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Question of the Week
Question of the Week
Although it is easy to overlook, there are many sections to Quantum Muse. There are of course the myriad of short stories that continue to fascinate/amuse/inspire/frighten the Muse’s readers. These fall loosely under the headings of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Alternative.
There is also a flash fiction section that has stories that are 1000 words or less and fall under the same headings.
There is the art section – which is usually amazing – and is supplied by Richard Tornello with our thanks. This art usually appears as one picture on the main page, but additional pictures by each artist can be accessed by clicking on a link below the image on the main page. There are also archival links going back years and ways to contact the artists and tell them how much you enjoy their work.
Quantum Muse has a bookstore with links to books published by writers here at the magazine. The reader can look over a sample chapter of books by clicking on a link at the bottom of the page.
There is an editorial section, of course, that you are now reading.
AND there is a fun section called “Weekly Discussion" where Mark White puts out a question usually about Science Fiction or Fantasy writing and then allows the readers and writers to run amuck. One question last month had a lot of interest and I just wanted to bring that conversation forward, because, honestly, I found it interesting.
The question mark211 posed was: What are the biggest differences between Fantasy and Science Fiction for you? Presented on March 12th, 2017. Do you see a clear difference between the two and if so what is it? Alternatively, if you think the distinction is less obvious, why? And what is it that you think others can see to make them think that?
The first writer, GordonRowlinson got straight to the heart of the matter: “I see a clear and significant difference between the two literary genres. Science fiction is great. Fantasy sucks.”
Which is where Wesson retorts: “Science fiction is for snobs, go fantasy.”
This is where mark211 tried to reign the writers in a bit and have them expand a little about their perspectives.
Gordon Rowlinson: “I was quite certain that my detailed and rather brilliant analysis that I posted on Sunday cleared up all loose ends in this discussion. However I am now perplexed to see questions…I tend to define Science Fiction as stories of a possible future and Fantasy as stories of the impossible... My tastes in literature are stories that are somewhat believable…Fantasy asks for too much suspension of belief from me. There is also a lot of medieval imagery in Fantasy with swords, castles, and princesses. These are things on the past, not the future…Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong. Feel free to disagree with me.”
So Wesson does feel free to disagree: “Sorry, I was just being cranky. Personally, I prefer fantasy because it’s usually free of social commentary. A lot of science fiction I see (but not all) is built around some absurd cautionary tale or conspiracy theory. Something like “In the future, the coffee plant will be extinct, leading to a coffee-less dystopia where only dictators will control the remain coffee…Fantasy, by comparison, makes a lot more sense to me, even with all its impossibilities.”
Ironspider steps in at this point: “Differences? Like Gordon I’ve always looked a straight (hard) science fiction as being based within the realms of possibility: all else being science-fantasy through to high-fantasy. However, it is up to the individual where the demarcation occurs. For example, though the Monoliths are a ‘fantastical’ device, I’d place 2001 squarely in science fiction…”
Mark211: …Does it make it Science Fiction and not Fantasy if I envision a remote world of knights in shining armor and magic where enough hints are dropped to show that the ‘magic’ is really just advanced technology…”
rt: …the word SCIENCE
dandrew72: “Interesting question. From a writer’s perspective, I find fantasy harder to write but that’s just me. Something this topic has raised in my mind is this: could a story be both sci-fi and fantasy?”
Ironspider: “@dandrew72: don’t see why science fiction and fantasy elements can’t appear within the same story!...Is Yog-Sothoth a god-like being or the embodiment of the concept of space-time? …I think the limitation on how ‘genres’ are interpolated is the imagination of the writer.”
My overall point as a writer and reader here at Quantum Muse is that the Question of the Week can be a zesty and productive exchange of ideas and viewpoints – so remember to look it over and feel free to express yourself as the spirit so moves you…along with looking over the other sections of the Muse’s ezine. Enjoy!
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