Sci-fi and fantasy are genres that are often mentioned in the same breath, but are treated as entirely separate, and never the twain shall meet. But every once in a while, an author comes along who manages to pull from both genres, creating an excellent blend of the two. As part of Wyrd and Wonder, I’m celebrating some of my favorite books that use elements of both sci-fi and fantasy!
A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE by Sangu Mandanna
This book is inspired by an Indian tale called the Mahabharata. You’ll find warring planets and sentient spaceships, but also gods who are still finding ways to interfere with mortals, even in the distant future. It took a little bit for me to get into this tale, but the payoff was absolutely worth it, and part two of the trilogy comes out later this year!
THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by Marissa Meyer
I love, love, LOVE this series, which takes place on a future earth, where robots and spaceships are everyday, and diplomatic relations with a race living on the moon are deteriorating, putting the entire world on edge. But the framework of this sci-fi adventure pulls heavily from fairy tales, with each book featuring a heroine inspired by a different character, from Cinderella to Red Riding Hood to Rapunzel. Meyer is truly clever in the ways that she uses the sci-fi plot to give nods to the various stories she is pulling from.
IN THE VANISHERS’ PALACE by Aliette de Bodard
This absolutely beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast has dragons and magic, but also strange technology that has been corrupted and is danger of spreading its foulness to others – and destroying the palace that contains it. This tale is more fantasy with sci-fi sprinkled on top, but both are integral to the story.
THE KINGDOM by Jess Rothenberg
This new YA sci-fi thriller doesn’t have actual magic, but the plot wouldn’t exist without the fairytales it draws from. In a futuristic theme park, android-human hybrids have been genetically engineered to be the perfect fairytale princesses, from warriors to mermaids. They’re supposed to represent the best a girl can be – as long as they don’t ask too many questions. This was a fun read, an excellent book to zip through over a weekend.
Those are some of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy mashups – what are yours?