I keep thinking about my Provisional Conclusions, how they might be streamlined or crystallized, and how they relate (as I’ve alluded more than once in this blog) to the insights provided by the fields of fantastic fiction — science fiction, fantasy, and horror. At first glance it might seem a stretch to apply any kind of general worldview onto a set of literary genres. But it’s been an underlying thesis of this blog — and perhaps a central, distinctive, theme of whatever book I might write — that these genres do in fact reflect the range of human reactions to living in a big scary universe that does not necessarily reflect human values.
The two core provisional conclusions are the first two: all supernatural phenomena (gods, ghosts, messiahs, sin, etc etc) are projections of human nature on an indifferent, inanimate universe; and that the *real* universe is vast in ways almost incomprehensible to human beings, for reasons quite understandable given that human beings have emerged via biological natural selection, given to subjective interpretations of reality that are advantageous to survival, and not necessarily for perception of reality.
So: what is science fiction? Science Fiction is about the exploration of reality, of changes in science and technology that affect human existence, of alternatives to reality that challenge humanity’s assumptions of what is real. What is fantasy? Fantasy, in converse to SF, is about imagining worlds in which the priorities of human nature are *magnified*. And horror is a weird hybrid, a sort of flip of SF, in which the perception of the real world in some way threatens human existence, either personally (the serial killer) or existentially (Lovecraftian dread).
These are very first-drafty thoughts. I need to revisit the many definitions and discussion of these genres, in my many resources, and continue to refine.