Fiction science – a genre
December 22, 2016 § Leave a comment
I’ve understood that it is not wise or respectable professional behavior from a writer to publicly announce that he or she is writing a novel, which will be finished and published by a specific date.
So, I will release my book, a novel on September 9th 2017 in Helsinki, Finland, probably at about 3 PM. If I don’t find an established publishing house, tempted enough by its story, the genre, and style I will again rely on CreateSpace, just as I did with my earlier book Perceptions of a Camino.
Writing of the story I’ve repeatedly wondered what the genre of my novel might be. Slowly I have realized that it can be classified as a member of a specific – nonexistent, as far as I know – genre. In the following I will shortly define that genre – Fiction science – as I think of it. I found this problem curious enough to share the idea and in case it has already been defined somewhere, I will probably learn it from my kind readers. I have earlier written a related story in Finnishnews: http://www.finnishnews.fi/travel/professor-gote-nyman-perceptions-of-real-places-and-virtual-characters/
I tried – not very hard, though – a couple of verbatim and other Google searches “Fiction science” but did not find its definition. The search led to a relevant consultancy “fictionscience” offering their science consultancy for the writers in need and even stuff related to discography. Despite the poor results, I still believe that someone has used the term and definition, especially as it is such a simple transformation of Science fiction, a mere order of the words… However, it seemed reasonable to at least boost the genre of Fiction science by defining it as I’m now doing here, perhaps even sharpening the definition.
The title of my definitely forthcoming book is “Perceptions of the Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and it tells about real scientist and artists in a way I will not disclose here. But I write about actual, creative people, their real life, as I have imagined it, based on a number of sources. In this sense the story with its imaginary characters meeting real historical persons is, in a way, a distant cousin to Woody Allen’s movie, Midnight in Paris, which he wrote and directed: Wikipedia describes it as a romantic comedy. It was actually one of the inspirations to the story I write although mine is not a comedy.
In the Midnight in Paris movie the main character, Gil Pender, a screenwriter, is, as far as I know, a purely fictional figure, but the artists he meets are real historical painters, writers and poets. Among them we can find Ernest Hemingway, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Paul Gauguin, Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel and other colorful, historical personalities. In the story, both Gil and the artists he meets have been molded to behave in a fictional, but strictly humoristic way. I that sense, the movie don’t do perfect justice to these wonderful, creative people who have been written to play their funny or perhaps romantic parts in the comedy. In other words, the real historical characters shown in the movie are actually both fictional and real at the same time. Their roles, ways of behaving, their human relationships, and the contents of their discourses are mostly fictional and true to the genre, not so much true to their personal history or doings, but nevertheless, I could loosely call that specific genre Fiction art.
In my forthcoming book I deal with real scientists and artists, based on what we know about them, through various sources, about their achievements, real events and episodes in their lives, pains and joys, trying to respect the content of their domains in science and arts. Of course, I take liberties and this makes it especially challenging to consider what I believe is the genre of my book: Fiction science. The question remaining is this – because of the way I have created the events in my book: are they at all different from what Woody Allen has done in the movie, the comedy?
A definition for Fiction science
Fiction science stories are different from Science fiction in that they always aim at giving the earned credit to the historical scientists, when giving them roles in a fictional context, a story. Fiction science writer tries his/her best to keep every fictional event, episode, and line spoken historically, if not necessarily verbally or even geographically, a honest reality what is known about the historical characters depicted.
Fiction science can include fully fictional characters, events, episodes and spoken lines. The author builds his story, as well as possible, so that the fictional characters interact with the real ones in a way that respects the known factual history, any documents, articles, or other sources concerning the characters having a real and known background.
Why would Fiction science, as defined in this way, be interesting at all or different from other historically grounded stories? Would it only become a kind of a loose, true, but an academic exercise of one or more biographies in the same story?
A story, fitting perfectly in the above definition of Fiction science includes real historical characters, some well known and some less so. The fictional characters can – not necessarily – interact with the real ones, but whenever it happens, the lines spoken, the ways of behaving and other factors related to the historical persons, reflect the reality in a compelling way, allowing creative expressions and interpretations, in other words, without destroying the writer’s freedom of expression and his imagination, but so that it does not give, intentionally, a false picture of a real character.
Interestingly, in Fiction science there is an unlimited number of life events and episodes where historical figures can be presented and about which we know very little. In a formal sense, writing Fiction science is a creative, projection of story-telling on the world of science and the life of scientists. Sometimes, Fiction science novels might even evoke real questions worth while studying – today.