22 March 2016


I've heard it said that readers of fantastic fiction must suspend disbelief. Some sources attribute this to Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817:
...procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith...
I do think readers need poetic faith to enjoy any fiction. Authors should also play their part, however, by creating an internally consistent world.

When it comes to science fiction, it is additionally important for readers to suspend confusion. If can be hard to get into a SF story when new worlds, new technologies, new jargon are being thrown at you. But, SF readers, never fear! It's worth it, if you persevere. :)

These different approaches are due to the inherent and deep-seated differences between fantasy and SF. Fantastic fiction is the earliest type of fiction. To some extent, all fiction is fantastic.
Modern SF, on the other hand, originated in the 17th and 18th centuries' Age of Reason with its scientific discoveries. Thus, at its core, SF is rational. All phenomena should be explained, or at least be able to be explained.

Here at Electric Spec we love both fantastic fiction and SF!
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