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Do you like reading epic/historical fantasy AND science fiction?

Do you read any mix of epic/historical fantasy and science fiction?

  • Epic/historical fantasy only (out of the above choices)

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Science fiction only (out of the above choices)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I enjoy both

    Votes: 12 92.3%

  • Total voters
    13

Ned Marcus

Maester
How many of you like reading epic/historical fantasy AND science fiction?

I'm interested in how much overlap there is in the readership of these genres. As they seem to be almost opposites—epic/historical fantasy dealing with the past, and science fiction with possible futures—I imagine there's not much overlap, but I could be wrong.
 
I like historical fiction, historical fantasy, fantasy and what I would describe as dystopian, with sci-fi overtones. And still, some books surprise me. I like sci-fi to be more cerebral and mind expanding than ‘aliens and spaceships’.
 

Aldarion

Archmage
I enjoy both, though most of the sci-fi that I enjoy is really "fantasy in space" more than anything else (Star Wars and Warhammer 40k).
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
While my brain pretty much lives in fantasy worlds and thoughts, when I am choosing what I prefer, I tend to pick classics. Actually reading fantasy feels a bit like homework to me.

I dont have any strong inclination to historical fiction or fantasy, but I've not regretted any story because it was in that category.

Most things I read are either, Homework, Classics, or the work of people I know.

But I am not really a reader. I read slow, and take a long time to complete something. Personally, I would rather create than read.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
I enjoy both. And I would suggest the two not only are not opposites but are in the same genre; namely, speculative fiction. Common to both is that key question: what if? Which is just the grown-up phrasing of the child's question (which is more fun anyway): let's pretend!
 

Ned Marcus

Maester
Thanks for your replies. It's good to know that so many of us like both genres. For some reason, I didn't expect that.
 

Ned Marcus

Maester
While my brain pretty much lives in fantasy worlds and thoughts, when I am choosing what I prefer, I tend to pick classics. Actually reading fantasy feels a bit like homework to me.

I dont have any strong inclination to historical fiction or fantasy, but I've not regretted any story because it was in that category.

Most things I read are either, Homework, Classics, or the work of people I know.

But I am not really a reader. I read slow, and take a long time to complete something. Personally, I would rather create than read.
I'm always curious when I meet writers who don't read a lot. But I understand why people read less when they're writing. Me too. Actually, I read more nonfiction than fantasy. If I really get into writing historical fantasy, I know my reading of history will increase a lot. I read Bede's An Ecclesiastical History of the English People + a collection of articles just to set the mood for a short story I set in seventh century Northumbria.
 

Demesnedenoir

Myth Weaver
I can read either, but I don't read much outside of history and the works of writers I talk to. Writing is my thing, not reading. Hell, these days I read more unpublished work for critiques than I do published works.

So maybe I should say, I'm as prone to buy Epic/historical fantasy as I am sci-fi, but the odds are good they'll still be on my TBR list when I die.
 

Ned Marcus

Maester
So maybe I should say, I'm as prone to buy Epic/historical fantasy as I am sci-fi, but the odds are good they'll still be on my TBR list when I die.
Don't you feel you're missing out? It's something I sometimes feel because of how busy I am.
 
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Aldarion

Archmage
Thanks for your replies. It's good to know that so many of us like both genres. For some reason, I didn't expect that.
Most of the science fiction is really more fantasy in space than anything else. If you look at the most popular sci-fi franchises:
- Star Trek has space magic only very roughly covered by a layer of technobabble, supernatural powers and entities
- Star Wars is literally fantasy in space, and people only call it sci-fi because muh starships
- Warhammer 40k doesn't even pretend to be anything but fantasy in space

Actual sci-fi settings by contrast are rarely so popular... I can think of maybe Jurassic Park and the Expanse and that's it. And of the two, only Jurassic Park reaches popularity of the above three, while Star Wars significantly outstrips any of the settings I had listed (at least if Google Trends are to be trusted).
 

