Sunday, May 10, 2009
I've probably written before on fantasy vs science fiction, but another perspective hit me today. My position's been for a long time that fantasy stories result in their ending because the world works a certain way - actors are important, but only because Powers That Be have set the board. Sci-fi results usually depend on the unique strengths of being human, often a particular type of human (often libertarian, I'm realizing, as I read the older stuff). Horror gets lumped in with fantasy because supernatural threats and especially their exploitable weaknesses are a function of the setting, not the protagonists. Make no mistake - Battlestar Galactica was fantasy that included science.
Sitting in church today, I realized the common name for these categories is religion and science. Famous fantasy writers are notoriously (and unsubtly) Christian: Tolkien, Lewis, L'Engle, Rowling, Card. I must say I don't know much about the religion of science fiction writers - that might be first evidence. I am sure there are exceptions, and I don't mean to question the beliefs of anyone just based on their genre - I just think I see a trend. It also explains to me why I have very few friends who read both sci-fi and fantasy - most of them also pursue one or the other of religion and science primarily if not exclusively. The few I can think of who translate seamlessly also pursue both sets of knowledge (or at least have a respect, not just tolerance, for both).
Me? I like both fantasy and sci-fi. My absolute favorites are fantasy, but I read a lot of both fiction genres. As to the broader knowledge, my science and religion shelves are pretty close to each other, separated only by philosophy (I think - been a while since I looked at the shelves of books I've read). I get a science magazine, but my non-friend blog tastes run to religion. And I really dig into discussions of how science and religion mesh (or clash, if you like).
Anyway, this might be ridiculously repetitive and unfresh, but it struck me today. So I wanted to jot it down. Thanks for reading this far.
posted by Charles McGonigal 9:47 PM |