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Writing Fantasy of Sci-Fi


Epid3mic
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So, to put it plainly, which genre do you prefer: fantasy or sci-fi? The mystical worlds of magic, swordplay, and mythical beasts in fantasy? Or perhaps colonized space, intelligent machines, and the post-apocolyptic futures of sci-fi?

Personally, I'm for sci-fi all the way. Fantasy just seems so used. I mean, you got your elves, your magic, your knights, your orcs, your...fantasy. But with sci-fi, the possibilities are, well, endless. There is no end to the enviroments, technology, and species you can come up with. With fantasy, you will eventually reach a point where your creations can't be fantasy anymore.

Another reason I prefer sci-fi over fantasy is because despite how fantastic the ideas are, they are all scientifically plausible. It's a pleasure that these stories I read may someday be a reality.

Granted, I am still into somethings that are sci-fi/fantasy hybrids (Dune, Final Fantasy, etc).

Anyway, your opinions?
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Personaly, I think Sci-Fi kicks a** but fantasy still has it's up sides! One advantage is that everything DOESN'T have to be scientificly plausable, though I still think sci-fi is much more interesting. BTW, have you read Dune:House Atreides ? Or have you just seen the movies? I've seen the old movie and sci-fi channel made it's own version ^^!
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Ooh. Tough choice.

I enjoy both genres, but fantasy was my first love. I read [b]The Hobbit[/b] in second grade, and was instantly hooked. I'll be a Tolkien girl until the day I die.

Epid3mic, I actually prefer fantasy for some of the reasons that you dislike it. Many sci-fi novels get bogged down in technical terms and pseudo-science. There's no rule stating that fantasy can't have anything to do with interesting technology. And besides, I can guarantee you that not all the ideas found in sci-fi will ever become reality.

It's sometimes hard to distinguish between fantasy and sci-fi. I usually think of sci-fi as being anything that (a) takes place in the future, (b) tries to sound scientifically plausible, and (c) has something to do with outer space and/or extremely advanced technology.

You mentioned fantasy archetypes, but science fiction has its own cliches, and is just as often limited by them. Androids, evil alien races, benevolent alien races, ridiculously evil galactic empires, planet-hopping bounty hunters..... and the list goes on.

Side note: Dune rocks.

~Dagger~
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I love both, the hard thing to do (though it turns out ok) is to try to integrate a little bit of each into your novel. Take, for example, the Amber series. They are very sci-fi, but have many fantasy aspects. On a whole, I like fantasy better. Just attracted to magic i guess. One of these days I should make a story about gun-wielding elves.....Also love Dune.
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Wow. This is my first time flipping though here and I realize how little that I know. Anyway, I may not know as much about Anime` as other people, but I do know a bit about fantasy. I'm a Role Player (nerd), and if you can, check out Shadowrun. It's a very interesting mix of both Sci-fi and Fantasy. It is a futuristic version of our world, but a world in which magic has returned.
In terms of one being better then the other, I don't think there is such a thing. I'm a fan of both genres. The few Anime`s that I have seen are all fururistic, but I do a lot of writing and Role Playing in the fantasy genre. Sure some stuff does get old in fantasy, but there are ways to give old things a new twist (I can go into examples later if asked). There are also some things that get old in Sci-Fi as Dagger had mentioned. In short, one is not better then the other, they both have their better and worse points, it just depends upon which points you like or not.
As for incorperating both sci-fi and futuristic ideas into one story line I don't find it that hard. I tend to create a very interesting (at least I think) mix. Technology rules a world of ignorant people, but what they don't realize is that everybody has the capasity for magic. Among some of the main characters, the twins Alex and Adam use magic to increase their own physical abilities, they focus it inwards. Others, Jason and Davis, use magic as spell-like attacks, and finally there are those who don't use Magic at all, but rely on technology, such as my character Lewis' brain enhancements, and even his robotic right arm.
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[size=1]While others here seem to enjoy a mix of genre's, I have to say that I prefer Fantasy to Sci-Fi, because Fantasy allows you to create a completely different world.

One of the best Fantasy books I've read have been [i]The Dark Jewels Trilogy[/i], which is Fantasy, definately, but not in the classic Medieval Time Period that Fantasy is often thought as. It has the rules and regulations of Chivalry, but the women aren't confined to skirts, and the clothes are a more modern style, which I find intriguing.

To me, fantasy offers a broader scope -- as long as you can imagine it, you can use it. You don't have to explain why it's there, like with Sci-Fi -- this world just exists.

I guess that's why I find it appealing.[/size]
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by FirePheonix727 [/i]
[B] BTW, have you read Dune:House Atreides ? Or have you just seen the movies? I've seen the old movie and sci-fi channel made it's own version ^^! [/B][/QUOTE]


I haven't read it and quite frankly I'm not too interested in anything about Dune that wasn't written by Frank Herbert himself. I haven't seen any of the movies, everyone who has seen them and read the book seems to take them as a personal offense :D


Dagger, you are right, any genre will have it's own stereotypes, but with sci-fi, that's not so much a genre flaw as it is an author flaw. Sci-fi does not have to be in space. Sci-fi does not even have to take place in the future. I agree that aliens are very over-used, but that is just one face of science fiction. With fantasy, I can safely say the [B]majority[/B] of fantasy will deal with wizards, elves, and/or knights(or anything like knights, don't get technical on me).


