Our guest today, Leah Petersen,is visiting with us as part of her Virtual Book Tour sponsored by Goddess Fish Promotions. If you click on the banner just above us you will be able to see the rest of her stops. She will be giving away a prize pack containing these items hand knit by the author: a hat and a replica of the symbol of an important institution referenced in Fighting Gravity to TWO randomly drawn commenters during the tour.
I love science fiction AND fantasy, so I asked Leah to describe the difference between the two as she sees it.
I think you can get a lot of geeks riled up with a question like this. In either genre, fantastical, “magical” things happen that we can’t do here and now. Science fiction writers in particular seem to get persnickety about pointing out that their “magic” is based in known science and is theoretically possible. (Though I don’t recommend bringing up FTL—faster than light—travel with a group of sci-fi writers unless you want a whole ‘nother discussion altogether.)Leah's debut novel, Fighting Gravity, is available from Amazon.
Personally, I don’t get all the fuss. I was a sci-fi/fantasy reader long before I wrote either. I came to the books because I wanted to experience fantastical, magical things and worlds. I didn’t care whether they conformed to the laws of physics, biology, and genetics as we know it, or they were wildly impossible. Whether they took place on worlds we might conceivably encounter out in the great wide universe or some supposed alternate history. If people could start fires with their eyes because they lived in a world where magic like that happened or because they had fancy-schmancy futuristic eye implants, I wanted to know more. Either way worked for me. Both could be fascinating and both could open up worlds that promise amazing and exciting experiences.
I don’t take issue with people who want their science fiction to be pure. I was very careful to make sure my sci-fi was exactly that, SCIENCE based fiction. (We’ll reserve judgment on the FTL thing.) There’s no magic involved. If they can do things we can’t or have things we don’t, it’d because the understanding of the physical world has grown to allow us to manipulate and control with technology things we couldn’t before, or in ways we can’t now. But as a reader, so long as the world is internally consistent, heck, it can have magic AND science and unicorns and rainbows for all I care.
The distinction between the two genres becomes even less important, in my opinion, now that there are so many sub-genres. Urban Fantasy looks a lot like dystopian sci-fi sometimes. Steampunk is technically sci-fi, but in most cases, it’s acknowledged that a lot of what’s “possible” with that technology isn’t really possible. Does it matter? Not to most readers, I think. Sure, on the far edges of each genre, you expect very different things. Hard sci-fi bears almost no resemblance to paranormal fantasy. Epic fantasy is almost nothing like near-future sci-fi. But, at the core of each genre, what we pick up science fiction and fantasy books for, is to experience the impossible.
Sounds like fun to me.
When Jacob Dawes is Selected for the Imperial Intellectual Complex as a child, he’s catapulted from the poverty-stricken slums of his birth into a world where his status as an unclass is something no one can forget, or forgive. His growing scientific renown draws the attention of the emperor, a young man Jacob’s own age, and they find themselves drawn to each other in an unlikely, and ill-advised relationship. Jacob may have won the emperor’s heart, but it’s no protection when he’s accused of treason. And fighting his own execution would mean betraying the man he loves.About the Author:Leah Petersen lives in North Carolina. She does the day-job, wife, and mother thing, much like everyone else. She prides herself on being able to hold a book with her feet so she can knit while reading. She’s still working on knitting while writing.
FIGHTING GRAVITY is her first novel.
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