Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors

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Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors
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A group for Sci Fi, Speculative and Fantasy authors to discuss the genres, and critique each other's work. 

I have a question. If I wanted to drop a chapter or two for some feedback, is it best to drop them into the files tab and post the title and location here, or is there a better way?

Hi Everyone

Thought I'd say hello - I'm a member of a few other groups but having just completed my first apocalyptic yarn - working title TOXIC which is book one of a trilogy. I'm halfway through book two which is paused whilst I await feedback on book one plus I'm trying to fit it in around a load of other stuff but suspect I might have to self publish it - which will be an adventure into the unknown for me but will be exciting I reckon!!

I joined the self publish group and I pop up in a few other places as I also dabble with Room Coms and crime novels, don't like to specialize lol.

Hello all. I am new to Jericho and found this grouo while looking for places to get some help and feedback, and maybe some inspiration! I live in Iowa, USA, and am currently in the middle of trying to write my first fantasy novel. Shifters and Fae and all that goes with them. Set in the beautiful rolling Loess Hills of a NW Iowa small town in the 1870s.  

Hoping I found a place to belong and learn. 

Third person vs first person.

I started on my first book having problems with telling not showing and using words that make the experience impersonal. I'm thinking that a story told in third person is more difficult to make personal than a first person narrative. 

The story I'm working on follows the development of multiple characters, it would be too complicated for the reader to follow it in first person. 

My question for you is, should I start another story that works in first person to get practice writing or should I stick to my current project, hoping I gain the proper techniques?

Hello guys. I'm Kevin Kauna and I'm new here to this website most specifically. I really look forward to hearing your advice on writing a fantasy novel. I'm in the process of the writing, that is the outline. I'm sixteen years old of age and I'm not pretty much experienced with this website but I'm so excited to join, learn and share my ideas together with yours. Thank you .

An anthology call for short stories that should interest sci-fi and fantasy writers.  https://www.patreon.com/posts/40888189 


Villains, I am sick of stories where there are no bad guys, just misunderstandings and opposing goals. Yuck. I want more villains. I swear the writers of 1980s Saturday morning cartoons understood a good villain better than we do today. 

I am wondering how much mystery I should keep surrounding my villain. I notice lots of authors hold the cards close to their chest when it comes to their villain. Surrounding them with suspenseful mystery and opportunities for shocking reveals. 

One of my favorite villains is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. We understand everything about the monster from the beginning and can relate to why he wants to destroy Dr Frankenstein's life.

I have an extensive back story for my villain but struggle to know when and how much to introduce to the reader. I understand that there are many ways to portray a villain. I want to hear how you did it and why.


Hey guys, I'm new to the Jericho community. Have just completed the third draft of what I hope one day to be my debut novel! It's a psychological thriller set in the near future with sci-fi aspects, namely in the form of time travel. The word count is just over 85,000 words. Keen to get to know people that are working on similar projects, and excited to be a part of the community! :-) PS due to me being unable to at present use either of my hands I'm using voice dictation software so if I'm slow to respond to any replies I do apologise! Looking forward to interacting with fellow creatives :-)

I found out how magic works, in my world. If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, than it doesn't make a sound, because it is only sound if perceived by a listener. Perception is reality. Reality began when God organized consciousness and spoke them into existence. All things are made of consciousness before becoming material. That is why everything has a spirit. 

There are 11 dimensions and God perceives all things in all dimensions at all times. There is never a case where a tree falls and doesn't make a sound. Through God's perception reality is protected. For God, all things are possible because he experiences everything from every angle and can move freely between each dimension. 

God created humanoids in his image, meaning they take part in creating reality. Like God, these creatures can turn dreams into reality by properly practicing the gift of free will. 

Most creatures have sensory overload when experiencing reality in just three dimensions and are forced to ignore most sensory inputs, subconsciously choosing what to pay attention to based on priority. 

