Magical realism, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is a genre of fiction that uses magical elements in otherwise mundane stories. In some of my latest work, I’ve been experimenting with adding traditionally science fictional elements to stories set in otherwise mundane settings. For instance, the focus is on the family politics and working class troubles of protagonist Mel in “Work, With Occasional Molemen,” but it casually accepts the existence of giant ants, saucers, and molemen. I very much want the stories I tell in the Stranger Creek setting to fit into the same genre of fiction.
I wasn’t sure what to call this type of fiction. I played around with a couple of bad portmanteaus around “magical realism” and “science fiction.” I put the question to Nick Mamatas and he gave me a solid name for it immediately: science fabulism.
I’m having trouble thinking of many examples of science fabulism, though. It takes a lot of arrogance to try and proclaim yourself as writing in your own genre of fiction, and I’m not saying that. I’m certain many others have combined toys in this fashion before and probably are working it today. Can you think of stories, movies, and novels that do this? I’d love to read more of them. Or perhaps science fabulism is still just science fiction, and not a worthy term, or a needed one? What do you think?
P.S.: Speaking of the guy, Nick Mamatas just became a dad! To celebrate, why don’t you pick up a copy of LOVE IS THE LAW? It’s getting fantastic reviews.