07.02.17

Name, name, the pressure of a name!

Let’s go back to the beginning. The name.

In actuality, the pen name Reiter was used before G. Russell Gaynor. The exchange went a bit like this:

Pounding away on a Honeywell Electric Typewriter (sooooo dating myself) and in between spurts of what had been likened to heavy machine gun fire, I look at the page (cursing the incredible number of typos and wondering if I had enough Liquid Paper to cover them all), a friend of mine enters the room and sees the incredible spread of pages all about the floor and desk.

She picked up one of the pages and she mentioned she liked the tone of the Science-Fiction / Fantasy writing, taking another page from the floor. This one was from a Morality Play I was putting together and needless to say it had nothing to do with Science-Fiction or Fantasy, and everything to do with the troubles of what it was to be a woman in a man’s world. She couldn’t decided which excerpt she liked better and then posed that wonderful inquiry... “What do you write?”

“Words!” was my answer, never looking up from the page. She then asked how I could write both stories at the same time. I explained to her that was my version of Writer’s Block. I’ve yet to have the problem of not knowing what comes next in a story... my issue is the rather rude part of my brain that yells, “Squirrel!” before leading me off on another story. Well, that was then.

Nowadays I am able to maintain a more disciplined focus. For those who know me, you’re probably nodding and saying something along the lines of, “Sure you do. You’ve got a notebook beside you while you’re writing, don’t you?” And you’d be right.

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

As my story-making engine started firing more and more ideas, I recalled a snippet from one of the old cartoons where just before a fight, a man would walk up and down the stands selling programs. “Program! Program You can’t tell one body part from another without your program!” It struck a chord and one way I had to categorize my stories revealed itself. Since I had two methodologies of storytelling, I decided to have two different names. The first fully expressed method I used was Role-play Gaming, wherein the Realms of Th’iaM was created. The Planner/Recorder of those sessions would come to be called Reiter and that is the author of those stories. Thus anything sporting that author name was at one time a gaming scenario. All the other notions pushing for expression would carry the G. Russell Gaynor name. Boiled down to the core, they are the same person, but they are not the same perspective. Reiter can be a rather stiff stick-in-the-mud, but boy, can he spin a yarn! G. Russell is definitely more relaxed and intimate. At the end of the day, the reason behind the season is still embraced: creating worlds with words!

And that... is the beginning!

03.14.17

What is Science-Fantasy?

Uh oh, here comes trouble! “They” say you can either take the wand or the laser-sword… but why must you be forced to choose one or the other? Why can’t you have both?

Among the more classic genres, the one we call Science-Fantasy is not actually new. It is, however, a genre that has all-too-often been placed into either Science-Fiction or Fantasy as a matter of convenience. This post is an independent initiative taken to assert that this genre deserves its own position.

To state it definitively, Science-Fantasy is a genre of story-telling which equally embraces the nuances of Science-Fiction and Fantasy-Adventure.

Good start… so let’s break it down into pieces. What is Science-Fiction?

Looking it up, I found this…

sci·ence fic·tion ˈsīəns ˈˌfikSHən/

noun

fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.

Okay… fair enough. Let me also add, for the purposes of the writing one will find being offered by this author, one other characteristic. This author considers himself to be a story-teller, not a scientist, and therefore that is where most of my focus will be placed – on the story.  In other words, it is my opinion that if you take the science out of Science-Fiction and you no longer have a gripping story, chances are you do not have very good Science-Fiction. Of course, as I am writing this, the premise of The Matrix comes to mind. Take the science out of that and what do you have? Nada! Well, I did say ‘chances are’.

Now, let’s continue. What is Fantasy-Adventure?

fan-tuh-see, -zee

noun

Also, fantasia. Literature. an imaginative or fanciful work, especially one dealing with magical, supernatural, or unnatural events or characters.

To give you examples, let’s take a look at two of the most popular Science-Fiction franchises: Star Trek and Star Wars. First and foremost, I am not taking sides as to which is better. I have been entertained by both and reserve personal judgment of them for the moment.

Star Trek is classic Science-Fiction with nearly ever characteristic being based off scientific theory. Given the right kind of slide-rule or tricorder, everything can be approached. From transferring matter into energy and transmitting it to all places of interest, to ships reaching and besting the speed of light… all you need is a bag of popcorn, and perhaps a couple semesters of Physics, and you’re in for a ride of wonder and surprise.

Star Wars is also considered to be a work of Science-Fiction, possessing its own brand of FTL ships and energy weapons, but the moment you turn to engage the Force, that is where you engage a metaphysical element that defies scientific explanation, placing it easily in the category of Fantasy. Those who use the Force are even called Knights – bread and butter characters for Fantasy stories. I am even reminded of the dialog one officer had with Darth Vader, calling what he used ‘sorcerous ways’.

The Rims: Where Science-Fantasy is reborn!

It seems simple enough in concept. Combining the definitions of Science-Fiction and Fantasy-Adventure should result in the creation of a Science-Fantasy story. And that is exactly what one will find once they step into the Rims!

Acrobatics, Gymnastics, Parkour, and Martial Arts… clones, talking plants, automatons, and sentient non-humanoid forms… sentient machines, cyber-dominion, and devices that can bend light and alter density… cars, bikes (not all of them have wheels), planes, and ships of all sorts and sizes… spell-casters, energy-wielders, mentalists, and agents of inter-dimensional creatures purporting themselves to be gods (with hard-to-refute argumentation)… these all come together in the Rims as a backdrop to the story of a Captain, her ship, and her crew as they search for their place in the universe. But before the declaration can even be made, they have to contend with their detractors who are at least equally if not more gifted and/or equipped.

So yes, here come trouble… and yes, I am referring to both the main characters and their obstacles. Some of them have wands… some of them have laser-swords… and some of them have a combination of the two. Oh, what wonders will be revealed!!!