Isaac Asimov, once asked to analyze the contrast between science fiction and fantasy, replied that science fiction, given its grounding in science, is possible; fantasy, which has no grounding in reality, is not.
Star Wars is a tale of aliens, androids and space ships; but it’s also a yarn of ghosts and magical powers. Does that make Star Wars science fiction, or is it fantasy? My debut novel, The Silver Sphere, is a story that includes swords, witches, and mystical abilities. But it also has starships and advanced space bases. So what genre is this called?
Science fantasy has been described as a hybrid and branch of speculative fiction building worlds in which either both magic and science work, science is so refined it imitates magic, or characters inhibit psychic powers so powerful they parallel magic.
The Silver Sphere touches on lost civilizations of advanced technology, hi-tech codes the planet Azimuth lives by, alongside sorcery, magical portals and mythological creatures and demons.
Star Wars also exhibits advanced technology, which would place it in the realm of science fiction. Though we may not operate hyperdrives today that allow for extensive space travel, we can easily see manned spaceships that travel to other planets as a natural progression from traveling to the moon, and we are already delegating robotic probes to other planets in our solar system. A portion of the technology in Star Wars is not even that far off; for example, advances in the technology of lasers have made it possible for military testers to shoot down incoming mortar rounds with land-based lasers, and military commanders are on the verge of being able to fire laser blasts from the air that could be aimed at tanks or mines. Sounds like it won’t be inconceivable that we have our first blaster sometime in the future.
The presence of the Force, however, makes Star Wars seem more like fantasy than science fiction. The Force is a binding, metaphysical, and omnipresent power which delivers Jedi seemingly magical powers, and the training and study of the Force is more akin to religion than a science. The idea of midi-chlorians, a microorganism first mentioned in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, ventures to provide a scientific explanation for the Force; but even midi-chlorians cannot explain how the Force can make bodies vaporize or allow beings to become apparitions after death.
In the Silver Sphere, certain individuals that perish are recruited by the Truth Seekers, the celestial protectors of the universe; perhaps they are angels, however this would place the genre closer to fantasy than science fiction.
The best answer to whether Star Wars and my novel The Silver Sphere are sci-fi or fantasy is that it’s a little bit of both. Calling Star Wars “sci-fi” disregards its fantasy ingredients, such as the Force; but dubbing Star Wars fantasy evades its intergalactic backdrop and sci-fi culture.
Tagging The Silver Sphere as fantasy would mean ignoring the technological sophistication of several elements of the story.
The best label for both may be Sci-Fa, a unique and exciting subgenre that blends elements of sci-fi and magic. I hope you find that the fantasy cogs and science fiction flavors correlate near as well in The Silver Sphere as they did in the epic Star Wars.
I hope you enjoy the book trailer!
Invisible transfers, long distance calls, hollow laughter in marble halls.
Steps have been taken, a silent uproar…has unleashed the dogs of war.
I moved through the mist with purpose in the direction the Lennon clone
had motioned. The insidious shapes I had seen earlier in the shadows
were gone. Soon, I see a small gathering ahead of me. Lennon sits on a
tree stump at their center. I hesitate, and he waves me over. I advance,
but the mist gets thicker. I grow fatigued and can’t help slouching
closer to the scent of the crisp sod. My eyelids weighty, I sprawl out
on the fluffy green and nod off.
I sense light, and open my eye. My left one is covered. I stare up at
the drop ceiling tiles of the hospital room. My throat is dry as
tumbleweed. I immediately take a mental check.
Okay. Think. My name is Michael Dadich. My first grade teacher was
Sister Edwards. Heck my second grade teacher was Miss Mintern. Right.
My thoughts are rational. Thank God. Now let’s go through everything
I wiggle my toes and fingers. Then nudge them around a bit. Everything
Relief washes over me like stepping out of a sizzling desert into a cool
Now what’s up with my eye?
The nurse notices my stirring, and she looks a bit like Nurse Ratched
as she rises from her desk.
The best thing we can do is go on with our daily routine.
She walks over with a cup of water and a straw. I sip greedily.
“Nurse, m-my e-eye,” I murmur.
“It’s okay, dear. The wrap comes off soon. Your eye is perfectly fine.
And it looks like you will be too,” she states.
I force a simper, and settle in.
What a day. Did anyone get the number of that freaking locomotive
that hit me?
I rest, and part of me is euphoric.
After two of the toughest weeks of my life (think Jacob’s
ladder, during Jacob’s scenes in the hospital. I did) I was
released. My in-laws (bless them) were able to secure one of the top
brain aneurysm surgeons in the country, Dr. Neal Martin at UCLA, to
perform the surgery, and my recovery was smooth for the most part.
