What Genre is This Anyway?

As I’ve probably mentioned before, my current WIP is a sci-fi themed story. However, in the last couple of weeks, I’m thinking maybe it’s not necessarily sci-fi, but fantasy.  Here’s the thing, I’m not a big fan of sci-fi in general – my knowledge of the genre is sorely lacking. I had several male cousins who were, so I always sort of knew a bit about it, just from listening to them, – Michael in particular, was a huge Trekkie, still is, and can go on and on until your eyes glaze over. I know, it’s happened to me many times! LOL But I did love the Star Wars movies, which I always thought of as episodes 1 through 3, but are now really episodes 4 through 6. But that was about the extent of it. I’ve really not read the genre, romance or other fiction, and certainly didn’t watch any of the TV shows or movies that so many of my friends did. As for the shows, I understand there are some really good ones, but I’m afraid I may find another obsession that I simply don’t have the time to indulge. So I’m not daring to get involved there. My time is limited enough now as it is.
Anyway, as I was saying before I started rambling, I’m not necessarily sure that Prince of the Universe is true sci-fi. The hero comes from another planet, and inter-galaxy travel is common to him, though not to my Earthling heroine. But here’s what’s got me wondering – just because it does involve other planets and space travel, does that make it sci-fi? Eventually, Vega will take Merry back to his home planet of Aldarra, but the civilization, while certainly technologically advanced in many ways, also involves magic, and the manipulation of energy and minerals to increase one’s power. Plus, Aldarra has a very different climate from ours, and the culture and customs could, in some ways, be described as medieval.
I’ve heard it said that if your scientific facts are wrong, it’s generally not acceptable to those who know and love the sci-fi genre. Is that true? I’m not much with technical or engineering knowledge (as my recent disasters with computers will attest to), so anything as far as warp speed and wormholes and the like will most definitely be “wrong.” How far can I push the envelope without someone crying foul? I’ve got spaceships, and high tech weapons, and races similar to and different from humans, but also magic and other paranormal elements. As I’m world-building, I’m wondering if I’m doing too much. I’m likely to piss off readers of both genres by doing things I’m not supposed to.
So, sci-fi fans, what am I not supposed to do, and what do I have to do to fit the genre? Or can I get away with twisting it all up?
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One thought on “What Genre is This Anyway?

  1. I'll try again. I read science fiction and some of it is romance. What I've found is there's little magic unless you count things like the ESP variety of things. Marian Zimmer Bradley does this in her Darkworld series and some of it borders on the magical. Anne McCaffrey also has one series where the hero is a shapeshifter but it's done through genetic manipulation. I think one does what they want to do when they're writing romances in the genre.

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