Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Andrea Cooper Explains the difference between Science Fiction and Science Fantasy

Science Fiction vs. Fantasy

Liza, Thank you for having me here today. Here's my take on your question:  
What are the differences between science fiction and fantasy?  Many.

Science Fiction
Setting: Space or a future earth or other planet, typically, in the future. Characters can be robots, aliens, etc.

Weapons: laser guns, light sabers, etc.
Travel: Spaceships, teleports, rockets, etc.
Government: Kings, Ambassadors, Democracy, Dictatorship – a smorgasbord of anything or everything.
Based on: Probable facts and science
Setting: Typically, in the past or in pre-industrial civilization. Characters are witches, wizards, dragons, anything supernatural, mythical, or magical.
Weapons: Swords, knifes, staves, bow & arrows, magic
Travel: magic carpets, unicorns, dragons or any other animal (real or imagined), teleportation, etc.

Government: Monarchy – there may be other types in fantasy novels, but I haven’t read one yet.
Based on: Imagination, magic and/or the improbable

To quote Orson Scott Card: “The difference between science fiction and fantasy … is simply this: science fiction has rivets and fantasy has trees.”

         What are the similarities?
Theme: Both deal with a struggle between good and evil.
Escapism: Both have unknown worlds or time, and can help the reader escape the modern world.
Genre: Both are lumped into the same varied genre: Sci-Fi for short, which also includes many others such as: Cyperpunk, Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, Military Science Fiction, and more.
Merging: Several books merge both Science Fiction and Fantasy elements. The most popular and one that I love is Star Wars. The setting is Science Fiction as are the light sabors. But the evil emperor, rescuing the princess, and using the ‘force’ are fantasy aspects to me.

         Readership: This could go into either the differences or the similarities categories. Many readers love both genres. Some are strictly one or the other.

For me, I love watching TV/Movies that are Science Fiction or Fantasy. However, I only enjoy reading fantasy or the merging of both. Not sure why. I guess I’d rather see spaceships zooming overhead.

         Which came first?
Some would say Fantasy, because of The Iliad, Odyssey, Epic of Gilgamesh, etc. However, what about the cave drawings of spacemen, alien-like beings, and spaceships? So either aliens or time travel is real ( a topic for another time – pun intended) or our ancestors had active science fiction imaginations long before fantasy/ magic ones – or the science fiction lovers were the artistic ones J
What about you? Do you prefer one or the other? Or do you love Science Fiction and Fantasy equally?

Liza: Thanks Andrea. That cleared the matter up as best as one can when the two like to merge into one and suddenly there's a robot marrying a fairey.  Now let me share in return a bit about Andrea Cooper and her fabulous books:

Viking Fire Blurb: In 856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.
Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Viking Fire Excerpt
Chapter One Ireland 856 CE (condensed)

“I renounce Father for this.” Kaireen threw the elderberry gown.

“Shame on you and your children for speaking such.” Her handmaid, Elva, gathered the damask and then dusted off the rushes. “It’s a wonder one of the clim has not scolded you from your hearth for such talk.”

“No, curse Father for a fool.” She plopped on her bed and a goose feather floated away. With a huff, she leaned against the oak headboard. Red curtains puffed like a robin’s chest around oak poles supporting her wooden canopy.

Her bare feet brushed against the stone floor.

“You know your da arranged a marriage within a season.” Elva smirked.

Kaireen shook her head. “To another land holder,” and waved a hand in disgust, “not t-this heathen. Twice they raided our land in the last month alone. Now father wants me as wife to one of them?” She clenched her fists. “No, I will not marry this Viking.”

Elva smiled, reminding Kaireen of the rumors of her handmaid’s uncanny foresight.
Whispers of Elva making strange things happen and often blamed as the cause of
Kaireen’s stubborn refusal to behave as a laird’s daughter should.

“You’ve not seen him yet.” Elva wiggled her brows.

“So?” Kaireen shrugged. “I would like to never see him.”

“Well then, would you not like to know if you have a handsome husband or not?” She waited for her response, but Kaireen scowled. Elva chuckled. “I would rather get a good look at him now than the morning after.”

Kaireen’s ears heated. “I am not marrying.” She shook her head for emphasis. “So there will be no morning, nor night, nor wedding.”

“If he is handsome, I may fight you for him.” Elva smiled, deepening the wrinkles around her eyes.

“Welcome to him either way.” Kaireen laughed.

The Garnet Dagger Blurb: Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human…but what if the victim is Elvin?
Forbidden to cross the Elvin barrier into human lands, Brock cannot sate his curiosity. Cursed by a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy, he must find a witch, pierce her heart, and draw her blood for his cure. 

