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message 1: by R. (new)

R. Billing (r_billing) | 196 comments Earlier this week I gave a short talk on Science Fiction to my local writers' group. Previously in the group I'd casually said that SF was "Like fantasy, but with indoor plumbing."

Then, thinking about it, I wondered if I hadn't almost said something profound. In the end I used it in the talk.

It occurred to me that you can assess a story on two axes. Horizontally you have dragons, angels and swords at the left, then astronauts, equations and blasters at the right. There are of course a lot of intermediate points.

Going vertically you have a story like LOTR or Narnia at the top, where the mystical and allegorical nature of the story is what matters. At the bottom you have Tom Godwin and Bob Heinlein, showing humans up against immutable laws of nature.

Now the "main sequence" will be a ragged line from swords and sorcery at top left to hard SF at bottom right.

But, and this is what surprised me, there are at least two stories in the opposite corners. At bottom left we find Sprague de camp & Fletcher Pratt with the "Compleat Enchanter" series including "The Mathematics of Magic", a S&S tale with a few equations in the text. At top right we have Star Wars with spaceships, blasters and "The Force".

Has anyone else noticed this?

message 2: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 146 comments No, but I love the idea. Must have a look at how my favourites work on this basis. When I have time ;)

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