Here is a quick update regarding SoonerCon 20:
I had a wonderful time and enjoyed all the artwork, books, costumes, etc... I highly recommend any speculative fans (representing the fantasy, science fiction, or horror genres) to attend. For that matter, I think anyone who fancies the creative arts would have a marvelous time! I not only met various authors and gamers, but was introduced to illustrators Darrell K. Sweet and Peter Bradley. In fact, I took to Mr. Bradley's art immediately! Mr. Sweet's art was as brilliant up close as I'd seen on numerous novels, but I was very impressed with Bradley's style - particularly of his elven characters. A gallery of some of his work can be found here: http://www.ravenchilde.deviantart.com/.
Now for my randomness:
This eve, I have been playing an old computer game, Might and Magic IX. The graphics are outdated, but the gameplay is one to be admired. For those of you unfamiliar with said game, Might and Magic is an RPG (role-playing game) from the makers at 3DO (a company no longer in existence... unfortunately). As a result, there have been no patches to take care of little in-game 'issues' that pop up here and there. It just so happens that I ran into one such 'bug' tonight... But that is not what I have come to blog about! My point in even bringing up Might and Magic - or, indeed, any role-playing games in general - is to comment on the connection between RPGs and the fantasy/science fiction worlds. I just find it interesting how many of the same themes or archetypes may be found in each: such as a main quest/story line, a hero, and a common villain. Granted, the details differ between works, but overall, the concept is almost interchangeable. As an author and gamer, I am curious as to how many writers of the fantasy/science fiction genre also take on RPG storylines - or note the similarities. For there are so many categories and subgenres; yet they all seem to intermingle in some way! My favorite RPG of all time (so far) would have to be EarthDawn. This website contains some relevant information for those who are interested: http://www.redbrick-limited.com/cms/index.php?categoryid=18. As far as MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), my favotire is GuildWars.
Forgive me if I tend to roam a bit on the subject, but I also stopped to consider the role of women in such writing. For the first speculative novel (science fiction, in this case), was credited to Mary Shelley, whose work is the popular tale, Frankenstein. What is the difference between fantasy and sci-fi, you may ask? Well, here's how I determine the separation: Fantasy tends to deal more with the magical/fantastical elements of a particular world, in which the impossible takes place. There seems to be a medieval underpinning with kings, peasants, knights, etc... Science fiction, on the other hand, mainly tends to dwell with more "rational" explanations of things - instances that do not involve magic, but instead define a world with technological or scientific reasonings. (As a basic comparison, I look at The Lord of the Rings versus Star Wars: a world of wizards and kings against a galaxy of saber swords and spacecraft).
While doing some of my own exploring on the subject matter, I ran into a blog at http://www.somethingawful.com/ with (I thought) quite humorous portraits of fantasy and science fiction intertwined. Taken together, some of the elements that differentiate between the two genres are quite clear (and some are just neat to observe). I'll add some of them below for your convenience. Enjoy:
Quote for the day: