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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Science Fantasy vs Real Life, Or how the dog ate my homework and I became Queen of the Universe

With great pleasure I'd like to welcome Lynda K. Scott today as my guest. She is featuring a fascinating topic. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.


Science Fantasy vs Real Life

Or how the dog ate my homework and I became Queen of the Universe

Before we can delve into this subject, what the heck is Science Fantasy?

Wikipedia defines it as ‘Science fantasy is a mixed genre within Speculative Fiction. Science fantasy stories draw elements from both science fiction and fantasy.’ Real Life is usually defined as what is actually happening or has happened. In other words, it’s not fictional.

I was contemplating the subject of this article when Wookie, my feline companion, approached and asked what was I doing that was so much more important than stroking her fluffy fur and giving her one, or more, of her favorite treats. I explained that I was preparing an article for a blog based on the differences between science fantasy and real life.

She widened her eyes, her pupils expanding as she exerted her full mind control over me, and purred ‘Am I not adorable? I deserve stroking and treats. You will stroke my fluffy fur. You will give me treats. Do it now.’

So I stroked her fluffy fur and gave her the treat. She happily leapt into her anti-gravity bed, wished me luck with the article and took a nap.

With Her Fluffiness out of the picture, for a while, I figured I’d better start writing before she felt the need for more attention. That’s when the phone rang.

When I answered, a computerized voice said, ‘This call is for Michael Christensen.’

That’s when I knew the phone was just playing one of its pranks. I don’t know who Michael is, but he doesn’t live here. Telephones have an uncanny ability to direct calls your way when you need to concentrate. Like children, cats, dogs and even hubbies, they get off on interrupting your thought flow.

What we do as writers is to create a world so similar to real life that the edges can be blurry. Talking cats? Fantasy. Anti-gravity beds? Science Fiction. Mind controlling cats? Okay, that’s Real Life.

As a writer, it’s my job to take details and morph them into either the science side or the fantasy side of the story.

In my current release, Heartstone, I’ve created a science fiction romance that takes place here on Earth and expands to several other worlds. However, the hero, Eric, is a shape shifter. Or as Keriam, the heroine, calls him – a werewolf or creature from the Black Lagoon. He explains the talent by saying that their race was gifted with the ability to change shape by an ancient race of Starfarers. Keriam doesn’t believe him because she can’t shape shift. Why not? Because she’s a female. Females, the bearers of young, can’t change shapes because it might affect their babies. They weren’t short-shifted though. The Starfarers gave them empathic abilities.

An Arthur C. Clark quote states that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

And that’s what makes science fantasy possible.

Oh…the Queen of the Universe in the title? That’s Wookie. She tells me that her lineage is royal and that one day she will return to her native planet of Felinetopia. She also says that she’ll take me with her as a ‘reward’ for my service.

I don’t know if I should worry or not.

Great News! If you buy Heartstone through the Mundania site, you can use the code

LSCOTT10 at checkout and receive a 10% discount on your total purchase.

Trade Paperback
240 pages


Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and
fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But
when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than
the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will
it cost him the woman he loves?

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks
she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves
her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not,
she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a

Heartstone Excerpt

He let his damena-sense drift out over the woods, carefully
cataloguing the rampant life in the Neraldian forest. Linlies in plenty
lived on this side of the mountain. Distantly, he sensed a bursi raiding
one of their burrows. Timid herbivores, the long-necked arullah
wavered on the edge of his perception. Closer, a night hunter stirred
in its high nest among the calanti trees. It posed no problem for him
or Keriam so he quickly dismissed the creature. No matter how far
he sent his damena-sense, however, his attention never strayed far
from the woman in front of him.

His attempt to force her to tell him where the Heartstone was had failed, though he’d used the full extent of his damena-sense.
That had startled him. So had his physical reaction to her. He pulled
his gaze away from her shapely buttocks.

How would she react to her first experience with a Portal? Or
to her first sight of Antiare? What would she think of his family? He
stumbled to a halt as a warning klaxon rang in his mind. He couldn’t
afford to think of the Stonebearer as anything other than a tool, no
more important than a blaster or sword.

If he had to win her emotions, he would. He would not, however,
allow his emotions to control him. He had set his course and
intended to follow it.

