Themes in Scifi / Fantasy

One of the things that Joshua and I love doing is discussing themes and characters from our favourite entertainment. We went to see Elysium a couple of weeks back, and the next 24-48 hours was a joy of discussing the underlying themes (the division of rich and poor, of classism and how it relates to our society.) Our friend then saw it and we got to discuss its believability and potential flaws.

That discussion and introspection made the 2 hour movie into something so much more impactful.

And this is why I read our reviews. A lot of people say authors shouldn’t, that it isn’t meant for us, but I absolutely love seeing people discuss our themes and characters and settings. I love seeing that some people noticed the subtle clues, and I get frustrated when someone clearly skipped a paragraph and then complained that some answers weren’t given.

It’s not because they’re our books and we’re emotionally invested in them so much as we just truly enjoy discussing these things! We love good natured conversation about character motivations, inconsistencies, believability. We love hearing that someone picked up on something that maybe we missed, and thinking about how that affects things.

When world building in fantasy/scifi universes there is a lot to think about and analyze and discuss, and that’s what makes it such an exciting place for us to write. There’s so much to discover about our characters, about the setting, about the differences in our world.

There’s that old cliché that stepping on a butterfly in the past could change the whole of the Earth, so what would taking things into a different world do? How would magic change things? How would advance technology? What types of classes and castes would there be? How would people respond to them?

We absolutely love talking about these things, and we’ve had so many amazing discussions with our fantastic readers that we’re going to be blogging about it a lot more. If you have any questions, or comments, or you have a particular topic of discussion you want brought up, either comment here or email admin@jmkeep.com!

2 Comments on Themes in Scifi / Fantasy

  1. I just watched Elysium on DVD this past weekend. While I did have some issues with the movie, there was a scene (a brief exchange between two characters) that will stick with me for a very long time. When the foreman of the factory is conversing with the Elysium resident (who is reluctantly handling business on Earth) and the Elysium guy says, “Don’t breathe on me. Cover your mouth or something.” It was chilling. The distinct sense of caste turned my stomach. The Elysium resident saw the earthling as a separate species altogether, even though only access to wealth and technology separated them. I was impressed by the depth of their quick interaction. It made the whole movie. That movie will stick with me for a while.

    • The scariest thing is that you hear it in real life, too. The disgust at the idea of a poor person or homeless person touching a wealthy person.

      I think that’s what makes it so real, is it’s hardly fictional at all.

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