There were two things going on: 1) I had already established in my own mind where I wanted to go with the next series, and having James around as a Grey Eminence would have complicated matters. He had had an amazing life and it was time to bid him good-bye.
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Science fiction is fantasy about issues of science. Science fiction is a subset of fantasy. Fantasy predated it by several millennia. The '30s to the '50s were the golden age of science fiction - this was because, to a large degree, it was at this point that technology and science had exposed its potential without revealing the limitations.