I long for a world without Internet, without GPS enabled cell phones, without Google Earth, without connectedness. I long for a world where a man can become lost in places no one has ever been. I long for a world where the map isn’t quite filled in, where there are still places where “Here Be Dragons.”
For many years, I have perused the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of bookstores, struggling with how to define these genres. Many people simply clump them together and are satisfied. But I’ve threatened myself with carpel tunnel debating how the genres differ. Of course, people bring up the obvious things: Sci-Fi is technological, whereas Fantasy involves swords and magic. While I do not disagree, there are always gray areas. I proposed a theory that Sci-Fi deals with the probable and Fantasy the impossible. But the truth is more simple. The difference between the genres is this, “Do you want to feel the bumps in the road or don’t you?” My mother drives a Jaguar. One of its features is masking the road—riding in it feels like you’re in a landspeeder on Tatooine. But I prefer to feel the bumps, which is why I rode my bike 16 miles today to meet my wife and daughter at the park, who took the car. And that, my friends, is the difference between Sci-Fi and Fantasy. It’s not in the specifics, and I am well aware of those books, from the likes of Robert Heinlein and Dan Simmons, where the heroes feel plenty of bumps. But the question remains, why do we reach for one genre over another? Do you believe the future holds the promise for a greater day? Are you fascinated by the workings of an iPhone? Then I’d guess you prefer Sci-Fi. But if you’re like me, technology is more often a nuisance than not, and tomorrow never seems as bright as yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, my shelves are stocked with almost as much Sci-Fi, and my favorite book is Dune, but when I daydream it’s for simpler times, or more accurately, *for the mythical past that never was*.
It’s also why I haven’t been posting lately. No Internet on Aenya.
Leave a Reply