Celeste must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her magic has been kept dormant by her captors. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and his world will die.

When Brock falls in love with Celeste before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?

The Garnet Dagger Excerpt:  Chapter One (condensed)
I’ve known death. For over half a millennia, I escorted many to death at the end of my sword. In the eyes of the dying, I watched it shroud them. Foolishly, I thought many more eras would pass before death came for me. It came so swiftly that I could not run; I could not escape. At a village, dressed in human clothes, I took in everything.
I delayed my return to my people as I watched human jugglers bounce torches and knifes. It was autumn equinox and the festivities would continue well into the night. Children laughed as they chased each other. A trail of leaves from their costumes twirled after them. It was dark when I reached the forest.
I hiked slower than my normal speed, so as not to startle whatever human called out. My leather boots crunched upon dried, diseased leaves and bark. Horrified, I glanced up. Branches twisted around each other to suffocating. Lifeless limbs cracked in the wind. Flesh of the trees sloughed off in layers, exposing its bones. Gashes hollowed out chunks of warmth. Fragments of leaves clung to finger tips, marking sepulchers of the dying trees. Trees mourned with wails like splitting wood, and I brought my hands over my ears. I must flee before I became infected, they told me. Flee before the stain of this defilement creeps into you, they warned. Trees spoke to my kind, always had. Yet these trees were in such agony of death that I could not breathe. Felt as though my lungs had folded in on themselves, like a moth unable to break loose from its cocoon.
Cooper, Andrea R. (2013-03-25). The Garnet Dagger (Crimson Romance) (Kindle Locations 60-67). F+W Media. Kindle Edition.

Andrea’s Bio: Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.
What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).
Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.
She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

The Garnet Dagger Book Trailer  http://youtu.be/ISi0u9LoseM
Viking Fire Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/m1bPZ3nUyzs

Twitter: @AndreaRCooper
Author Website: www.AndreaRCooper.com

Buy Links:
The Garnet Dagger Amazon: http://goo.gl/rMEJ59
The Garnet Dagger B & N: http://goo.gl/Qp5i6A
The Garnet Dagger iTunes: http://goo.gl/s1Cugp
Viking Fire Amazon: http://goo.gl/71VAsf
Viking Fire B & N: http://goo.gl/EvBxwf
Viking Fire iTunes: http://goo.gl/fQuKBd


  1. Liza,
    Thank you for having me on your blog today.

  2. I'm in love with fantasy but Sci-fi also pulls at my heart. I think it's because anything is possible. Both show us that whether in the past with magic or in the future with lasers, we can still find romance, justice and love.

    1. Well said. Much of the past sci fi has been void of romance, and was thus lacking a main part of reality.

  3. I like both. They each challenge the mind and show us what could be or what might have been.

    1. Well said! I have profound commenters today. I like it!

    2. Brenna,
      Thanks for coming by. I love both too, but writing & reading it's fantasy or merging genres that I'm addicted to.

  4. I LOVE her spunky attitude. Great breakdown between the genres too!

  5. Thanks for the great definitions, Andrea. I can never work out which is which so now I have a clearer picture. Not sure which one I like better - depends on the story. And where does steampunk fit as it is often science fictionish too? And I am a devoted fan of Andrea's books!

    1. Joanna,
      I like Liza's response on your question :)
      Thank you for coming by.

  6. Liza's opinion of steampunk. I think it's science fantasy because it goes back to the past and creates a world that never quite existed with technology advances that never quite developed. In otherwords, an alternative world where humans went off in a slightly different way. However, the focus on technology may qualify it as a merged genre. We'll have to wait and get the expert's opinion.

    1. I like the name science fantasy for steampunk.

    2. I haven't tried steampunk - anyone know of a good author to try?

  7. Excellent post, ladies! Andrea, thank you for Orson Scott Card's quote; I had never heard that one. I love both sci-fi and fantasy - and time travel... did I mention time travel? Andrea, much continued success and many, many sales.

    1. Deborah,
      Thank you. And I like time travel too :)

  8. Great post, Andrea. Loved Orson Scott Card's quote... I'm a huge fan of his stories.

    1. T.F., Thank you. I am too. I can't wait to read your novel, Cloaked in Fur.

  9. Thanks for the thoughts on steampunk. Annie Seaton has written a couple of steampunk books - Winter of the Passion Flower and Summer of the Moon Flower which will give you a taste of steampunk, Andrea. The jury is still out on whether I like that genre or not.


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