I tangled with the why me emotions a bit, but witnessed a few
very young men in my wing at UCLA, one a teenager, that passed
due to their aneurysms bursting.
I knew I was blessed. I was back at my office in five weeks.
I did however have bouts of insecurity at times.
If this happened to me at such a young age, what else is wrong with me?
This too passed after time, and I am forever thankful for the support my
wife Jenna and family and friends gave me during this hard chapter. I don’t
notice any side effects (though Jenna thinks I can get crankier than
before lol) My baby has grown up to an awesome 9 year old boy, and I
coach most of his teams now, mainly flag football, basketball and
I have become entrenched at my local park, serving as park board
president and in the last year ran a series of fundraisers for it,
raising over 100,000 to improve the parks conditions.
I love hiking with my German shepherd, and frequent the gym (well, in
phases). I also do scream at my two crazy corgis all day (why Jenna
thinks I’m crankier than before).
I learned dramatically that life is fragile. It can be gone in an
instant. No time to pack, square some things away, and finish up
projects. That is part of the motivation in pushing myself to achieve a
life goal; becoming a published author.
I met the wonderful folks at Evolved publishing recently and love
everything they are about and I am excited to continue on another
journey with them. Thank you Dave, Dan, Kimberly, Kira, Tim and Emlyn
for your roles in this process. And always, my life’s anchor; Jenna.
Oh yeah, and give peace a chance.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
― Albert Einstein
Watch for the release of The Silver Sphere on November 26, 2012! It’s a dream come true.
Well, I think I’m ready to write about the brain aneurysm I suffered awhile back. It was father’s day. My first as a beaming dad. I spent the day proudly pushing my baby boy’s carriage through town. That night, I had a hockey game. Perfect way to end the day, I thought, playing my favorite sport. That was my last league game.
During the game, a hulking defenseman cross-checked me down to my knees, and a throbbing launched in my head. The doctor said he saved my life *Thank you hulking defenseman*. He had hit me just right, where the aneurysm lurking in the artery in my head did not erupt, but instead began to leak.
My head actually felt better when I skated. Hunched on the bench, the pain steadily increased. I scored my last two goals in an official match (the goalie sucked) and finished the game. I changed quickly, and drove home. There was an accident that slowed traffic to a snail’s pace, where usually at that time of night it would be an empty freeway. I kept thinking I wanted to get home fast, pop some Advil, and go to bed. I entered the house, everyone asleep. In the shower, I threw up. This must be a concussion.
I dried off, stumbled to the bedside and sat on the edge.
“Babe? Can you wake up? My head is killing me,” I stated, stirring my wife Jenna awake.
“Hmmm? Oh I keep telling you to stop playing. You were bound to get hurt,” she said.
“Jen, call 911.”
“Oh my god, you are serious?”
I slumped to the ground, sensing the energy of panic around me. A call to her parents, a friend, and the gathering of clothes frantically ensues. The friend comes over; bless her, to watch our baby. I remember saying I’m sorry for the bother to her while Jenna ushered me into the car. The pain escalated and I began punching the panel in agony. Jenna has tears in her eyes, stopping the SUV and asking a bystander if they knew where the emergency entrance was on UCLA’s vast campus. She finds the ER, and I fall out the door, draped on Jenna’s shoulder, as she screams for help, abandoning the car. I don’t know what is happening, but this isn’t a concussion.
Paramedics rush out with a wheelchair. Before long and a morphine shot later, I’m in a hospital bed, loopy now, discussing with my wife and father in law about what had happened. I remember that I was a little embarrassed, the morphine hiding the grim threat I faced.
A stoic looking neurologist enters the room, his hands in his pockets.
“Michael, you have a brain aneurysm,” he said, his expression flat.
I had no idea what that meant, except for the title of a Nirvana disc I owned, but it sounded awful.
“Umm, okay. Am I going to die?” I ask, getting right to the point.
“We have to perform surgery today,” he said.
“Like open my head up surgery?
I stare off into space, digesting this news. The room stood quiet. We were all in shock.
“What’s my success rate?”
“You have a 10% chance of not waking up, a 10% chance of waking up paralyzed, and a 10% chance of waking up with brain damage, and due to the location, blindness in your left eye.”
The doctor peers at me with a deadpan gaze. Talk about bedside manners. He looks alot like the actor Samuel Jackson, and I think about the passage Ezekiel 25:17. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger…
“So I have a 90% chance of waking up fine?”
He cracks his first smile. “Yes.”
I remember the anesthesiologist’s being very cool. They were young, and had a rock station on. I floated off listening to the Dogs of War by Pink Floyd.
You can’t stop what has begun, signed, sealed, they deliver oblivion, we all have a dark side, to say the least, and dealing in death is the nature of the beast.
Please lord let me wake up okay. Or my son won’t ever know me…
I will update this soon…
One world … One world, The dogs of war won’t negotiate, The dogs of war don’t capitulate, They will take and you will give, And you must die so that they may live…
I drifted further off.
Everything is happening so fast. I was just pushing the stroller through town.
Blackness. No dreams, but I see Polaroid’s of surgeons. It’s all hazy. Finally, I see someone, like I’m looking through a telescope. The face is lit up, others hovered around it, but I only see the face of my angel, Jenna.
“I love you,” I murmured. That’s for sure now.
“I love you. God spared you for a reason. Now rest, baby, you are going to need it,” Jenna said.
I slipped off again. This time I dreamed.
It better be a dream.
I stirred and wiped away the chunky crust that had formed in the corners of my eyes. A haze of images prevented me from organizing my thoughts.
What had happened?
My head ached. I brushed my hand through the grass below. I stood and inhaled the chilly, crisp air, which invigorated me. A pair of hills emerged to my right and beyond it was the remainder of an orange-and-red-swirled sunset. I lumbered toward the dwindling sundown.
Where am I?
I rustled my hair with both hands.
This is a dream. This is a dream. But why does it all feel so real?
I trekked a while, sticking to the flat parts of this countryside. The twilight made it too dark to view my surroundings for anything familiar. Grass and sticks crunched underfoot and echoed around me, but didn’t offer clues. Light emanated from over a hill and I quickened my pace. A mist seeped in around me.
Heart beating hard in my chest, I thought I glimpsed a shape out of the corner of my eye. Sprinting and panting now, the figures emerged with greater frequency. Something was not right with the shadows. They darted in and out of the gloom around me. The awful shapes contorted at close range in the dark mist.
My ribcage tightened and a head rush overcame me. I fell. I rolled a few feet and settled down on my back. Chest heaving, I attempted a powerless bid to innervate my legs to action. Spots danced in my vision.
A shadow moved toward me. My vision blurred. Even squinting I couldn’t focus on the murky shape.
The figure drew closer—a large, foreboding man. The dark form stalked me, sizing me up. I compressed to the fetal position.
How many times could one person die in a day? Perhaps I’ll go home if I shut my eyes. Or back to the hospital. I don’t like it here.
Another shape stood close by and peered down at me. The figure walked over, reached behind me, and hauled me up. I exhaled; the tightness in my chest and the throbbing in my head were both gone.
“Thank y-you,” I said, doubled over and panting.
“Sshh, Michael, be silent and travel this way. This way is safe. Now go,” the man said in a low tone and then walked off.
I stared at the back of the mysterious figure as he disappeared into the fog. A strange shock of recognition struck me. The man had a striking resemblance to John Lennon. I shook my head, trying to clear it.
John Lennon is dead. Does that mean…no. Please no. I need to see Jenna and my baby boy. Please lord.
Lennon, or whoever he was, said my name as clear as a bell. Didn’t that make what I saw a delusion? Lennon would only know my name if I let him. My temples pounded again. Regardless of the man’s identity, his presence calmed me.
If he wasn’t real, Lennon had shown me the way to go. Shaking my head once more, I stumbled after my Good Samaritan.
I shuffled along, but lost my sense of direction. By this point, I didn’t
care. My exhaustion had doubled. The fog had an eerie odor and even a creepy flavor to it. The more I inhaled this thick air, the further I became disheartened.
A morbid depression subdued me. I trudged, contemplating why I didn’t just ball up and allow whatever followed me to complete its task. I pushed on, despondent and spiritless. I stopped and laughed hysterically, raising my arms to the sky.
John Lennon, right. I’m either dead or going crazy.
I dropped to my knees, rubbed my face, and then rustled my hair again.
I tried to tap an inner strength. Weary of being confused, my inner strength now rose. The madcap laughter ended.
Whatever lay ahead, I would deal with it. I strode forward.
I will provide another update soon…
So if you are reading this; you are probably an aspiring writer. I wanted to share some of my own personal experiences of completing a professionally edited final draft. Well, it may not be final. As a writer, I find myself always going through my critiques from beta readers and some critique services and coming up with ideas to improve my WIP. I also received a revision request from a top agent; and she was spot on. I finished them recently, had it edited and sent them back and who knows; there may be more revisions on their way. Analyzing feedback as we know is all subjective. Some beta readers dislike multiple points of views, and others enjoy the variety. But as the author, deep down in the depths of your writing soul you will see what resonates with you and the changes and work that needs to be done. Good luck in your writing! Below are links to websites I have found helpful throughout my process. READ MORE…