I keep hearing “whatever you do, don’t mix your genres” thing and I understand it in the broad sense, but where the heck is the demarcation line?
If you’re not writing a love story, does that mean you have to keep all love elements out of it? If it’s not a comedy, are you not allowed to let your characters tell jokes? I’ve been accused of writing fantasy because I have another dimension in the story, referred to but not visited (there’s a lot of scientific discussion in favor of other dimensions, by the way) and because I accept the validity of psychic perception in a down to earth way (you can’t get much meeker than Aleisha). Psychic perception, other realms, the ethereal and the spiritual have been with us since the dawn of time. It might have gone in and out of favor, which, by the way, doesn’t make it true or false, but it most certainly will continue the cycle and have a place in the future, both pro and con.
So far, although I state I write science fiction, I’ve been soft on the other aspects and whether or not I have gone beyond the limits of sci-fi. I write about people in the distant future who, unsurprisingly, turn out to be just like us (shocker!) – I have planetary colonization, spaceships and big Relay stations in space that teleport ships across vast distances. That’s sci-fi. It’s got aliens and advanced technology and force-field shields and energy-blasting guns. That’s sci-fi.
It’s got low-tech, too, old-fashion projectile guns that shoot bullets. Does that make it a Western? Hell, no, that makes it realistic. Since when does high tech land everywhere at once? You might have climate control in your home – I’ve got a combustion heater. The last house I lived in had an open fireplace, and a little while back, I had no house at all! We cooked over and warmed ourselves in front of an outside campfire, just as millions of people do today all around the world.
My projectile guns (in the story) are cheap. Pioneers in a new land or on a new planet have a history of going cheap. A good fancy energy-blasting gun might be what everyone wants, but they’re expensive, and bullets are cheap and can be made locally. So, they have bullets. It’s still a sci-fi.
There’s a galactic war going on – on one side there’s the aggressive Khekarians who own slightly more than half the galaxy, and on the other are the Chiddran, who own a third. The Terrans are very small in the scheme of things, with only a sliver of the galaxy that they can call their own.
On one of the Terran claimed planets, however, is a remarkable species that can dip in and out of the physical plane. This is unheard of elsewhere in the galaxy and might prove vital to either of the well advanced Empires in their war effort.
So, I didn’t do that to be cute. Think about it (the Khekarians are). That species is intelligent, if they can be negotiated with, or contained and controlled, what havoc could they bring to the Chiddran Empire? Imagine an unstoppable assassin who can appear out of thin air, or troops of soldiers who can come on right through walls. Imagine killing someone from the inside by manifesting something into the physical plane in the place where the heart is.
The Khekarians – the aggressors in the story – could have it all, the entire galaxy including the Terran sliver.
It hasn’t happened yet, it’s all just a rumor, but both sides of the war are aware of the potential on that Terran planet and are sniffing around to find out more. The Jshi, that remarkable species, are innocent as yet. They know nothing about the war, or even the galaxy. Could be interesting.
Is that mixed genre? No! It’s not! It’s the unknown – and since when didn’t the unknown feature in science fiction?
Yes, the Chiddran have seers and the Khekarians have truth-seers, and the Terrans have psychics – gee, just like now – and love it or loathe it, you cannot dispute the sway belief has had throughout history. First up, ditch the concept of “supernatural” as there is nothing outside of nature about it. Psychic perception actually is very mundane. A lot of scientists don’t want to even look at the subject because of the flak they cop from their peers, but there are those who do indeed study the subject (which is why I have the link to “The Noetic Universe” in the right hand margin). Psychic perception is proving to have scientific merit, after all, so don’t come the “that makes your books fantasy” to me.
So… I have big fat books, a galactic war, an untested alien species, spaceships and energy-blasters and Relay stations. I have a young inexperience can’t-do-this-to-order-and-don’t-want-to-anyhow psychic. I have people who care about each other, high-tech, low-tech and let’s throw in a royal line with an exiled prince (can’t forget Sturn – chief Bad Guy, by the way, and sexy… of course).
Did I mention that I’ve got some bloody good hot sex in there, too? Oh, yes, all right, you already knew that. I’ve said it before.
Now, is that a mixed genre? Or is it just LARGE?
It’s sci-fi, that’s all I can say.
Whew! (I’m glad I got that out of my system).
Have a great day/evening everyone.
That’s a good point. Many books in many genres have elements of romance, but aren’t considered to be half romance and half something else. I think it depends on how of each are in the mixture, and also on the perception that the book (including the packaging and marketing) creates. (But there will always be a few critics who are looking for a fault, in which case no matter what you do, it isn’t right.) 🙂
With people like that, I figure the fault then lies with them. You could make it perfect in their eyes, but then they’d shift ground in order to find fault again. I think of them as toxic people and I leave them stew in their own juices. 🙂
It is interesting, isn’t it, the whole genre thing. If anyone writes accurately about people and about life in ANY setting, it’s going to have a mixture.
My guess is that writers shouldn’t be too concerned about it if it is all part of the flow, and even if there is a mix, properly done it can work well. Listening to critics might be important (if the criticism is genuinely insightful), but a writer also has to learn when to dismiss them and to go their own way.
Thanks for your comment, Chris, it’s always good to hear from you. Your blog offers some great advice.
reading the introduction of your book one by one, day after day, makes me getting more interested in your book *i don’t know about the other scifi books*, thank to you, it is widen my reading horizon :D.
Oh ye, about “bloody good hot sex things” you never forget to mention it 😀
Hi Yuna – that is wonderful to hear. Oh, and me? Mention sex? Did I? [Looks innocent – okay, so we both know that’s not going to work – heeheehee]. Well, I figure I should let any new people to my blog know because those scenes are REALLY GOOD.
😀 😀 😀
Innocent looks failed :D…
the way you mention everything in this blog especially about that one, makes everything fair in every way 😀
Thank you! 🙂
Yeah, shame about the innocent look failing. 😛
😀 😀 😀
Who says you can’t mix genres? If you want to write Science Horror Fantasy than do it. People who try to limit creativity clearly have none. Mix and match to your heart’s content, I say.
I love your words and I very much agree. 😀 I’ve always believed in following your heart. Anything done with energy and passion is a winner, as far as I’m concerned. Cheers!