Creativity / ideation / writing

Writing Wednesday: Speculating

I write fiction. Mostly short fiction, and almost all of it falls into the realm of SPECULATIVE FICTION. This is a rather broad area that includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and lots of other sub-genres and cross-breeds. The essence is that there are elements of the story that are taken or created from the imagination of the author.

I really don’t worry too much what kind of story I’m dealing with until I’m done with it – at that point, I need to know what genre I’m in so I know which markets to send it to while trying to sell it to traditional publishers, or how to market stories that I take indie.

So what’s the difference between Science Fiction & Fantasy? In L Ron Hubbard’s foreword to Battlefield Earth, he distinguishes Fantasy as being spiritualistic or mythological, containing elements that have no scientific basis. Science fiction is defined as containing plausible technological and other scientific developments that might actually be possible. Another way to look at it is that science fiction involves planning, and everything happens for a reason. Fantasy involves fate, kismet and dumb luck.

I believe that this can become harder to figure when you consider the times that the author lived in when he wrote. Suppose a story was written in medieval times that pretends the earth revolves around the sun. This would be considered fantasy at the time (if not out and out heresy), but then scientific knowledge expands and later proves it true, so maybe it was science fiction after all. Likewise something seemingly based on science could become fantasy – say if our medieval author used the idea that the sun revolves around the earth – this would be science fiction until science later proved the opposite and changed the classification to fantasy.

The way I look at it, much human invention and progress has been inspired by science fiction, while fantasy can inspire the soul. T’would be nice to do both.

Horror? I write light horror, and I don’t think it generally inspires anything positive. I don’t think you really want to meet the protagonists from “A Dish Best Served”, or “The Body.” At least I don’t want to (but they rent space in my head, so I don’t have a lot of choice.) (Of course, you’re welcome to them if you’d like…)

Just saying…


BehindThe8BallCoverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “Behind the 8-Ball”:

The clock is running down as humanity struggles to find a new home; they’ve opened a gate into the unknown, but need evidence that their new world is on the other side before they go through. Moses can provide that proof, but how could anyone besides his wife believe him? Sometimes, you have to take a leap of faith.

“Behind the 8-Ball” came from an image in my mind of a body being carried by group of suited astronauts on a moonscape, within sight of a green/blue planet. Then I worked backwards – I had to figure out why he was there, and decided he was an “explorer” sent through a wormhole to find a new world. But how would he send the all-clear back to humanity? I used my very rudimentary understanding of entanglement to create an unusual and unlikely method.

Use coupon code BK59K to get 50% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only ONE DOLLAR – such a deal!) – it’s good until September 3rd. Here’s the link:

“Behind the 8-Ball” is also available in the collection – More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.

<<<>>> ScentOfTheCrimeCover

Next up for publication is Detective Jimmy Delaney #5: “Killing Them Softly” (the followup to “The Scent of the Crime”.) Release date will be September 23rd, so the preorder campaign will begin soon.


William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “The Scent of the Crime” (Detective Jimmy Delaney #4), can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


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