I came across a debate on the Web of Mystics where they were arguing the classification of stories, more specifically what brands a story as science fiction or fantasy. Now, if you would permit a dragon of discerning tastes to weigh in on this subject, I would say that personally, I prefer a good solid story that spurs the imagination, regardless of what label purveyors of tomes would place upon it.
What value is there in the need to narrow one’s definition and categorize stories of the fantastic as either science fiction or fantasy or some other subgenre? Some proponents of a ‘more pure’ science fiction use a definition from the library of Wiki (a truly fantastical creature) to support their claim, that without such tangible items as space ships, time machines, and other such items of technology (whether or not you understand how to use it), a story has no right to stand shoulder to shoulder with stories born in the minds of such demi-gods as Issac A. and Georgie O. (Quite friendly chaps that gladly talked our ear off a time or two.) Truly this definition was sprang from the minds of these gods and I believe (with all deference to their greatness) that we modern folk must adopt a more contemporary thinking to understand and accept the scope of this ugly duckling genre and its cinder smudged stepsister.
Does defining and narrowing the definition of a flower as a rose, or an orchid, truly change the pleasure a flower brings? Would you be less likely to be amazed by the beauty of a Green Hellebore or a Green Cymbidium simply because it was given such an unattractive label?
As one who learned at the knee of Scheherazade (truly a master of a thousand and one fantastic stories), I say open wide your arms and fling your minds into the rich morass of stories and storytelling. Whether it has or does not have some perceived element that pushes it into a category that may or may not be to your liking, do not shun a story for its simple classification. Every story is worthy of your enjoyment.
Tell me the name of your favorite story.
Yours until crickets roar,