Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Science Fiction and its many subgenres
Science fiction... where to start, where to start? I guess from the beginning.
As many other SF lovers, H. G. Wells was the author that triggered by devotion to science fiction. His "Time Machine", with its descriptions and underlining essay on societal structures, blew my mind.
And don't even get me geeking on Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. If you want to explore some new SF authors, check out this site: http://www.classic-sf.com/Authors/Authors. It's pretty comprehensive.
I just love the possibility and wonder SF brings to its readers. It takes what's happening today - political, social, economical, technological - and looks forward to envision plausible scenarios of where it will lead humanity.
Sometimes it's dystopic, such as "Ender's Game" (Orson Scott Card) or "The Children of Men" (P. D. James). Sometimes it's utopic which usually ends up a emotionally repressed nightmare any-who, such as "Childhood's End" (Arthur C. Clarke) or "A Crystal Age" (W. H. Hudson).
SF is not as easily defined. Usually when you say you read SF, the fellow SFer asks, "What kind." That's because in reality, science fiction is a broad term that encompasses a lot of different sub genres:
· Alternate history
· Apocalyptic (I personally add atomic punk into this subgenre but I know there are differences of opinion in this thought)
· Hard SF
· Soft/social SF
· Space opera - the SF subgenre I usually write
· Space western
· Superhuman (not to be confused with superhero, which is fantasy...think genetically engineered soldiers)
· Time travel
Mix and match these bad boys together and you got some really great stories, but where I think SF really rocks is when one or more of the above blend with another main genre: SF Comedy, SF Romance, SF folklore (think vampires in space type stuff), SF mystery, SF thriller, and on and on.
For me, I usually focus on women-driven SF. I start with space opera and dash in some anthropological, genetic engineering, military and western bits as the characters tell me they need and go from there. The science fiction I'm really focused on reading right now is the SFR...science fiction romance, usually set in space.
So, what kinds of SF do you enjoy reading or are interested in checking out?