April 2003


In This Edition

Featured Novels

Featured Reference Books



I Love Pan Essay Contest

The Pan Historian congratulates all the participants in the Paniversary month celebratory writing contest, and is pleased to share the winning essays with our readers once more


by Wyatt Earp

These days there is a lot of blurring of science fiction and fantasy. Go to most Main St. bookstores and they’ll be one genre, mixing it up on the shelves. This was not always so and when the publishers created the genres here at Pan Historia they were obviously thinking old school. Space ships = science fiction, elves and wizards = fantasy. Undoubtedly the genres have a lot in common in the sense of the play of imagination and speculation. What if? What if we lived in the future with fantastic ‘magical’ seeming technology? What if we lived in a past where magic was real and the true science? Even the writers of the genres are beginning to mix it up a bit. I can’t help but think of Harry Harrison in this context. No elves yet, but he’s started down the path of alternative history. It’s all a big ‘what if’?

The best science fiction presents that 'what if' in a believable universe and engages our imagination down paths that we’ve, perhaps, never gone before – not simply giving us gadgets and cool technological advances. Even better science fiction brings strong and psychologically diverse characters into play – pitting against their wits against situations that at first glance are fantastic, but on closer inspection are mirrors to our own world. Basically a science fiction story is the exploration of an invented set of characters in an invented world, differing from fantasy fiction, in the sense that science is presumed to be the matrix that binds the universe, rather than magic, and that some central idea is explored. What if we were on a slow crawling generation ship between stars? What if we made contact with beings from another planet? What if world peace was finally achieved but only by our united aggression against other worlds?

At Pan Historia the science fiction genre got off to a slow start, but it’s beginning to look like that is changing. A look at the science fiction daily index and the sci-fi genre page will show quite a bit of activity as more and more writers are attracted to the novels on offer. Hopefully in time this community within a community will move from strength to strength, as it explores this new realm of interactive fiction within the context of the science fiction storyline. You’ll even find that some of the novels ‘mix it up’ a bit, blending science fiction and fantasy. Due to the nature of interactive fiction (role play, story play, what have you) you’ll find a greater stress on character within the genre as represented at Pan Historia.

So join us in this issue of the Pan Historian as we celebrate science fiction and give you a little taste of the imaginative stories that abound here.


We invite you to visit The Pan Historian Newsroom to keep up to date with plans of the next edition.

Featured Character Coordinator: Dr. Taniko Kishimoto
Featured Novel & Reference Book Coordinator: Amashelle
Editor: Myrrhine