I’ve had some people ask me why I decided to write a science fiction novel, rather than some other genre. I also realized I never really talked about why I love science fiction as a genre.
My love affair with science fiction goes back a long way. I taught myself how to read around the age of four and quickly devoured every children’s book I could get my hands on. By the time I began first grade, I had already outgrown my interest in children’s books so my mother gave me my first novel to read: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I fell in love with John Carter and his adventures and read all eleven novels in that series.
Once I made my way through my mother’s entire science fiction collection, I needed more and so my grandmother took me to our local library so I could get my first library card. I went through their entire science fiction collection as well before branching out to fantasy and mythology books as well.
I do love the fantasy genre as well, but science fiction will always be my first love. I think that’s because, with most science fiction, the stories are at least on some degree plausible. The technology depicted may be more advanced that our own, but it’s something we could one day achieve.
Look at all the technology they had on Star Trek, and how much of it now exists. Everything from blue tooth earpieces to portable tablets and communicators (mobile phones). I’d like to think that those of us who create science fiction help fuel the imagination of budding scientists and engineers and influence our future technological development.
When I was finally inspired to write my own novel, it shouldn’t be a surprise that my imagination went to science fiction, despite the fact that my novel features an elven species. It was the very speculation, what if elves were really an alien species from another planet?, that drove the story and made it inevitably science fiction.
I’ve had some people argue that it’s science fantasy because it has elves. However, I disagree. While elves may be originally a species borne out of fantasy novels, I see no reason why they cannot also exist in science fiction. The Vulcans on Star Trek have the pointed ears of an elf, but they are regarded as an alien species. No one calls them elves but there’s nothing to say that humans who encounter beings like that might not use that term.
As with any novel, there are elements of other genres in The Artifacts of Truth. There is mystery, drama, adventure, and even an entire romance subplot. However, at its core, the novel is science fiction. The story takes place on an alien planet and onboard a couple of spaceships, with a mix of primitive and highly advanced technology.
For me, the most fun part of the story to write was the reactions of my protagonists as they encounter all the alien technology, and how they adapt to everything as they discover and reveal the truth behind the origins of both of their people. Those have always been my favorite science fiction stories – when the main character(s) encounter advanced alien technology for the first time. As the reader you get to discover it along with them, which adds to the adventure.
What was the first science fiction novel you read? Which one was your favorite?