Rachael Harrie, who has created a most excellent campaign: htp://rachaelharrie.blogspot.com/ (may she live forever in the Kingdom of Bestsellers), has forcibly inspired me to define my novels’genre as something other than YA Time-Slip (because she doesn’t offer that category on her website). So my writing is now officially Historical Fiction AND Fantasy, but leaning toward Sci-Fi. This was an extremely difficult call to make, and here’s why:
Borrowing from my close, personal friends at Wikipedia, the standard definition that most of us abide by, is:
Stories that involve time travel devices or technologies that take people backwards and forwards in time and space are considered part of the science fiction genre. Whereas stories that involve time travel through supernatural, magical, or unexplained means are considered part of the fantasy genre.
Isaac Asimov, when asked to explain the difference between science fiction and fantasy, once explained that science fiction, given its grounding in science, is possible; fantasy, which has no grounding in reality, is not.
“Ah-hah!” I cry, into the blogness, “But, Mr. Asimov, you have overlooked the realm of spiritual time-travel, which is an activity Druids (and other out-of-body specialists) have been indulging in for centuries. What about Einstein’s theories of time and motion not being linear? What about the ‘places,’ either within or outside of ourselves, that hold an energy of another time?”
I was in a film called ‘Contact,’ based on the Carl Sagan novel of the same name, in which Jodi Foster (as Ellie Arroway) does just this. In the film, it looks to the outside world as though Ellie is just sitting in one spot. But in HER consciousness, she goes to another place, 26 light-years away, and visits with someone who appears to be her deceased father.
Have you never had a very life-like dream of something from your own past? Have you zoned out while driving and ‘found’ yourself at your destination? Have you ever encountered a sort of waking vision that involves people or places you do not know? If so, then I would suggest you have at least been on the threshold of time-travel.
So, okay, just because some people (maybe agents and publishers) sometimes feel more comfortable if things fit neatly into catagories, then I will categorize my current manuscript as YA time-slip ‘fantasy’ or ‘historical.’ But I will append this caveat to that pigeon hole:
Just because you can’t see it, define it or count it, doesn’t mean it’s fantasy, Heracio!