• Guy L. Pace posted an update in the group Group logo of Science Fiction WritersScience Fiction Writers 4 years, 12 months ago

    I have a novelette I recently submitted to a market. It was rejected, but included a commentary. One of the reasons for rejection in the commentary was there wasn’t enough science fiction in the story. Hmmm … Okay. The setting is on a human colony far from Earth, a central element is establishing trades routes between other colonies and bypassing the central worlds. But, because I didn’t have whiz-bang unpronounceable toys all through the story, it wasn’t SF enough? Just because humans may establish a colony on an earth-like world doesn’t mean their lives and livelihoods will change so much that they no longer have to grow food, build homes, govern themselves, and fall in love? When did SF stop being a human story?

    • Interesting question, Guy. I’ve noticed that the lines are often blurred between what many consider SF and fantasy. Personally, I like more grounded SF–without crazy names for people, places, and things. (The crazy name stuff often seems more fantasy to me.) SF that’s grounded in life as we know it–the human experience as you say–readers can connect to on an emotional level, so it can offer more than a simply an escape, but also say something about the human condition. So I say keep writing it your way. SF’s a broad genre with a variety of readers; there’s bound to be an audience for your work.

    • It’s a fine line. In the 50s a lot of SF was like this…but now there is ‘space romance’ and ‘space politics’, where a story might be set on another planet, but it is so much like Earth that it might as well be set in Chicago.
      It’s very subjective and in the eye of the editor. Good luck elsewhere…

    • At least you got a detailed response. Usually it’s a 3rd generation copy of a copy of a form letter written in Bavarian.

      • Granted. I guess I grew up reading the old SF and still like to read and write it. I got plenty of those types of rejections, too, Ralph. I keep them in a file.