Kashi, I actually do know about Shadowrun. I came across it when I heard about their new action figure role-playing game that I thought was pretty neat. I also played the old SNES game, which probably had the coolest opening I know of (The main character waking up in a morgue? How cool is that!?). Anyway, I like the idea of Shadowrun, unfortunetly, I have never the pleasure of playing the role-playing game.


BTW, I also forgot to mention in my first quote that probably the most popular science fiction series ever is also alot of fantasy- Star Wars :D
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:D Seriously, I love both Sci-fi and Fantasy, they're pretty much the same thing, just in different times really. At least, that's what I think. I'd love to see someone with true superpowers in StarTrek and I'd love to see what Merry and Pippin would do with a phase pistol. (I doubt it would be pleasant)

The only difference between Sci-fi and Fantasy (that I can see) is that in Sci-fi, powers come from machinery and illusion (Goa'uld staff weapons and hand devices) whereas in Fantasy powers come from either true magic, or a magical item. (Any wizard, the One Ring)

Final Fantasy perfectly combines the two in FFVII (Meteor, summons, materia, spaceships, need I say more..?) Although I'll admit, fireballs and ki blasts could be a little dangerous on a spaceship, but it would ad a whole new dimension to battles and fights. (Will you overpower your enemy, or taer your ship apart?) See..? :D

I've just had some GREAT fanfiction ideas. :D
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One thing I think we often forget is that not all Sci-Fi has to be explained and not all Fantasy has to be taken as though it just is. Often in Fantasy, mages tend to use complex magical theory to cast spells while others (clerics/shamens/ect) use a spiritual form of spell casting. In a few stories, I have actually gone quite deep into magical theory, explaining how you can cast spells, and why you can create a ball of fire, while at the same time, skipping over a lot of fact for why technology exists in other stories.
One more thing, ever notice how fire is as common as anything else in fantasy storylines? Everybody has to play with fire, so to speak.
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Epid3mic [/i]
[B]Dagger, you are right, any genre will have it's own stereotypes, but with sci-fi, that's not so much a genre flaw as it is an author flaw. Sci-fi does not have to be in space. Sci-fi does not even have to take place in the future. I agree that aliens are very over-used, but that is just one face of science fiction. With fantasy, I can safely say the [B]majority[/B] of fantasy will deal with wizards, elves, and/or knights(or anything like knights, don't get technical on me).[/B][/QUOTE]

Good point--but in fantasy, the use of cliched themes or characters can also be blamed on the author. I'll concede that most contemporary fantasy finds its roots either in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy or in Celtic mythology (i.e. King Arthur). Just look at the Harry Potter series. Nearly every plot device in those books is borrowed from Tolkien (dementors=ringwraiths, Gandalf=Dumbledore, Shelob=Aragog, and the list goes on).

However, other writers have managed to avoid employing similar cliches. Neil Gamain's books are consistently creative, entertaining, and original--and you won't find a single knight, elf, or wizard among them.

Something that's always bothered me is the fact that libraries usually place fantasy novels within the over-arching catergory of science fiction. If anything, sci-fi is a subgenre of fantasy.

~Dagger~
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i totally agree. sci-fi is much better than fantasy - i mean just look at the evidence:
case A: star wars 1 - 6
one of the most classic and unchallenged sci-fi movies of all time. it has lots of unique characters and aliens.
loads of invented technology. (light sabers first seen before others began to copy them)
new and made up worlds.
heros and villans.
yoda (a cool leaping, lightsaber wealding frog thing)
editable stories for later used.

case B: matrix, matrix reloaded, matrix revolutions
undabatably one of the coolest 21st century sci-fi films.
modern technology of emp guns and hover ships such as the Nebuchadnezzar captained by Morpheus, or the Logos (Niobe).
the One (Neo) who pretty much speaks for himself.
the matrix world of gravity-defying, do what you like mindscape.
the machine sentinels.

further cases should not be required to back up this arguement.
though i do like some of the classic fantasies (the dark crystal, labyrinth, willow) there are very few that compare to sci-fi films or even sci-fi in general.
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I maintain that there is no better between the two. Though Sci-Fi does have its movies, Fantasy has a better grip on books and novels. There are many great series, Dragonlance, Lord of the Rings, Forgotten Realms' Do`urden (I know I'm not spelling that right, I just know it) and the list goes on. I'd like to point out that, it seems, the Sci-fi stereotype doesn't include the mystc powers of the Jedi. The Force seems to be more so a Fantasy kind of ability. It is sort of magic that has been redone for a futuristic story. Don't get me wrong though, Sci-fi has a lot of good books out there, it just seems that now a days, it is finaly getting to the screen. Oh, and for those of you who saw Dungeons and Dragons, I hear that the movie way blew things out of proportioins. The actual game is way different from the movie.
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I still have to see the movie though, I play the game and I need to compair the two for myself. Never take other's opinions until you know both sides and all the facts.
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