Genly

Minstrel
I agree with Aldarion. The popularity of "fantasy in space" science fiction is much greater these days than so-called "hard" science fiction. I guess that means that people who like epic fantasy can also like epic space-based fantasy. Hard science fiction might have less appeal to people who enjoy reading fantasy (I still like both, though, although I'm far from well read in either...).

I suppose science fiction started to drift away from the science bit in the 1960s, when lots of fantasy elements started showing up in books that were ostensibly science fiction. Still, there are hard science movies like The Martian (2015), which was pretty realistic on the whole, and popular.
 

Ned Marcus

Maester
Most of the science fiction is really more fantasy in space than anything else. If you look at the most popular sci-fi franchises:
- Star Trek has space magic only very roughly covered by a layer of technobabble, supernatural powers and entities
- Star Wars is literally fantasy in space, and people only call it sci-fi because muh starships
- Warhammer 40k doesn't even pretend to be anything but fantasy in space

Actual sci-fi settings by contrast are rarely so popular... I can think of maybe Jurassic Park and the Expanse and that's it. And of the two, only Jurassic Park reaches popularity of the above three, while Star Wars significantly outstrips any of the settings I had listed (at least if Google Trends are to be trusted).
If you're thinking about film, I think that's probably true. I loved Star Wars when it came out. And I used to watch Star Trek. I liked Alien, too.

With SF books, I like different kinds of stories. Brian Aldiss's Non Stop or Hothouse were great. But I also like Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. And much more.
 

Demesnedenoir

Myth Weaver
Yes, I do. At some point, I hope life will slow down, and I will take the time to read. But then, I might spend the time writing. It's hard to say. Writing is by far more important to me than reading, with so many stories I want to tell, so maybe after the kids abandon me, the wife divorces me, and we shut down the business... or perhaps just retire... dedicating enough time to reading seems unlikely, heh heh. But there is always memory loss to look forward to! Then, I can read LoTR and ASoIaF over and over like it's the first time every time!

Ahhhhh, the glory of driving my nurses crazy with that one.

Don't you feel you're missing out? It's something I sometimes feel because of how busy I am.
 

Demesnedenoir

Myth Weaver
I like both hard and fantasy sci-fi. Two sides of my personality bicker over this all the time. I'm more of an "if the story catches me, I'm good with whatever" sort of person. Purist hard sci-fi hits a lot of problems around FTL and other stuff for a good space opera, and once you start breaking physics? Well...

I agree with Aldarion. The popularity of "fantasy in space" science fiction is much greater these days than so-called "hard" science fiction. I guess that means that people who like epic fantasy can also like epic space-based fantasy. Hard science fiction might have less appeal to people who enjoy reading fantasy (I still like both, though, although I'm far from well read in either...).

I suppose science fiction started to drift away from the science bit in the 1960s, when lots of fantasy elements started showing up in books that were ostensibly science fiction. Still, there are hard science movies like The Martian (2015), which was pretty realistic on the whole, and popular.
 

Aldarion

Archmage
I like both hard and fantasy sci-fi. Two sides of my personality bicker over this all the time. I'm more of an "if the story catches me, I'm good with whatever" sort of person. Purist hard sci-fi hits a lot of problems around FTL and other stuff for a good space opera, and once you start breaking physics? Well...
I enjoyed Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets, but I don't mind series throwing physics out of the window.

I mean, it is far more of a problem if somebody tries to portray things right and then gets is wrong, than it is if they made it clear they don't give a crap about science to begin with. It's why I enjoy Star Wars, Warhammer 40k and Wing Commander far more than I do Star Trek.
 

TWErvin2

Auror
I enjoy both, and have published novels in both.
That said, there is less crossover than I anticipated in readers. There is not as much crossover in readers between subgenres of fantasy or between subgenres of SF as I anticipated.

