Attention booksellers – stop sticking fantasy in the same category as science fiction.

Look there are many categories of fiction, from the romantic pulp novel to the massive historically accurate war novels, and in between there are thrillers, horrors, who-done-its, humor, literary masterpieces, classics, and many other so called genres. But for some annoying reason two categories (that I rather like) get mixed together, those of science fiction and fantasy.

These are clearly very different, but in the minds of some librarian they are one and the same. That librarian is wrong!

Fantasy novels are normally based on the ideas of some supernatural phenomena, either some form of magic or one or more wild races of non-existent strangeness (orcs, ogres, dwarves, ancient gods etc).

While science fiction considers the possibilities of things yet to be developed by science, such as time travel, travel to distant worlds (or aliens from distant worlds coming to us), or any number of different futuristic technical inventions.

These are two very different genres. Sure they both take imagination, but they deserve their own shelves in bookstores and their own category online.

Imagine if that librarian were to combine romance and war as one category. I mean lets face it the only difference is that one is read by women and the other mainly by men. So the category could be “emotional reading”.

Or how about a category called “tedious reading”, that would include the Bronte sisters and Mikael Blomkvist, they both share the ability to spend much too long writing about irrelevant detail.

So lets just agree that Science Fiction is a unique category and Fantasy is another unique category, and (almost) never the twain shall meet.



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