Is “The Bone People” fantasy? Is it religious? Is it magical realist?
Listening to the ICFA panel on indigenous science, and thinking about how my SF universe is currently set up — it’s defined so far as having some types of ESP-like abilities, that would look like magic to those unfamiliar.
Thinking about how religion will manifest, including religion of aliens, and what happens when that religious practice has real world effects that others can witness, and what category that then falls into for them, and for the reader. Am I necessarily implying a religious ‘reality’? Could it potentially be simply a physical attribute of the species?
For example, consider the human ascetics who can supposedly survive for a long time in extremes of temperature, or without food or water.
For another example, let’s say one of my alien species can do some kind of dimensional movement, that it’s ‘native’ to their existence in some sense. If they can disappear, or change shape, am I still writing science fiction?
Not saying the distinctions really matter, genre-wise, but more thinking through the ‘feel’ of the universe.
When Anne McCaffrey writes the scientific rationale for her dragons being able to teleport, does the Pern novels feel like science fiction to you?