Science Fiction vs Fantasy

Use this forum to discuss the July 2020 Book of the month, "Zona: The Forbidden Land" by Fred G. Baker.
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NDeMeer
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Re: Science Fiction vs Fantasy

Post by NDeMeer »

It definitely depends on the book, as others have also stated! In my experience, fantasy is usually quicker to reveal worldbuilding elements than science fiction is. Having it appear over halfway through the book, seems late to me too! Then again, I read more fantasy then scifi.
Happy reading! :techie-studyingbrown:
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Post by Anngladys »

NetMassimo wrote: 20 Jul 2020, 07:24 This novel is a bit borderline as the lost world theme was famous before modern science fiction existed, so I'm not surprised that the sci-fi element became explicit only in the second part. Possibly the novel is targeted to readers who usually don't read science fiction.
Maybe for that target group, this would be a great, unquestionable read. But ardent readers would raise quite a few eyebrows.
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Post by Anngladys »

NDeMeer wrote: 22 Jul 2020, 08:50 It definitely depends on the book, as others have also stated! In my experience, fantasy is usually quicker to reveal worldbuilding elements than science fiction is. Having it appear over halfway through the book, seems late to me too! Then again, I read more fantasy then scifi.
It would be great to introduce main themes earlier on in the book.
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Post by Anngladys »

AlexisLib wrote: 19 Jul 2020, 19:22 I have read much more fantasy than science fiction. As I was reading Zona, I kept waiting for the science fiction, and it really didn't appear until halfway through the book. Is that normal for science fiction books?

And when it finally did appear, as prehistoric animals and different hormones and chemicals and vegetation, at first I was like, is that all there is? With fantasy, magic or unusual things appear very quickly, within the first few pages, and then there's tons of other occurrences. I think one could even argue that the science fiction elements weren't really science fiction at all, we are always discovering new animals and plants in the jungles and other areas that haven't been fully explored yet.

What did you think about the science fiction in this book? Is the type and amount of science fiction typical for books in this category?
Well, is there really anything new under the sun? Discoveries are usually of existing things that have not quite been found and discussed... So perhaps that's one of the things the author was working with.
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Post by ZenaLei7 »

Like what others have said, it defintely depends on the book. I think the lines can blur between sci-fi and fantasy and I think this book in particular leaned more towards the sci-fi element.
“The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.” - W. Somerset Maugham
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Post by NDeMeer »

Anngladys wrote: 22 Jul 2020, 09:31
It would be great to introduce main themes earlier on in the book.
Yes, definitely! I'm not sure why the author would choose to wait so long with revealing the themes. I once read a book that seemed to be a sort of high school romance novel until halfway through, when it suddenly turned fully paranormal/fantasy, out of nowhere. It's very disconcerting. I don't know why any author would choose to do so.
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Post by Nath_chuks »

NDeMeer wrote: 22 Jul 2020, 08:50 It definitely depends on the book, as others have also stated! In my experience, fantasy is usually quicker to reveal worldbuilding elements than science fiction is. Having it appear over halfway through the book, seems late to me too! Then again, I read more fantasy then scifi.
Exactly my thoughts. It seemed a bit to me too. But it's still dependent on the book
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Post by Zoegirl17 »

Hm, now I'm mentally reviewing all the science fiction I've read. I actually think more traditional science fiction (H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, etc.) the science is evident from the beginning. I think it's more modern (post 1950/60s) to have plot twists where the narrator is a different gender, age or in this case in a different realm! The more an author can trip you up, the better!
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Post by AlexisLib »

SunVixen wrote: 22 Jul 2020, 06:06
Leen282 wrote: 22 Jul 2020, 01:33
Kansas City Teacher wrote: 21 Jul 2020, 17:58

I did not know I liked it, either, and have trouble differentiating the two as well. So would stories like Star Wars be sci-fi or fantasy, or both?
For me, Star Wars would be the kind of sci-fi I don't like.
For me, Star Wars is a something like space opera. This is not real sci-fi, but a hybrid between sci-fi and fantasy, where beautiful princesses, swords and magic coexist alongside aliens and spaceships.

As for the Zone, stories about a strange place with ancient animals have been popular since the 19th century. The very first book about such a place was "The Lost World" by Arthur Conan Doyle. In this book, the characters find a strange place in the forests of South America, where dinosaurs and ape-like people live. This book is considered science fiction.

However, such stories could only be considered true sci-fi during the time of Arthur Conan Doyle. Now, the Earth is too well studied. Siberia is very large, but even in Siberia one can hardly find such a place. Therefore, "Zone" should be called surreal sci-fi or something like that.
I haven't seen all the Star Wars movies; I think of them more as sci fi than fantasy. What magic is in the movies? Just curious.
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Post by Misty20058 »

I think this book was a mix of both science fiction and fantasy and while it may be hard to recognise them it did help tie the book together. To me it was good as i don't really like reading science fiction but this book kept me hooked and had the perfect amount.
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Post by Kelyn »

I've read a LOT of sci-fi and fantasy over the years. I find it unusual for the 'sci-fi' or 'fantasy' elements that define the genre to be introduced that late in the book. Sometimes the author doesn't make it an 'in your face' kind of thing, but the elements are usually there early on. Perhaps the author was just going for a more subtle approach.
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Post by Sally_Heart »

Personally, I would classify sci-fi books as books that deal more with technology and futuristic ideals such like time travel. Books like Zona, are more suited towards being fantasy books than sci-fi. Am not saying that the sci-fi aspect was lacking altogether but that it shouldn't be classified as the main theme.
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Post by Aditi Sapate »

For me at least, I enjoyed that the science fiction element was limited, as I'm not a fan. It's always easier to believe something when it is labelled as 'magic'. But when it's labelled as 'science fiction' we tend to question it more.
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Post by Prachi Randeria »

Fantasy and sci-fi are very intermingled genres. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the two. I agree that the sci-fi element should have been introduced a bit earlier. I would still classify this as a sci-fi.
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Post by Kreads1 »

I agree with your assessment of science fiction vs fantasy in regards to this book. In an earlier reply I mentioned observation, which was similar to yours. I felt that the fantasy aspects of this book outweighed the science fiction. This was fine with me and didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book, as I enjoy fantasy works. I'm happy to see that I was not alone in this opinion and it's interesting to see how others felt.
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