Why Historical Fiction And Science Fiction Are More Similar Than Not

Many readers may think the genres historical fiction and science fiction couldn’t be more different. Not so.

One difference may seem to be the era through which the story moves. Historical fiction is in the past. Science fiction is often in the future.

Both are the same in that they are not the present.

The technology the characters use to move, communicate and fight are also different, but also similar because they are not the same as the present’s.

Interesting characters can move through any era using any tools.

Fans of either genre would be fans of the other if they gave it a chance. . Science fiction followers would enjoy well-done historical fiction,  such as Shot Tower, written by a life-long sci-fi reader, myself,  whose first novel read was Wells’s The War of the Worlds. Second was The Time Machine. Soon after came Asimov’s Foundation. All were borrowed from the bookmobile that replaced the library where I got my first library card after it was demolished.

That the characters in each of the eras face challenges and dilemmas is exactly the same in both genres. They may travel in ships propelled by steam engine or hyperdrive. It’s how they overcome what confronts them that matters.

One comment

  1. […] There is a histfi shelf on Goodreads so I can’t claim that I’ve  coined it. I have used it and will continue using it. Histfi, or hist-fi, falls into the same place as an abbreviation for historical fiction as sci-fi does for science fiction. It’s not used nearly as much but will be when the genre becomes as popular as sci-fi, which it could and should. Check the post about how the two genres are more similar than not. […]


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