In the past few weeks, I posted about why I think I write science fantasy. When that turned out to be a discussion on how to define the genre, I went on to elaborate how the different languages and vocabularies of fantasy and science fiction are blended in science fantasy.
Today I have a confession: The reason why I write science fantasy has very little to do with a reasoned, thoughtful approach to writing fiction and everything to do with my childhood influences. Behold.
(Note: science fiction elements in red, fantasy in blue, science fantasy in purple)
Exhibit A: ThunderCats
Feline humanoids with super powers flee their dying planet in spaceships and crash-land on another planet. There they encounter new friends (unicorn-herding sorcerers, warrior maidens, galactic cops, and robotic fruit-harvesting bears), make a powerful new enemy (a five-thousand-year-old living mummy), and build a fortress and a cool tank. Their leader, a hotheaded young warrior with a magic sword, is constantly in and out of trouble.
Exhibit B: Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer
A magical girl who brings spring to earth travels across the universe to confront an evil space princess who is bent on adding a diamond planet to her collection of jewels. Features talking horses, both real and robotic, robots and spaceships, lizard creatures and magical belts.
I may have been one of the few people who, upon learning of the discovery of this planet, exclaimed, “They found Spectra!”
Exhibit C: Warriors of the Wind
I know, I know this is the horribly-mangled English-language version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, but I loved it as a kid and I don’t care that it cut out all the heavy-handed environmentalism. I’m grateful to the newer English version of Nausicaa for clearing up some plot points that had always puzzled me, but the dialog of Warriors of the Wind was funnier and I knew most of it by heart.
So. Blurb: In a post-apocalyptic world taken over by a toxic jungle and giant insects, a small peaceful kingdom is brutally attacked by a warlike state (with airplanes, tanks, and guns) when an ancient weapon is uncovered within its borders. Nausicaa, the princess of the Valley of the Wind, who has a strange connection with the giant insects, struggles to bring peace between the nations, and between humanity and the denizens of the jungle. There is also a prophecy.
It’s no wonder that I write genre soup, happily tossing fantasy and science fiction elements into my fiction.
What were your childhood influences? How have they affected your writing or other art?