03-07-2012, 01:53 PM

Why science-fantasy? Or, why are there spaceships in my BCS this month? :)

Beneath Ceaseless Skies has always been about character-driven stories set in awe-inspiring worlds. Up till now, those worlds have all been pre-modern. But that’s a personal preference, one that many fantasy readers and our editor share. Couldn’t that awe come equally well from settings that are more advanced than our world, rather than less?

Science-fantasy has fallen out of favor in recent decades, but it has as rich a tradition as fantasy, from seminal early works like the 1930s space opera of E.E. “Doc” Smith (writing in the same decades as Robert E. Howard) to best-selling sagas like Frank Herbert’s Dune (breaking out in the same decade as The Lord of the Rings).

Their futuristic settings are just as awe-inspiring as fantasy worlds. Arrakis exudes vividness and majesty just as rich as Middle Earth. Character-driven stories set in such worlds can be just as fun as literary adventure fantasy and can comment just as profoundly on what it means to be human.

So we at BCS decided to take one month and showcase great literary adventure science-fantasy; stories taking place in secondary-world settings that are futuristic. Three of them are by authors whose fantasy we’ve featured multiple times before. (That suggests that they too feel a commonality between secondary-world fantasy and science-fantasy; read our Author Interviews with them to find out.) These issues will be accompanied by special science-fantasy cover art, the Author Interviews, and giveaways for signed copies of George R.R. Martin’s Jack Vance tribute anthology.

We hope you enjoy BCS Science-Fantasy Month! And if you prefer your fantasy worlds not so futuristic, rest assured that literary adventure fantasy will return to BCS next month.

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