Science Fiction vs. Fantasy

A year or two (or three) ago, my dad gave me a book called How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. I didn’t exactly read it, but I did start it, and the entire first chapter was about how a writer needed to choose whether they wanted to write sci-fi or fantasy and then stick with that because publishers weren’t going to let you do both. (At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s about. My memory is a little fuzzy.)

I didn’t really think much about that, because I already knew–I was a fantasy writer. I grew up reading–no, devouring–fantasy books by the hundreds, and my foundation was fully built on them. My reading of fantasy books vs. sci-fi books was at least 100 to 1. So it was fairly obvious that that would be what I would write.

The only thing is, recently all of my ideas have started to lean toward the science fiction side of things. There’s the epic sci-fi, which is several books of sci-fi, first of all, and the last few short stories I’ve written are also sci-fi. Then I keep having novel ideas that are sci-fi, like Alpha Star, which is a sci-fi with intergalactic space travel, where a mother has to save her son who was taken from her.

Pretty much, all of my ideas that used to be fantasy related are now all slowly turning to be science fiction related.

I’m kind of thinking the only reason I want to write sci-fi is because it’s another “fantasy” to me, another place where I can create different worlds (discovered by space travel), different creatures (aliens), and a different “magic system” (technology). It’s certainly not because I know about science and have read hundreds of sci-fi books.

However, I don’t just want to give up fantasy and move to a new genre. I do still have ideas for fantasy novels, and I do still want to be a fantasy writer…partly.

So what do you think? Should I just write in one genre? Do I need to have read as many sci-fi books as I have fantasy to write it successfully? And is it possible for a writer to successful publish in multiple genres, or should they just stick to one?

I think I’m going to keep my options open for now, but I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject.