I found out about the Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy book on twitter a couple weeks ago. I finally got it!!!!! I am so excited.
The first part of it defines fantasy. It says: Fantasy is about the fantastic that doesn’t rely on science for explanations. I quite agree with this. I think it is one of the better definitions of fantasy I’ve ever found.
It also why I think The City and The City by China Miéville is more fantasy than science fiction. Before I found people talking about The City and The City online, I never imagined there was any reason to doubt whether it was fantasy or science fiction. There is no magic in it, but neither is there any science. Lots of people figure because it has no magic, it must be science fiction. I think since The City and The City has no science, it must be fantasy. Pretty interesting. Mostly it is a noir detective novel in a speculative fiction setting.