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Graham Storrs
Attended Hull University
Lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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Graham Storrs

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The book comes out on April 1. What do you think?
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Graham Storrs

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To me, the difference that matters between sci-fi and fantasy is that, even when sci-fi uses science or technology that we currently believe to be impossible, there is always the underlying assumption that, in the story's world, it is real science and the technology is based on real science. That is, the studies have been done, the theories have been developed, and the technologies have been derived, in complete accordance with the underlying laws of the physical universe. At no point in a real sci-fi story - no matter how far-fetched the technology - is the reader asked to believe there are supernatural phenomena at work.

Of course, as far as I'm concerned, the closer to real physics it is, the better, but the main point is the assumption that real physics and nothing else, is what makes the universe work. Once you introduce anything supernatural, it stops being sci-fi and becomes fantasy - and it doesn't matter if it's in the far future, on spaceships, or distant planets, supernatural forces are by definition outside of physics and therefore have no place in science fiction.

In fact, I'd go farther still and say that if something we once believed to be a real physical phenomenon, or believed might be real, has been conclusively shown by science to be a false belief, that should not be included in sci-fi either. The best example of this I know is "psi" phenomena (telepathy, telekinesis, clairvoyancy, etc.) which have been well and truly debunked over and over again. Their inclusion in modern sci-fi must therefore count as introducing the supernatural. (However, sci-fi of the fifties, sixties, and even the early seventies, still counts as sci-fi because the question of the reality of these phenomena was still an open scientific question at the time it was written.)
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I think it depends on the story, if it is full of science fiction elements, and then has one fantasy element, then I consider it a science fiction cross-over story. I am writing such a story at the moment. But if it is full of fantasy elements, and has only one or two science fiction elements, than I would consider it a fantasy cross-over story. 

In reference to the guys blog post - with the big epic I was writing and set mostly in space, I tried to stay true to what is possible in science. I had no artificial gravity for the human space ship, its hull had to rotate for gravity, and when they were in a much smaller shuttle they had to strap themselves in. But the aliens had worked out artificial gravity. I really had fun with the ways the humans and the aliens communicate, it's not in in spoken English. The way they communicate helped the plot differentiate itself from plots of other space operas and added to the intrigue and the ability of the humans to deceive the aliens. I used a wormhole to get the crew into distant space too. I never make it clear whether the wormhole were made by some alien race or just part of the fabric of space, because the humans don't know, they have only recently discovered it.
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OK, the free giveaway of Heaven is a Place on Earth is over, but this near-future sci-fi thriller will continue to be available at a reduced price for some time yet. You can find it at your local Amazon store (e.g. Amazon.com).
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Graham Storrs

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How small-minded, petty and despicable can the Australian government be?  Well, they haven't plumbed the depths yet but they're getting there.
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I've been guest blogging, on the sci-fi blog SFX, about the science of time and how to write time travel stories despite it.
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Hehe. As I say, they seem like a good crop this year - and not all of them fantasy this time!  ;-)
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My novel, Heaven is a Place on Earth, a sci-fi thriller about the perils of augmented reality, is still available on Amazon Kindle for FREE. Please help yourself.
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Have him in circles
560 people
Seb Kirby's profile photo
David Butler's profile photo
Gregory Lynn's profile photo
sunil godara's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Writer
Employment
  • Writer, present
  • Logica
  • IBM
  • Canta Libre
  • Ross Fisheries
  • Ideal Standard
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Aberdeen
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Previously
Hull, Yorkshire, England - Zurich, Switzerland - Aberdeen, Scotland - Cambridge, England - Sydney, Australia - Hull, England - Portsmouth, England - Brisbane, Australia - Boreham Wood, England - Guildford, England - Reading, England - Pozieres, Australia
Story
Tagline
Sci-fi writer living in Australia
Introduction
Graham Storrs is a science fiction writer living in the mountains south of Brisbane, Australia. He is the author of the sci-fi thriller, Heaven is a Place on Earth and of the Timesplash series (published by Pan Macmillan/Momentum). You can find his books on your local Amazon store.
Education
  • Hull University
  • University of Surrey
Basic Information
Gender
Male