If the fantasy genre has its roots in fairy tales and mythology, science fiction birthed from the horror genre in a kind of mutated mitosis. That relationship is on prominent display in HG Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau.
No, I think that one need not like an author or their views in order to like their books, which is a good thing, because after reading Tomalin's biography of HG Wells, he's definitely not my favorite person.
In other words, it is a more realistic depiction, devoid of cluttering drama, and reads like the framing story intends: as a pamphlet describing a few experiences and perspectives on the Martian invasion.
Imagine that the year is 1869. Heavier-than-air powered flight is a distant fantasy for reckless dreamers and adrenaline junkies willing to throw themselves off of cliffs to test their contraptions. The American Civil War only recently ended, and the transcontinental railroad is not quite complete. Steam-powered ships are just beginning to replace sailing vessels for oceanic travel. This is the context in which Jules Verne, one of the grandfathers of science fiction, told the story of the Apollo program.
I came across a reference to it when I was looking for the attribution for a quote I was using in an essay for work (that quote is: “You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’”, in case you were curious), and thought the brief plot summary sounded interesting, so I added it to my list. This despite thinking to myself "self, in all of the George Bernard Shaw books and plays that you were forced to read in school, you hated precisely all of them. Why would you possibly think that you're going to like this one?"
Unsouled, and the Cradle series as a whole, is described as something called martial arts fantasy. The magic system has defined levels of skill, with each skill level gaining distinct abilities and possessing unique attributes. It's not a design that I generally prefer, but it worked well in Unsouled. Which matters, because Unsouled is not necessarily the kind of book that you read for the compelling characters or political drama. You read it for the vivid magical fights.
Speculative fiction, broadly, includes the stories that are typically classified as science fiction and fantasy, but if you've written in the genre realm for long, you may have noticed that the terminology employed by libraries and other sources to classify genre fiction is somewhat limited. Maybe we genre writers aren't as "serious" as the "real" authors, but that hasn't stopped us from developing our own terminology to help describe our works. Since I think that many of these terms would be useful for both readers and writers to know, I've sought to describe some of them below.