This semantic trap becomes all the more difficult to escape when "science" itself is regarded as a foundation for "faith" or "belief". Both "Fantasy" and "Science fiction" are speculative fiction -- "speculation" meaning something conjectured, supposed, guessed, or imagined as opposed to something known for certain to be real. Here, too, the semantics become convoluted, as ultimately one has to believe in the certainty that some things are real or true. Writers imagine they know things and believe they can convey what they think they know to readers.
In this sense, all fiction -- and perhaps non-fiction as well -- is fantasy. Fictional gravity is still gravity. It may work differently, according to an extrapolated, possibly very far-fetched version of present-day gravitational theory.
But fictional gravity will still be accountable to scientific thinking, however fictional or pseudo. Divination, supernatural forces, and even divine intervention are possible. Paranormal and occult phenomena abound. Scientific explanations are eschewed if not unwelcome. Survival in the world of fantasy requires suspension or even rejection of scientific thinking.
The currency of pure fantasy are romantic faith and belief. There is some tendency, especially among people disenchanted with science and technology, to embrace beliefs in paranormal phenomena and other elements of fantasy as having a scientific basis. Consequenty, some categorical "Science fiction" has more fantasy than science.
See "Science fiction" for further comments about distinctions between "Fantasy" and "Science fiction". While every genre could have historical, contemporary, and future sub-categories, under "Historical" fiction we will include any general fiction set in the past. Most fiction set in the future will be under "Fantasy" or "Science fiction". Speculative historical fiction, involving alternative outcomes of war, is under "War". General fiction set in the future is under "General fiction".
And any fiction with a "Western" feel to it, including "Western Romance", will be under "Western". Historical fiction related to a particular country will be classified under the country by period. In Japan this will be Jomon, Heian, Edo and the like. China, Korea, and Japan all have "warring states" periods.
Labels like "ancient" and "medieval" also cut across geographical classifications. This period is roughly contemporaenous with the last three decades of the Edo and Meiji periods. British Victorian society had an impact on life in other parts of the world, including India, Hong Kong, and Japan in the late 19th century. Hence "Victorian" might also serve as a metaphor for works of Steamy East fiction set in such places in late 19th century.
Fiction involve live on plantations in Asia, including Hawaii, will be found here. Not many Steamy East titles are of the "Horror" or "Horror fantasy" variety. Horror stories are meant to keep readers constantly on edge with fear of encountering ghosts, the walking dead, vampires, and all manner of monsters associated with a place or occassion.
The terrifying creature could be a human incarnate of evil itself. Or might be just a passive host of an evil spirit that requires exorcising. Haunted houses, graveyards full of restless and revengeful souls, and supernatural forces that possess and destroy, are a must. Not many Steamy East novels will qualify for review here. A few, though, have plots that are heavily inspired by Buddhist, Christian, New Age, or other views of life of a religious or quasi-religious nature. Martial arts series, and standalone works in which martial arts figure in the plot as opposed to being merely instrumental in action, will be reviewed here.
The proximity of this genre to "Inspirational" is not to be taken lightly, as martial arts are often presented as philosophies and ways of life.
Mysteries involving crimes, whether solved by police or private investigators or by amateurs, are under "Crime". All other mysteries are here.
There are many subgenres, and most have one or two Steamy East titles, but the steamiest are probably those with "Historical romance" on the spine. Steamy East "Western Romance" novels, though "Romance" in the sense that they are written mostly about women, by and for women, have been put under "Western" because they.
All other "Romance" subgenres, however, will be found here. Luo Guanzhong's saga Sanguo yinyi 14th century is also appropriately translated as Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott is an early modern classic romance. Margaret Mitchell recevied the Pulitzer Prize in for Gone With the Wind , which also qualifies as a "romance" in the earlier sense of the word -- in reference to stories that are quixotic and sentimental in the way they narrate history and portray the human condition -- particularly chivalrous heroes who rescue women in distress.
During the 20th century, the term "romance" was hijacked by publishers of fiction that focused on female relationships, mostly with men, sometimes with other women. The shortest definition of "relationship" is "sex". A somewhat longer defition is "what one has to endure before, during, and after sex". Changes in the "before" and "after" over the years possibly account for the tendency of titles of "Regency" and "Historical" and "Western" romance to be longer than "Contemporary" titles.
Elaborate 18th, 19th, and even early 20th century courting rituals have been simplified to lines like -- "Hey, what are you doing tonight?
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Today, many publishing companies put out series in which a new title is released every month or bi-weekly, even weekly. Series titles are generally on the thin side, usually fewer than pages -- whereas general "Historical" and "Western" romance titles run twice as long and are less likely to be parts of numbered series. The roots of darker "Gothic romance" go back to the 17th century. A good midth century example is Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.
Written in and first published in under the male pseudonym Currer Bell, its drama unfolds in an old castle in northern England in the early 19th century, and the castle ends in ruins.
Regency romance traces its ancestry to early 19th century novels like Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice , written between and and first completely published in The story in set in England around the time of the English Regency -- politically , though in present-day parlance "Regency" alludes to the social and cultural conventions of the period from the s to the s.
The bolder more adventuristic sort of early 20th century historical romance descended from 18th and 19th century "bodice rippers" in which plump women were ravished by lovers at least once between the covers, sometimes in a chair or under a tree, or on a pirate ship in the Caribbean. All concerned parties, especially the reader, were too impatient to wait for the petticoats and corsets to come off.
Most early romances of this kind seem to have been written by men, and were probably read as much by men as by women -- as the hero could just as well be a surrogate for the male reader with fantasies of conquest. From the middle of the 20th century, however, the genre was revived as a form of fiction of, by, and for women -- in which the heroine was clearly a surrogate for readers with fantasies of surrending to muscular hunks with passionate eyes only for them.
As some students of romance fiction have pointed out, the most conspicuous difference between the stories then and now, is that then readers got a little sex between all the swash, whereas now they get a little swash between all the sex. The writing today is probably no worse, if one takes into account changes in the standards of editing and reading.
Whatever the merits of "Romance" as a category of "women's fiction", publishers make it easy for fans to find in bookstores. Booksellers have no trouble recognizing such fiction, in order to keep it at least an aisle away from real "Literature" or "Fiction" or "Novels". The Tale of Genji , written in the 11th century, may qualify as a "romance" in both the classical and present-day sense of the word. It is an epic generational saga, full of relationships, laughter and tears, love sweet and bitter. A recent flurry of Einsteinian experiments inspired me to make a fifth attempt to understand two things I have never been able to get my head around: relativity and quantum physics.
I understand that time slows down and that a particle can be in two places at one time and something about a dead cat…but I want to understand why and have never been able to. For example - the seemingly irrelevant cosmic background radiation led to the extremely relevant Big Bang. And I contemplated the fact that in the universe you can understand massive things from a single micro component…and I began to wonder if the same might not be true in our search to understand transgender sexuality.
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And decided that it was. Even on this page, for example, I have mentioned in passing something which I think is of big importance for understanding that sexuality: I have never fantasised about penetrating a woman. However, penetration was not the phenomena I settled on. Instead it was our friend: the faceless man who lords it over my sexuality - sometimes my boss, sometimes my daddy, and sometimes my husband in a parallel word where I am a beautiful woman.