Fantasy and Sci-Fi, the Peanut Butter and Jelly of Books


Fantasy and science-fiction always seem to be joined at the hip, lumped together like some kind of science-experiment-gone-wrong with-wizarding powers. I’ve even done it here, shame on me, under “categories” even though the two genres are, often, utterly distinct.

But the thing is, they aren’t always. It’s those blurry cases, those non-bright line cases, that have them nestled together in every bookshop. I’m currently working on a young adult novel, one I’d planned to keep pretty solidly over the fantasy line. But the thing is that, no matter what I do, it feels as though the science wants to keep creeping in.

Maybe it’s because it’s my aesthetic. Maybe it’s because it’s where the story wants to go, needs to go. And maybe it’s because that line is really difficult to draw firmly.

Though the elements of science-fiction and fantasy have different origins–magical versus concrete–they both like to go into the same impossible places. They’re like really good friends who get each other. And like good friends, sometimes they visit one another’s homes.

In this mushy, genre-busting world, maybe bright lines are another thing likely to go. Maybe they’ve never really been there at all. Or maybe it doesn’t really matter, and we can sit back and enjoy the ride, whether we’re traveling by spaceship or dragon or a little of both.

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