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November 20, 2008



Can I get an AMEN?!?

Look, I have no problem with talking dragons; but if you make a talking dragon who, for no explained reason, is also able to make watches that are too small for gnomes to work on, I question.

All the folks we meet look like humans, but with funky ears, eyebrows, foreheads, noses or such? And can reproduce with each other? OK.
The only folks who can figure out money are a big-eared bunch of quasi-slavers? Uh, no.

Anytime you put something that violates the known rules, you have to have a reason.

Dragons can fly because they're dragons; star ships can violate the light barrier because technobabble allows it.


Yup, uhuh, what she said. Amen.

J.R. Stoodley

Any fantasy should follow it's own rules (however different those rules are from those of the real world), as well as the basic rules of logic (to use the classic Chestertonian example, if the ugly stepsisters are older than Cinderella then Cinderella must by necessity be younger than them).

This sort of science fiction stuff generally follows the second rule, but is often really bad at the first. Even aside from inner consistency, you get these senarios like what's mentioned above about male-female relations that just don't make sense. This is supposed to be in the future of our own universe, with humans. You can suspend disbelief regarding the space ships and so forth because the rules of this universe are different (on the basis of science not yet known to us) but human nature presumably remains the same in the fantasy, so unbelievable human behavior isn't any more plausible than in a fiction taking place in today's world.

A very different situation would be if it involved an alien race. In that case, any behavior is potentially believable, and perhaps the writer could use the behavior of alien races as a commentary on our own.

J.R. Stoodley

By the way, has anyone read the short story "Ministering Angels" by C.S. Lewis. This topic reminded me of that.

Here's the best link I could find:


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