Second-to-last post I talked about hard SF. (Last time I talked about a guitar string.) This time, let's go back a few posts and pick up on something I assigned to the category of science fiction but called pseudo-fantasy. What is pseudo-fantasy?
I threw out the example of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. It's the book that put her on the map, but I must confess that didn't get through it. Since what I read was many years ago, I'm going to use another example for the sake of discussion.
This is a book I reviewed in June of 2007 here on Frothing at the Mouth. It's a novel by James Maxey called Bitterwood.
I'm trying to do this without any serious spoilers, but if you want to read the book and have absolutely no hints about his world, do not read on. Come back when you've read it.
Are the hard-core newly minted Bitterwood fans gone? Good. Let's carry on.
Maxey writes what is essentially a solid fantasy story featuring dragons. As you dig deeper into the story, you discover that all his fantastic aspects are explained away scientifically. His magic? It's all forgotten technology or science. His dragons? Genetic engineering gone rampant. Everything about his world is well and plausably explained, and that makes it a science fiction story disguised as fantasy.
I get the impression that Maxey likes to have his fantasy universe grounded in reality. James, if you're reading this, would you post a comment about why you decided to go the pseudo-fantasy route with the Bitterwood universe?
In other news, some bozos left a campfire unattended in Grand Canyon National Park, starting the X fire.
People, if you don't know what you are doing, leave the matches at home! This part of the country is very dry and will ignite if you look at it wrong.