Wednesday 30 December 2015

Best of the ACW Archives - Genre: Fantasy and Speculative

By Iola Goulton

Many bookshops have a section called ‘Sci-fi/Fantasy’ or similar, which annoys writers because they see the genres as being quite separate—and they are. What these novels do have in common is the requirement for world-building: the ability of the author to create a credible imaginary world in which the story takes place. This includes developing the physical characteristics of the world (e.g. geography and ecology) as well as the history, culture and religion of the different people groups in the story.

The world might be a long time ago on a faraway planet (Star Wars), it might be a futuristic version of Earth (Star Trek), it might be post-apocalyptic Earth (The Hunger Games) or it might be contemporary Earth but featuring a sub-culture hidden from the rest of us (Harry Potter or Twilight). Each of these require a different type and level of worldbuilding.

This genre isn’t heavily represented in Christian fiction, although publishers like Enclave Publishing and Splashdown Books specialise in what is generally referred to as speculative or visionary fiction. Mainstream publishers such as Thomas Nelson and Wombat Books are producing some titles in this area, suggesting it is a growing market.

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1 comment:

  1. World building can be a tricky thing for fantasy and SF. It's especially difficult to do with short fiction, and especially flash fiction. Nevertheless, speculative fiction that catches the imagination and is well-written can whisk a reader away for hours of entertainment, sometimes even thought-provoking.


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