveling into the book when in fact she's creating a virtual world for her to interact with to help her solve the real world problem.



#4 cmmg

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 08:22 PM

Code of Destiny is what the story should be called if it were sci fi.

Robot reads about events that have already happened. It just so happens her code perceives it as a future. The "traveling" into the book is basically her reading the printed text. Maybe the ink can contain some kind of nanotechnology to where when she and only she reads the book, it will cause her to start running a program while she's reading it. Perhaps giving the appearance that's she's traveling into the book when in fact she's creating a virtual world for her to interact with to help her solve the real world problem.

No. This, just, doesn't happen. I am honestly confused why you are trying to explain something to me that you don't know anything about, since, admittedly, I didnt talk about the robot (she doesn't execute programs, can't create virtual worlds etc) or the book traveling but I did already already write it. She also never travela herself into a book. I dont know where you're getting these events front I feel like there was a big misunderstanding somewhere.

The book traveling is literally what it says on the tin. Girl read books. Goes into story. Boom. There is 0 science in that. And I'm worried that the lack of science percludes the story from being regular Near Future Sci-Fi. But also, in NO way, do I want a science explanation for this.

@mwsinclair. I do know that the book isnt contemporary. I guess my question is that, does speculative imply close to contemporary or am I reaching? And does book travelling (with NO Scientific explanation) really count as magic enough to consider the work science fantasy rather than science fiction?

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#5 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 08:35 PM

What about using two genres and saying it's a sci-fi/fantasy?



#6 lnloft

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 08:49 PM

I think sometimes people get caught up thinking fantasy = dragons and elves, etc, and sci-fi = space ships in the future. Both can be quite a bit broader than that. Sci-fi, fantasy, and their hybrid science fantasy all fall under the speculative fiction umbrella, so if none of the more specific genres feel right, then you might be okay labeling as speculative. I went with science fantasy for mine because everyone kept calling my book sci-fi, but to me it has too many fantasy elements to be that, and when I finally realized science fantasy was a thing it just felt right. I'd suggest parsing through this and seeing if anything feels right: http://tvtropes.org/...culativeFiction. But remember, it doesn't have to have a wizard waving a wand to be considered fantasy. The borders between so many of these genres are so very fluid, which is a curse in that it can make it hard to pinpoint sometimes, but on the other hand, in some things it makes it hard to be wrong. You do need to show you are aware of the genre, of course, so I'd be wary of saying contemporary, but sometimes the line between science fantasy or speculative is blurred enough that it might not matter.


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#7 Pen

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 05:53 AM

Here's the story: robot girl discovers she's in a book, a book where she gets murdered , and decides to use this knowledge to be one step ahead.

 

On the one hand: Robots. Sci-Fi.

 

On the other hand: There turns out to be a girl who can travel into books, and the robot girl uses other, book girl, to help her exact revenge. Magic book traveling? Not Sci-FI.

BUT Travelling into books, while meta, isn't really the traditional definition of fantasy. Especially because they stay in the same book.

 

So! Is the book travelling fantasy enough to call it science fantasy? Or is just in that grey area of speculative.

 

I've been leaning toward Speculative, but I feel like sometimes speculative can imply it's closer to contemporary. Like "there's some magical realism" or "there's some science-y stuff, but it's not enough to be Sci-Fi." whereas, the robot girl, is the main character.

 

 

No. This, just, doesn't happen. I am honestly confused why you are trying to explain something to me that you don't know anything about, since, admittedly, I didnt talk about the robot (she doesn't execute programs, can't create virtual worlds etc) or the book traveling but I did already already write it. She also never travela herself into a book. I dont know where you're getting these events front I feel like there was a big misunderstanding somewhere.

The book traveling is literally what it says on the tin. Girl read books. Goes into story. Boom. There is 0 science in that. And I'm worried that the lack of science percludes the story from being regular Near Future Sci-Fi. But also, in NO way, do I want a science explanation for this.

@mwsinclair. I do know that the book isnt contemporary. I guess my question is that, does speculative imply close to contemporary or am I reaching? And does book travelling (with NO Scientific explanation) really count as magic enough to consider the work science fantasy rather than science fiction?

 

My apologies for having such a limited understanding to your situation. I thought you were trying to find a way to add some kind of scientific element to the story. Therefore I, tossed around an idea, that could help make the story have some kind of scientific explanation. I like to read and watch stories about robots, VI, and AI, all of which have to run numerous programs and algorithms just to function, and even more if they're an unshackled AI capable of learning, adapting, and utilizing people and resources to get revenge. Again my apologies.

 

I think you should go with what Inloft said and call your work speculative.



#8 mwsinclair

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 01:20 PM

I view "speculative fiction" as an umbrella term that includes science fiction as well as fantasy, so it does not mean it must be contemporary. I think speculative fiction is probably your best genre description.

 

As for your question about whether "book traveling" counts as magic, I think that'll depend on how you write it. In other words, it will come down to world building.






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