Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Science Fiction.

Let’s open up a big, cliché can of worms.


This post was inspired by a recent pissing match I witnessed.

I write science fiction romance. What is acceptable material for science fiction? Is there a difference between “hard core” science fiction and “soft core”? Really, is there?

I think I've said it before. All science fact had to be proved at one time or another.
Go back to the 1700's and before we had aircraft. Think of the views of the people then. You'd have been burned at the stake for suggesting man could fly through the heavens or talk to someone across the seas or view them on a computer screen. Science is thinking outside the box, taking fantasy elements and if not proving them, giving a reasonable theory as to how it could work. It's making the impossible, possible.

You still with me?

I get so irritated with people who say "That's not possible, so it's not science fiction." I wonder what our ancestors would think of cell phones and planes? Gas engines and solar power?

All science starts in fantasy. That’s where its roots are.

Here’s an example: Who would have thought a person or object could be rendered invisible to the naked eye by bending electromagnetic energy? They're doing it now. Five, ten years ago, that was fantasy. The invisible girl in the fantastic four. Hogwarts Express. How many stories use invisibility???

Guess what? It's science. It's proven.

Writing Science Fiction is no different. There are two parts to that. Yes, science-proven theories and fiction. Bald face lying. Storytelling.

Bottom line, if science fiction read like science we'd be reading textbooks, not stories that compel us to keep turning the pages. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.


Diana Cosby said...

I agree, science fiction is thinking out of the box. For many reasons, some people don't want to look beyond the now as it's not within their comfort zone. Regardless of the reason, the possibilities of what we can achieve limited only by our own belief. Enjoy your day!

Diana Cosby
Zebra/His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
Zebra/His Woman/December 08/Duncan MacGruder

Dawn said...

Thanks Diana, well said.

Lori Avocato said...

I agree with Diana and isn't it fantastic to not only make up a story, but to create a world too! That kind of stuff really excites me. Science, however, does not.lol

Laurie said...

Yes, Dawn, I agree with you. For me, science fiction is all about imagination. I don't need to read pages and pages on exactly how something works, just tell me what it does and why it's important, then focus on the characters and how they use the technology. Show me how it's involved in conflict, plot or character growth. That's what matters.

For me, Sci Fi Rom is all about possibilities.

Ashley Ladd said...

I'm not a science fiction author, but what you say sounds reasonable.

Flick said...

I'd neer even heard of the terms soft and hard sci fi until a few days ago and I can't see much point in the distinction. Its almost a snobbery thing. The more technical stuff is better because it has a stronger base in science while the fluffy soft stuff is for women. Have I got the feel of this correct??
As Dawn says - fact now has once been fantasy. A man on the moon? Who the hell would have believed that could happen?
I really don't think making this distinction is helpful. Just as there are historical romances I love, there are historical romances I hate. I've read some great sci fi romances and some awful ones. The hard or soft sci fi element was not the clincher. Too much detail will turn me right off but I know others like lots of sciency details. In the end - its the story and characters that count.

Dawn said...

I don't think because a person writes romance and it's science fiction based, it should be considered less, "soft core" because it has another element in the plot. Love. There are alot of great love stories with fantastic science and tech as well as those fantasy elements that make us say what if. I don't think romance makes it any less ascience fiction story than something without.

NathalieGray said...

I don't think the lurrve and the titanium rivets are mutually exclusive. Science fiction and romance, as far as I'm concerned, make a great pair.

Laurie said...

I recently heard a promotion for the original Star Wars trilogy and the romance elements were put forth as a major selling point. Not just action, not just adventure, not just cool science fiction (and let's face it, fantasy), but the ROMANCE! Love it.

So I guess that makes Star Wars "soft" sci fi. Yeah, the force is with us. :)

Frances said...

Hi Dawn! Outstanding post and great comments to everyone else. All that I can speak from is my own limited experience. It seems to me that the dividing line between what is sometimes called 'hard core' science fiction and 'soft' sci-fi is the lack of or inclusion of intimacy... Hmmm, I think that I feel a post to my blog calling me. *G*