The Fantasy of Writing SciFi

I don’t write scifi.

That probably sounds weird, given that I’m publishing the 2nd book in my Time Traveller’s Best Friend series this month. Don’t worry, you didn’t imagine it; Memento Mori really does exist.

I don’t write horror, either; but I’ve published a short ghost story.

Nope, I’m not schizophrenic (not that you can prove, anyway); I just have a different world view.

Aliens, time travel, ghosts…

…those things don’t exist in my paradigm. I’m a Christian writer, so I believe in God. Any other supernatural or alien creatures other than angels or demons? I don’t believe in ’em.

So when I write about them, I’m writing fantasy. And I am a fantasy writer.

I came to this conclusion a few years ago when I first wrote A Time Traveller’s Best Friend–why it was that I found it so easy to switch to writing scifi when it wasn’t something I’d ever considered writing. Why I felt so much at home there with Kez and Marx. I’ve always been more interested in characters than genre (it’s the reason I read so widely across genres) and when Kez and Marx showed up there was no other setting for them than a Scifi one. They were time travellers, and could never have been anything else. I just wrote them into the fantasy world that was right for them.

So next time you read one of my scifi books–psych! You’re not really reading Scifi. It’s all in your imagination. You’re reading Fantasy.

4 thought on “The Fantasy of Writing SciFi”

  1. Kate Stradling September 13, 2017 at 3:12 amEditReply

    I have a philosophy that all fiction, at its roots, is fantasy. Hence, fantasy authors have an advantage for jumping genres, because they’re already in that underlying mindset.

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorSeptember 13, 2017 at 4:39 amEditReply

      Yes! A natural advantage! 😀

  2. Elisabeth Wheatley September 27, 2017 at 10:17 pmEditReply

    Being a Christian writer, especially in speculative fiction, brings up some weird dilemmas. Like…WEIRD dilemmas. What is the difference between promoting and exploring something I don’t believe in? Eh. I pray about it and do my thing.

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorSeptember 28, 2017 at 7:26 pmEditReply

      I’ve found exactly this thing–and deal with it in exactly the same way. I had some serious thought before I wrote scifi to publish at all–writing a paradigm which is massively similar to life and writing it without God named or at the centre of it, really made me uneasy–but it had already occurred to me that the way I was writing, and what I was writing, was pure fantasy. And I prayed about it and found myself comfortable with it. I’m writing another form of fantasy. Now, if I was writing a modern or historical novel set firmly in the real world, I would definitely not be writing without the firm background of God and Christianity making up the foundation of that novel.

      When it comes to ‘promoting’ vs ‘exploring’, I try to keep my conscience very sensitive and very clear. I don’t want to be ashamed when I go to meet God every day, for something I’ve put in my books. I’d rather be less adventurous and more holy.

      You’re not wrong about some of the weirder dilemmas, tho!

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