“How far to Jeardi?” The Stonebearer asked as she stooped
to pluck a wild blossom from a mira weed. She sniffed, wrinkling
her nose at the noxious odor. Then sneezed explosively. Twice. He
chuckled at her watery-eyed disgust as she threw the weed down. If
looks were weapons, the one she sent him should have reduced him
to an Eric-sized cinder.

Immediately, he dredged up an innocent, if not charming, smile.
She turned and stomped up the trail. Sighing, he decided he’d rather
fight Agaz pirates, barehanded, than deal with one female in a temper.
He lengthened his stride until he walked beside her.

“It’s not far. Just beyond the mountains,” he said to placate her.
She spent a moment trying to see past the trees, a doubtful
look on her face, then gave up and said, “What’s there? In Jeardi?”
“The Nexus Portal.”

“Portal?” She slanted a look at him. He had never seen eyes like
hers; spectacularly, vividly blue irises bound by a narrow ring of midnight
blue. He liked that when she spoke, her gaze was direct and not
the coquettish gaze employed by most young women. Keriam’s—the
Stonebearer’s, he corrected—bright gaze settled on him. At last, she
asked, “This’s like what we came through to get here?”

“Yes, although Jeardi’s portal is permanent. The Gatefold only
works at certain locations and between certain planets.” He also liked

the sound of her voice. Smooth as the finest kiraly cloth, it washed
over him in soothing waves. He tried not to feel a keen disappointment
when she remained silent. “With the Starfarer’s Luck, we’ll be
there in four days.”

“Four days?” she asked abruptly. Her right eyebrow arched in
disbelief. “Walking all the way?”

In his canid form, it had taken him a day to travel from Jeardi
to the Earth-Neraldi locus. Had he not carried a sword or worried
about clothes at his destination, he could have flown it in a few short
hours. “The Earth-Neraldi junction is too far from the Portal. Since
you can’t fly, walking is our only option until we reach the other
side of the mountain.”

The bright gaze turned sour as she continued walking. The
wind freshened, teasing a curl into her eyes. Absently, she brushed
it aside, a thoughtful look on her face. He had been wrong in his
previous assessment. Although Keriamsadhe—the Stonebearer—was
no delicate flower of Antiari womanhood, she was lovely. In her own
fashion. The fire in her hair glinted darkly red as she passed through
beams of sunlight and she moved with a dancer’s grace over the
rough footing of the trail.

A minute later, she canted a teasing smile at him. “What did
you mean—I can’t fly. Can you?”

His heart thundered and his skin hummed as he basked in her
smile. Was she flirting with him? The thought both pleased and
disconcerted him. He tore his gaze away from her. “My lady? Can
I what?”

“Can you fly?” she laughed, clearly amused at her words.

“Yes, though I prefer canid forms,” he said. He had taken several
steps before he realized she had stopped and was staring at him in
open-mouthed astonishment. He heaved a sigh. “What now?”

Keriam put her fists on her hips, scowling. “I assume you mean
you can fly an airplane? And I assume you don’t have one close by?”

“No.” He looked at her warily.

“Then what? Are you some kind of shapechanger? Like a werewolf?
The Creature from the Black Lagoon?”

“Shapeshifter is a more accepted term.” The woman had a rare
talent. One minute, she could beguile him with the sweetness of her
voice. The next minute, her sarcasm made him want to throttle her.
“I’m not sure what you mean by werewolf or the creature from the
black lagoon.”

“A werewolf is a person who magically turns into a wolf when
the moon is full. Forget about the creature—it doesn’t apply.”

“I don’t believe in magic.”

Her expression remained skeptical. Did she need proof? He let

his canid-form surface, briefly, just so she would know he was a full grown man, in the prime of his power. His voice roughened, a growling
quality entered it. “But one of my alter-forms is kin to a wolf.”

“My God,” Keriam paled and stepped back, an action that caused
his frustration to burst. “My God!”

He exploded, “Rottinghell, woman. I won’t turn into a beast and
rip your throat out... No matter how much you tempt me.”

Her eyebrows arrowed together as she scowled. “Good decision,

Turning, she strode down the trail without a backward look.

Brilliant move, Eric thought acidly. It would be a miracle if she did
not outright despise him by the time they reached Jeardi. He stomped

after her. Maybe he could just jump over a long, jagged cliff and save
her the trouble of pushing him. Then again, maybe he should be the
one doing the pushing.


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Lynda K. Scott said...

