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Speaking of "high" vs "low" - I pitched to an agent at a (virtual) conference this weekend and he declined, saying my manuscript sounded like "high" sci-fi to him and he only handled "low" sci-fi. I have no idea what he was talking about. Like Jon Dixon, I've heard the labels applied to fantasy stories, but I've never heard of "high" or "low" science fiction. Any ideas what would constitute each subgenre?

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  • Never heard such a thing! I have no idea what he could have been talking about! The only broad categories I've heard applied are 'hard' SF (which tends to concentrate on the technological and scientific aspects of the fictional world) and 'soft' SF (which tends more towards the exploration of anthropological or societal themes). In practice, they're as ambiguous as the fantasy classifications, I suspect, and most really good SF will incorporate both. But 'high' and 'low'...? Not a clue.

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    • Ditto what Jon said.

      Does this agent have a verifiable track record? Maybe you could look up what this agent has represented to decipher it.

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      • I've heard about High Fantasy being a story in a created world. Never heard about Low Fantasy...

        I Googled it. Now that I wanted to know what is it. 😀 

        "Low fantasy or intrusion fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction where magical events intrude on an otherwise normal world. It thus contrasts with high fantasy stories, which take place in fictional worlds with their own sets of rules and physical laws."

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        • I'm thinking Jon and Rick are right ... maybe he meant Hard vs Soft scifi ... though I'd categorize my own stories as "soft" since they deal more with the culture/society ...

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          • Perhaps he'd been taking drugs...weird thing to say - better off without him I think...

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