The lowest forms of magic are just tricks that fool the senses. Higher forms of magic are much harder to achieve. Through rituals and/or rigorous mental training, one can achieve higher levels of perception. Meditation allows access to information that is usually blocked; talk to the spirits and see the connections between all things, separate a portion of your consciousness and travel, project your presence, control portions of your innerbody that are usually autonomous. Your mind begins to have control over matter; avoid getting burned, fucus energy in one point of your body to stop a spear from entering the skin, etc. Psychedelics can help achieve altered states of consciousness allowing you to perceive visions and prophecies. 

It is possible to trade with or make a packed with entities (like a demon) that have the ability to interact with reality in more than three dimensions. For stronger magic it is possible to subjugate some powerful entities.

It is possible to find favor with God and receive limited authority to act in his name.

It is possible to command the spirits, of matter and things that do not have free will, to obey you. This works if you have enough power or the authority and enough faith.

Basically there is no magic but deeper levels of understanding on how to manipulate reality perceived from multiple dimensions.

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?

Well... that was... Weird!

I checked every time I added someone to this group, only to find nothing posted since February every single time.

That post about which book cover was preferable was the only one here!

And yet, now? There've been people posting since march!? How the hell did that happen?

Sparked by a conversation in a forum thread about 'commercial' v 'literary' fiction, and genre in general, I wonder if I can ask for knowlegeable opinions from more experienced SF&F colleagues?

As an oldie, I've always slightly struggled to get my head around the fantasy genre definitions currently used. Specifically, the seeming dual use of the 'high' and 'low' fantasy titles. As I understand it, currently: 

- 'high fantasy' is used to denote a book that takes place in an 'other' imagined world different from our own - Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones

- 'low fantasy' is where fantasy elements intrude into 'our' normal world - Harry Potter or Carnival Row

- 'epic fantasy' is a sub-genre of 'high fantasy' which takes place on a very grand scale and deals with 'global' events or events over historic time-scales

- 'urban fantasy' seems to be synonymous with 'low fantasy' above

Have I got that right?

Because this runs alongside and slightly conflicts with my old (and perhaps incorrect) understanding of the 'high' and 'low' fantasy labels, which I think used to mean...

- 'high fantasy' - as above, stories that take place on a grand scale and/or over historic time-scales. Even if the protagonist is of humble birth (the 'stableboy who fate makes a hero') the cast usually features kings, queens, princes, huge armies, vast battles, assorted members of 'Dark Lords Anonymous' etc. Often spread over multiple volumes! Lord of the Rings is probably the definitive example, but work like Moorcock's earlier tales of Elric or Corum would also fit.

- 'low fantasy' - events that involve smaller scale happenings and 'ordinary' people or adventurers - Fritz Leibers 'Lankhmar' stories of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, for example, or C. J. Cherryh's 'Merovingen'. Even the Conan stories would fit this definition, or Jack Vance's 'Dying Earth' saga. Nobility and 'affairs of state' are usually part of the background setting and not directly involved, or not present at all.

Both of the above usually take place in an 'alternative' world, so nowadays would probably both be placed in the 'high fantasy' pigeonhole, regardless of the scale of the events they portray. Is that right?

The reason I ask is that I'm not at all sure where my current WIP novel sits. Maybe that doesn't matter at the moment, but in the event that I ever get to the point of pitching to an agent or publisher, or trying to self-publish, I'm inevitably going to be asked what 'genre' it is. And, truthfully, I haven't a clue. I've always considered it 'low' fantasy, in that the potagonist and most of the other characters are of common, ordinary stock, and the events that transpire (although having world-changing potential) are small-scale and personal to the characters. On a 'global' scale they wouldn't even attract general notice. It's small scale events (but with world-altering potential), ordinary people (as opposed to 'heroic'), essentially character-driven but with (I hope) a reasonably complex plot. The setting is a huge city state in a quasi medieval/rennaissance alternative world but with elements of early technology (basically a society on the cusp between magic and science). Magic is present but extremely rarely interacted with directly (think quantum mechanics - it underpins everything, but you're fairly unlikely to run into a quantum physicist down the chippy).

So I can't settle on which genre of fantasy novel it is - epic, high, low, heroic, hard, gothic, even slipstream ... and don't even get me started on the whole 'noblebright' v 'grimdark' thing! 😆

Any thoughts? On where such a beast might fit. Or on fantasy genres in general even.