I posted yesterday about a couple of fun children’s books about the moon and Mars. I described them as non-fiction, since that is how they were shelved in our local library, and that is how they were described in the author bios.
Then my son woke me up to nurse at 2 AM, and I got to thinking. One of them really is non-fiction, but the other two are about a kid going to the moon and Mars, respectively. Sure, the books include a lot of factual information about both environments, but they both say what would happen to said child on their trips, right down to having one’s own room on Mars, which seems unlikely at best.
Is this non-fiction? Both stories are described as envisionings of what *would* happen. Can one classify such dreams as reality, if they are based on solid enough scientific foundations? Since no Mars colony exists, can describing one, even in such a way, be classed as non-fiction?
This might all be semantics, but my daughter REALLY wants to go, and I’m loathe to propagate fibs to her about something that I otherwise present as fact. Yes, I’m explaining that this is what the author *thinks* it would be like, but how is this different from writing about what I *think* it would be like to live in medieval England, which would be classed, quite rightly, as historical fiction?
Sorry, these are the things I think about at 2 AM, when my son is nursing, and my arm is falling asleep, but I am not…