Sunday, August 13, 2006

Got Magic?

If it's got Magic in it, it can't be Science Fiction Romance....

How many of us have read, or been told that if there's magic, it must be Fantasy.

I'd like a straw poll. If you've believe that there's no place for magic in SF --or if you've heard it, and wondered Why not?-- please comment.

It's easy. Click the crayon symbol to the right of the author's signature. You can be Anonymous. You just have to recognize the distorted alphabet soup. Sometimes, you have to do that part again because maybe a Z is really a z, but how could you tell?

Back to Magic... nor not... as a topic.
My position is that I don't appreciate being told what I can and cannot write.

That said, I was grateful for Guidelines when I was starting out. It's good to know the ten greatest "turn-offs" that might cause an editor, an agent, or a contest judge to read no further (metaphorically speaking).

Yet the rebel in me wonders: If it is scientificially OK, even desirable, for aliens from other worlds to have religions and spiritual beliefs, why shouldn't they have magic?

Is there a difference --as far as a third party observer can tell-- between a miracle and magic?

As we get older and wiser, do we "grow out of" magic?

Do we assume that a technogically advanced civilization capable of interstellar travel will be too sophisticated for magic? Will they have explained it all away?

We know the difference between a conjurer's act and something that truly cannot be explained.... don't we? Still we are fascinated when the pea under the shell is not where our senses tell us it should be, or when the magician catches the bullet between his not-even-chipped teeth.

When you think of jobs with legs, the entertainment industry must be one of the most durable... not counting the illegal occupations and the hereditary positions... there's singing and otherwise making music; news-and-story-telling; conjuring, juggling and magic-doing.

There's also cooking, farming and fighting.

There must be a reason why we need magic in our lives, whether it is Swords and Sorcery; dangerous bald genies in bottles (why are they always bald?), wands and winged dragons; portals to parallel worlds; or the possibility of amorous and lonely hunks --pretty much like us, perhaps with two penises, or pointy ears, or fangs, or silver-bullet-semen-- travelling through the icy blackness of space in search of love and understanding.

Why should an industry professional who is judging my alien romances become confused and upset if my non-human, interstellar starjet pilot can levitate through the sheer force of his personality and will?

Suppose he glares intently at the heroine and sweeps her off her feet, literally, without recourse to magnets, nano-power packs, or other scientifically possible explanations?

Disclaimer: I don't mean to say that any industry professional that I know HAS become confused and upset by such seductive delights (on the other hand, my alien djinn heroes haven't --yet-- performed inexplicable magic, either). I'm simply reflecting the warnings I've heard from How-To enthusiasts.

I might also be contemplating a little genre rule-breaking, some time in the future. INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL is virtually finished, and I'm seriously thinking about breaking new ground in the next book, which is provisionally titled Knight's Fork (yet another chess reference).

Best wishes,

Disclaimer: This is pretty much the same blog as published on the group blog alien romances

No comments: