I’ve often said, only a bit tongue in cheek, that I write both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. But for me, this is the majority of the fiction I’ve always read and what I’ve always written, almost to the exclusion of anything else. Contemporary fiction has its place, for other people, and I’ll read it on rare occasions. But it’s not natural for me.
So when people ask if it’s difficult switching back and forth between SF and Fantasy, my short, glib answer is “no.” It’s not difficult – but I’m convinced that writing each one uses different parts of my brain. SF requires careful research, careful planning, fact-checking, consultation. There’s a lot more external input involved since SF writers may be speculating about future developments, these developments still need a grounding in the science we already know.
Fantasy is a much more internal process. The misconception is that the fantasy writer simply opens a box of glitter and sprinkles magical things on the page with wild abandon. This is the case in poorly conceived fantasy, certainly, where the resolutions are sudden convenient changes and ridiculous revelations. But good world building takes time and effort and is no less arduous a task than trying to figure out how to change the human genome.
In SF, the author gets to play architect of the future. In Fantasy, the author gets to play mini-god. Both require adherence to the laws of the universe, whatever universe it might be.
For a new bit of urban fantasy, one of my favorite sub-genres, the third book in my Endangered Fae series released today – Semper Fae from MLR Press.
Zack thought he had a strange job before. Working as a Marine medic in a secret government installation was odd, but working as a human liaison to the /fae/ and as the personal assistant to a sidhe prince is downright bizarre. Throw in the fact that he’s pretty damn sure he’s fallen in love with his boss, and things are close to unmanageable.
Of course, around the fae, one never says ‘things can’t possibly get any worse.’ Unexplained events plague the human world. Strange sightings, spontaneous magical explosions, and odd bends in reality crop up. When Finn falls ill and a monstrous creature attacks Zack, things quickly slide into disaster. Lycanthropy, loose-cannon mages, and Lugh conspire to make a hellish mess of things—but the real peril begins when Diego loses an important piece of his mind.