Good morning! Marsha, thanks so much for having me here today. Wookie, the official prize picker for my contests, hopes that a lot of your readers enters the drawing. She does so love choosing the winner...and letting me chase her down to retrieve the name :-)

Lynda K. Scott said...

Yikes, it looks like I forgot to give my email addy for the contest.

You can email me at (don't forget to put 'Marsha Moore' in the subject line)

Bart said...

Wow, Linda you nailed it with the definition of Science Fantasy. I havent heard that term in...well...a long time.

Oh, I recommend you not go to felinetopia.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Congrats on the new romance novel.
It sounds like a winner!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks for being here, Lynda. Great topic! Similar to the concept of magical realism.


Pauline B Jones said...

You always do fun and interesting posts, Lynda. I've got Heartstone loaded on my kindle and looking forward to a great read!

I love that quote, wish I'd had it this weekend when someone on a panel said he didn't like magic mixed with his science.

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Lynda,

I believe that science fiction is based on reality in that it is how we might envision the future. AFter all, some hi-tech gadgets that were "real" on the first Star Trek are taken-for granted devices. Who would have imagined even 50 years ago that information could be stored in a hand held mini-computer?

Julie Robinson said...

I'd never heard the term, Magic Realism, but it's very apt.

Julie Robinson said...

Lynda, great excerpt. Love that ending!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Magical realism began in the mid-1950s and was common among Latin American authors, including one of my favorites, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It is a literary style that looks at the mundane, the every day, through a hyper-realistic and often mysterious lens. I love the effect.

Thanks for stopping by, Julie.


Julie Robinson said...

Interesting. You know, I have a MA in English lit, but never studied the 1950's. I was more into the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and the 1800's lit.
I shall have to look into this . . .

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Bart,

Thanks re the science fantasy definition :-)

You wouldn't recommend a visit to Felinetopia, huh? It's pretty bad when you can't trust what your cat companion tells you, lol.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Jacqueline, thanks and thanks for stopping by :-)

Thanks, again, for having me, Marsha. Magical realism is something I haven't tried my hand at yet. I've read Gabriel Garcia Marquez (darn, can't think of the name of the series offhand) and loved his style. I agree he does magical realism (in a literary way) very well.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Pauline!

Thanks for stopping by. Isn't that a great quote from Arthur C. Clark? And so apt for those of us who write Science Fantasy.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Julie,

A lot of science fiction, particularly the ;nuts and bolts' kind, is certainly based on reality because it's an extrapolation of what we're currently using.

Star Trek, I believe, spurred a lot of the tech we now have because we wanted those little hand held computers/ communicators. So we had to make them :-) There's been a number of ST 'inventions' that have come to life in the last 20 or so years. Me? I'm waiting for the transporter. That would be totally kewl!

DR. NORM said...

I thoroughly enjoyed Lynda's article. Great job.

Linda Wisdom said...

Of course Wookie is Queen of the Universe! Just as Barney is Lord of All. :}

Heartsong is fantastic and everyone needs to buy it!

Carly Carson said...

I love your quote. It's true. Could a prehistoric person have imagined standing in a building high above the ground and speaking to a person in China? Things we can't imagine today will be reality in the future. I love thinking about things like that.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks Dr Norm, glad you liked it :-)

Hi Linda, tell Barney, Lord of All, Wookie says Hi.

It's true, Carly. Imagine what a prehistoric or even a medieval era person would think of TV, especially these flat screen monitors and 3D images. Heck, even I marvel at some of this stuff and I'm half way familiar with it, lol

Everyone, don't forget when you leave a comment, email me at with Marsha Moore in the subject line so I can enter you in the contest. Wookie says the more who enter, the merrier :-)

Julie Robinson said...

Yes, even something so taken for granted as driving on the highway---I think---what if Henry VIII could see a woman like me driving down the interstate---Off with HIS head! Yep, we've come a long way, baby :-)

No, I don't smoke Virginia Slims.

Julie Robinson said...

"I love thinking about things like that."

Me too, Carly!

SiNn said...

Lynda! your work rocks ty for posting here and marsha im now a follower too

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi SiNn!

Thanks for the compliment and thanks for stopping by!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Glad you stopped by, SiNn. Thanks lots for following! :)


Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi! I just wanted to stop by and say congrats to Sue whose name Wookie pulled from the prize box.

Sue, your necklace will be in the mail tomorrow. Thanks for playing!

Thanks again to Marsha for letting me come chat at Illusions of Intimacy. It's been great!