That isn't to say it is zero, but early in my writing journey, I figured about 50% between fantasy & SF. Best I can tell, it is less than 20%. Numbers are hard to come by, as the vendors like Amazon and Kobo don't exactly share a lot of specific customer purchasing practices, or so my publisher says. Most of my numbers come from those readers that have emailed me over the years, those readers on my mailing list (I am not like some authors who have separate lists based upon genre), readers I have met through numerous signing events and conventions over the years, etc.
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
I'm always curious when I meet writers who don't read a lot.

It seems to me that this is just one of those things that until you can see the world through another frame, it just wont be understandable. There are advantages to reading a lot, and for people who enjoy it, hey...by all means. My book will be out as soon as the artist come back with the cover ;)

But, I would suggest, the advantages you pick up from love of reading, I can pick up by other means, or...I have picked up different things that I can use to compensate. I am on the creative side. When I have time to do my own thing, I much prefer to create my own stuff than absorb someone else's. I feel this will be a lifelong inclination. Perhaps it is a harder path to achieve what those who love reading can get to, but its not an impossible one. Many have done it.

For me, personally, I dont like reading. I dont find it entertaining. I find it more like a chore or homework. I often read because I have other things besides the story that I am reading for. When there is time, I can probably think of 20 other things I'd rather do than read a book (And often, I cant imagine when I will have the time to invest in reading a book anyway). And so....reading for fun is pretty far back on the burners for me.

That is not to say, I have not read. I bet I've read more than a number of people on the site. Which is not to be bragging, just to say, I've done a lot of homework, and it would be wrong to think I've avoided reading stuff just because I dont like it.

When I have a block of time where I could be reading, I would find it better spent writing instead. This has always been true for me. I would rather go to bed knowing I got one more page written, than finished a chapter in something I was reading.

Maybe that will change when I have finished to tale...who knows.
 

Demesnedenoir

Myth Weaver
Yes, creator mode. When I decide to do something I find fun, say creating a Jedi outfit, I think of what I can create myself. I lack the tools for crafting the lightsaber, but I am in the middle of making my belt. I'm unhappy with the standard "canon" lightsaber belt clips/holders, so I am going to cobble together my own that will be capable of a fast draw while still essentially fitting into canon while looking good on the belt, heh heh. My first thought is always to create, not sit on my ass reading. My favorite editor also no longer reads for fun; she reads for her job.

If I can do it myself, I will; that's what I find fun. Part of me would like to return to my teenage days when I read anything fantasy that seemed decent in my desperate search for another LoTR. ASoIaF is, to be honest, the only other series I find compelling to read, but even then, if Martin died before it's finished, I'd find that sad on an artist's level because that would be frustrating as hell to die in the middle of a huge project. But as far as cussing never reading the end? Nah. I'd just shrug and keep on writing because I don't wanna die before I'm finished, heh heh.

It seems to me that this is just one of those things that until you can see the world through another frame, it just wont be understandable. There are advantages to reading a lot, and for people who enjoy it, hey...by all means. My book will be out as soon as the artist come back with the cover ;)

But, I would suggest, the advantages you pick up from love of reading, I can pick up by other means, or...I have picked up different things that I can use to compensate. I am on the creative side. When I have time to do my own thing, I much prefer to create my own stuff than absorb someone else's. I feel this will be a lifelong inclination. Perhaps it is a harder path to achieve what those who love reading can get to, but its not an impossible one. Many have done it.

For me, personally, I dont like reading. I dont find it entertaining. I find it more like a chore or homework. I often read because I have other things besides the story that I am reading for. When there is time, I can probably think of 20 other things I'd rather do than read a book (And often, I cant imagine when I will have the time to invest in reading a book anyway). And so....reading for fun is pretty far back on the burners for me.

That is not to say, I have not read. I bet I've read more than a number of people on the site. Which is not to be bragging, just to say, I've done a lot of homework, and it would be wrong to think I've avoided reading stuff just because I dont like it.

When I have a block of time where I could be reading, I would find it better spent writing instead. This has always been true for me. I would rather go to bed knowing I got one more page written, than finished a chapter in something I was reading.

Maybe that will change when I have finished to tale...who knows.
 
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