Growing up, I read my first Fantasy books – the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, starting in second grade. Not long after, I read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.
They were two very different experiences, and I loved them both. Ever since, I’ve found myself reading a little hard sci fi, and then bouncing over to the other pole and reading a great epic fantasy novel. It’s a little like eating a salty dinner and washing it down with wild cherry pepsi.
But I’ve also learned to love that middle ground – the fusion of sci fi and fantasy. It’s fairly uncommon, at least relative to the larger numbers of straight (forgive the word) sci fi or straight fantasy. But I have run across a few excellent examples.
It;s something that Anne McCaffrey did particularly well in her Pern novels, managing to go from straight-ahead sci fi/world building in books earlier in the timeline to feudal /fantasy complete with dragons later on.
Peter Hamilton also managed it well in his Void trilogy, with a hyper sci-fi world melded with a magical fantasy one.
Piers Anthony also comes to mind with his Phaze series, where two worlds – sci fi and magical – co-exist in adjoining dimensions.
Writing hybrid sci-fi / fantasy is one of my favorite things, and I’m learning how to add MM into the mix now too.
What about you? Are you a sci fi purist, or do you like your genre’s mixed?