So I live under a rock since I'd only recently discovered this amazing genre called "Sci-Fantasy."
To quote one definition: "Science Fantasy takes traditional Fantasy and Science Fiction tropes and throws them in a blender, purposely creating settings that have the feel of both. Expect to see a lot of classic Fantasy tropes (e.g. warriors with swords, dragons, wizards, castles, and elves) and a lot of standard Science Fiction tropes (e.g. spaceships, aliens, lasers, scientists, robots, and Time Travel)."
Sci-fantasy has been confusing people since it came around in the 1950s. But you're in good company because even the biggest of science fiction franchises, Star Trek and Star Wars, are often classified (and some of their writers and creators agree) instead as being science fantasy.
But however you want to label them, there are some pretty entertaining reads to be found all around.
Check out these 10 sci-fantastic reads to suit your cravings under this wonderful genre-bending genre!
Sure, there's math, tesseracts, and science about. But there's also a plethora of supernatural beings (The Mrs. W's and The Black Thing) in this classic quintet.
Seven Crowns seamlessly blends the worlds of YA science fiction and fantasy in one page-turning adventure you don't want to miss! From cat-eyed hobos to spaceships to terraforming, you'll find lots of sci-fi elements to love. But you'll also find a heaping serving of fantasy in the form of rival royal families and magical gifts, like foresight, healing, plant magic, and persuasion.
Can there be anything more fantastical than dragons? But add in the elements of genetic engineering and time travel and you've got another genre blender!
Chloe Carmichael is a normal sixteen-year-old New Yorker who suddenly finds herself in a battle that stretches across multiple universes, with an enemy bent on destroying everyone in all of them.
Unexplained super abilities, multiple universes, time travel, multiple universes, super abilities, other planets/aliens, futuristic weapons and gadgets. You'll find them all in the "Finding Me" series.
The Bloodcaster Chronicles is about a witch sent to kill an angel, but he has the power to manipulate time. This series has heavy elements of magic, but the concept of the timeline and how some events are fixed and cannot be altered is a nod toward science fiction.
R.L. Perez loves time travel, but on the mystical and magical side of things, so she always includes (to quote Doctor Who) a "wibbly wobbly timey wimey" twist in her series.
Orson Scott Card even mentions that "one of his rejections mentioned that it was a good story, but it wasn't right for the magazine, as it was Fantasy rather than Science Fiction. He said that the reason it was considered Fantasy was because none of the scientific backdrop was present in the story."
Leitao wanted to reverse the usual trope "character encounters magic."
Saytera, one of the main characters, grows up in an isolated island where she learns magic. She's also an archer. Here, she leaves the magical place to go to an academy where there's no magic. The idea is that in life, usually we have magic as children, but end up loosing it as we age. A part of her arc is connecting with her magic again.
Survivors of the Rising Sea, elegantly blends sci-fi and fantasy through the use of advanced technology juxtaposed against traditional fantasy archetypes. For example, a vast, well-organized pirate mafia has sprung up in response to the Viking overlords' ban on technology. The mafia salvages, repairs, and repurposes technology to build their ships, homes, and handheld devices. Even the Vikings benefit from agricultural technology that turns algae into biofuel for their naval fleets.
It's "portal fantasy" and "sci-fi adventure." In this series, we jump through the multiverse, travel through time, tinker with high-tech gadgetry, encounter parallel world versions of ourselves, erase memories, have visions about other worlds, engage supernovae, and find soulmates, all while trying to escape from a veiled, sinister organization with a bit of a morally-gray agenda.
Is it sci-fi or sci-fantasy? Check it out and let me know what you think.
Come on. Yes. Of course. I know it's a movie now and "Dune" is surely the most important piece of sci-fi ever written but because of its mystical elements, which could possibly be attributed to either magic or sophisticated technology, let's just say I agree with Arthur C. Clarke who said "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Are you still confused between sci-fantasy and sci-fi and fantasy?
Let us appease ourselves with this sweeping statement I found: "one could argue that the very best [books] transcend both genres into a unified epic."
And I always want my reads to be epic - regardless of the genre. Isn't that the most important thing?
What are your favorite sci-fantasy reads? Let me know in the comments!
This article was written by S. R. Breaker.
S. R. Breaker writes offbeat, quirky, easy reading teen/young adult science fiction and fantasy books. She has a thing for "portal fantasy" and loves to live vicariously through her characters. They don’t have to vacuum all day long and are almost always guaranteed to survive any fantastical or thrilling incidents, no matter how treacherous she writes them. Visit her epic worlds in books.