What is Science Fantasy?

I’m delighted to announce that an except from Showdown will be featured in July’s issue of SciFan Magazine, and the entirety of my Toy Soldier story, Survivor, will be featured in the August issue!  And yes guys, you can get these in PRINT!

SciFan Magazine is a publication devoted to “science fantasy” as a genre.  So what is science fantasy?  They explain on their website in the following article.  And don’t forget to check out the footnotes, because they provide some extremely useful information!

I would say that quite a lot of what I write is probably “science fantasy,” including the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga, and even my work for Tales of the Stellar Deep.  Other science fantasy authors include but are not limited to: Jack Vance, L. Sprague de Camp, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andre Norton, Terry Brooks, S.M. Sterling, and Anne McCaffrey.

“Science fantasy is a mixed genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which simultaneously draws upon and/or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy. It also sometimes incorporates elements of horror fiction.” [1]

Science Fantasy (SciFan) is a genre that is often ignored. Not too many people are familiar with the genre, but it was originally coined in the late 1930’s by John W. Campbell, Jr. in his magazine that was (ironically) entitled Unknown.

 The Science Fiction genre is often defined as the improbable made possible, whereas the Fantasy genre is commonly defined as the impossible made probable. So then, what is Science Fantasy (SciFan)?

Read the full article at SciFan Magazine.

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Is Pulp Fiction Making a Comeback?

It seems that I’ve been hearing an awful lot about pulp fiction, especially pulp sci-fi, recently!  All of a sudden it’s like everyone’s talking about it!  As I’ve mentioned, I’m doing some writing for the Tales of the Stellar Deep RPG, which is clearly rooted in pulp sci-fi and horror. All of a sudden people are discovering Conan, Andre Norton, and Edgar Rice Burroughs again.  Doctor Who is in a Renaissance of fandom.  Just today I discovered that Tor Books is doing a giveaway of an Allen Steele book on Goodreads, Avengers of the Moon, which is described point blank as “pulp-inspired.”

I think we may be tired of “grim for grim’s sake” in our literature; certainly there’s enough to keep us busy in politics and economics if we want grim things to discuss!  Perhaps just like people in the Depression and the War Eras, we’ve had so much of our fill of the grimness of the world that we’d rather take our minds off things for a while, and read about heroic deeds of daring-do, where we know the hero has to survive because otherwise would would happen in the next book?  Maybe we’ve had enough adventure in our lives now that we have finally gotten over the idea that “darker” means “more sophisticated” and therefore “better.”

I love pulp science fiction!  So many things that have become so important to the genre originated in those little pulp books!  I would love it if this were true!

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Ray Gun Gothic

Illustrator and game developer Aaron Siddall has commissioned me to write flavour text for the game he’s developing, Tales of the Stellar Deep.  Ray Gun Gothic meets the Cthulu Mythos!  Here’s a primer on what Ray Gun Gothic is all about:

“The future was a chrome-trimmed triangular window in the front of dad’s car, and it had its own knob to open it up. The future was a hamburger under a light fixture that looked like an atom. The future was going to be awesome.”

James Lileks, The Bleat, October 31, 2008

“Welcome to THE WORLD OFTOMORROW!Raygun Gothic is a ubiquitous aesthetic of early- and mid-20th century Science Fiction, roughly from Metropolis to Star Trek: The Original Series. Raygun Gothic architecture is modeled after Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and/or Populuxe (aka Googie). Everything is slick and streamlined, with geometric shapes and clean parallel lines constructed of shiny metal and glass, lit prominently by neon. Sweeping curves, parabolas, and acute angles are used to suggest movement — movement into The Future.

Read full article at TV Tropes.

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A Note on Upcoming Projects!

So I figured it was time I talked a bit about my own writing, because I’m excited about it and I want other people to get excited about it!  I’ve got a few irons in the fire right now: I’m working on two novels at the moment.  The one I’m giving my most immediate attention […]

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