Philip Athans’ distinction between science fiction and fantasy perfectly reflects my own views on the subject. This is why The Woern Chronicles are science fiction cloaked as fantasy–I explain the magic!

Fantasy Author's Handbook

In the introduction to an episode of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling said: “It’s been said that science fiction and fantasy are two different things. Science fiction—the improbable made possible. Fantasy—the impossible made probable.”

Science tells us that thing he’s holding in his hand is most likely why he died of a heart attack at age 50. Science tells us that thing he’s holding in his hand is most likely why he died of a heart attack at age 50.

I wrote that down a couple weeks ago and have been puzzling over it ever since. “Probable,” “possible,” I’m not sure what he was getting at or who said it before him.

In the end I’m happy with whatever definition of SF and/or fantasy you’re willing to provide and am delighted by both genres both in the ways they’re different and the ways they’re the same—and the third thing: the way they interact and comingle with each other. Still, it’s an interesting question and one that is certainly germane to this blog.


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Cheesy Fantasy Movies, Part 2

Steven Montano reviews more cheesy fantasy movie favorites.

Guild Of Dreams

Not long ago, I wrote a post about some pretty awful fantasy movies, and why we love them in spite of their ultimate cheesiness (or, quite possible, because of it).  In that first post I discussed Beastmaster, Willow and Legend.  Now I have three more movies to get off my chest.

Hawk the Slayer

Hawk the Slayer

There’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of this bizarre fantasy flick, but I’m often surprised by how many people have heard of it.  This movie has “the 80s” written all over it, from the flair of the opening credits to the overly synthesized music to the mist-filled cinematography…all that’s missing is Richard Simmons and a soundtrack by Phil Collins, and we’d be all set…

The evil Voltan (Jack Palance, breathing heavily and using his scowl to terrific effect) is the scourge of the land, and when he and his men kidnap the Abbess of a…

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In the Beginning, There Was the Prologue

If you’re going to do a prologue, do it right.

Guild Of Dreams

A few months ago I wrote about folding backstory into a narrative to give your readers the vital information they need without hitting them over the head with a history lesson. In that post, I quoted this received wisdom:

Don’t use prologues.

That advice comes from agents and traditional publishers who believe, based on the contents of their slushpiles, that “prologue” means “deadly boring waste of my time.”

MedeaThe actual definition of prologue is a separate introductory section of a literary work. Etymologically, the word comes from the ancient Greek prologos, which described the preamble to a play that established the setting and provided background information to enhance the audience’s understanding and appreciation of the drama. The Greeks may have given the prologue its name, but I’d lay odds they didn’t invent the literary device. Knowing human beings, I imagine we’ve been prefacing our stories since people could speak.

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