Writing fiction is really like a big playground where adults can be kids again. I can be serious or run around with reckless abandoned, no one will stop me. It’s a place where my imagination is the only limit and fantasy is as important, if not more important, than reality. So at some point I have to ask myself, which part of the playground do I want to play in? It’s a tough choice considering all of the genres and the blending of genres these days. For me it’s an easy choice. My heart has always drifted toward science fiction and fantasy, more so the science fiction. So I thought I would tell you a bit about why I’m in love with science fiction and fantasy.
What Is Out There?
For as long as there has been creatures on this earth with conscious thought, they have looked to the heavens and wondered what was up there both in a spiritual sense and a scientific sense? Children and adults alike have gazed upward with awe and wonderment. With time came more and more questions about what they observed in their night-time sky. From Galileo spotting Jupiter’s first moons to the Mayans recording their calendar off of observations from the stars, people have challenged old thinking to learn more about our world. To this day I can look through my own telescope and see the Galilean moons the same way Galileo did in the 1600’s. It still gives me goosebumps every time.
We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know
Despite all the questions and everything mankind has learned over time, we still don’t know much about what most of the universe is made up of. Answering one question leads to more unanswered questions or worse yet answers that are barely understandable. I could listen to astrophysicists all day but some of the topics they discuss are no more tangible to me than magic. Maybe the fact that it is both science and fantastical at the same time is what draws me in to science such as the quantum world. There is so much out in space that we can’t explain that it lends itself to the perfect playground for writers. Sure there are hard and fast rules about the universe that we know but in other ways there are no rules, at least not yet.
Strange New Worlds And Mysterious Creatures
Another aspect I love with both science fiction and fantasy is the worlds and creatures that can be created. Again a playground without real limits. I can create a new planet with an amazing alien race or I can develop a mythical land with dragons. The imagery and artwork possible for science fiction and fantasy are the playground for the artist. If a mind can comprehend it, a writer or artist can create it.
Hard Sci-Fi VS Soft Sci-Fi
Any hard core fan of science fiction has their idea of what sci-fi should be and no one is going to sway them from their opinion. The great thing about this genre is that there is a spectrum of sci-fi stories to fit everyone’s preferences. Hard sci-fi leans heavily on the technical, accurate or at least possible, detail oriented science to drive their stories. The softer sci-fi stories are driven more by social sciences or the character and story with less emphasis on the actual science. Science is still a part of the story but takes more of a back seat. Some soft sci-fi even get so fuzzy on the science details that you could argue that they are approaching the fantasy world if not jumping right in . Just like ice cream, though, you can have your hard scoop or your soft serve. There is something for everyone – now I want ice cream.
For me the latitude and options available to let my imagination run wild in science fiction and fantasy are too hard to resist. I love the hard science but I also love the openness of the unknown. The sky really is the limit… My current work in progress “Rock And A Hard Place” ended up being more on the soft spectrum of the sci-fi world. I had intended it to be more hard sci-fi but that’s not the direction the characters wanted to go. You can’t argue with the characters. It is currently in the editing stages so that I can put out the most amazing story possible. I hope you check back for progress updates.