Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Science Fiction

Genre post time.

I like Sci-Fi to a degree, though I will also admit that I don't quite understand the genre. I even took a Sci-Fi Lit class in college. Some of the stories I could not figure out at all, but the others students had no problem, but other stories I thought made perfect sense and it confused everyone else. Like some of the alien stories I struggled to read, but the story about Schrodinger's Cat, that one I got at once. It was pretty cool.  So, some of my stories fall under the genre science fiction and I figured it would make a good S post.

What is Science Fiction?
Dictionary: a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting, theme, etc.

Based off the definition it makes for one broad genre (though many "genres" are broad thus why we have so many subgenres). Many stories fall under that and there is enough detail that it gives some direction but it's rather open in general as far as what it could accept under the umbrella of the dictionary explanation.

There are other sources that try to define Science Fiction as a genre and they vary to a degree. Some include technology to the definition, for example. Here is one link but there are many other sites out there.

Sci-Fi subgenres (a few at least on wikipedia):
Hard - A strict adherence to science with attention to details. Accuracy is considered important and the readers pay attention to those factors too. Examples: Gregory Benford, Isaac Asimov, Kim Stanley Robinson
Soft/Social - Used to describe writing based off social sciences such as sociology, anthropology and such. Can also be used on character driven stories that are less detail attentive to the science side but still falls within the science fiction realm. Examples: Ursula K. Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, Margaret Atwood
Military - Stories set in conflict that use national, international, interstellar army forces with a primary military personel viewpoint. Stories involve details of the technology, procedures expected and sometimes the use of history. Examples: David Weber, John Ringo, S.M. Stirling
Apocolyptic - Fiction focused on end of the world times that come through various means such as wars, ecological disaster, and many others. In general can focus on the actual disaster and or the aftermath. Examples: George R. Stewart, Russel Hoban, Pat Frank
Space Opera - Adventure science fiction that is set in outer space or distant planets. The conflict is often large scale and heroic. Examples: Edward E. Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, Vernor Vinge

I haven't read much science fiction at this point, but I'm a little distracted with young adult and middle grade novels that range in genre. I need to read more because some of my novels fall under this genre in varying subgenres.

Do you read science fiction? Any books you'd recommend?
Do you write science fiction?


Stina Lindenblatt said...

The only SF book I've read it The Host, and that's because Stephanie originally promoted it as SF for readers who aren't into SF. Worked for me.

I might have read some YA SF, but didn't realize that's what they were.

Megan said...

Never read science fiction-unless you count Hunger Games, which I adored.

sound of music

Teresa Coltrin said...

I love Sci Fi but mostly movies.

Sandy Campbell said...

I have to say I am just not a huge fan of science fiction. I don't understand a lot of what I read on the blogs of those that write it, and they probably don't understand what I write on my blogs! Something for everyone I guess!

Dawn Embers said...

Stina Lindenblatt - Someone suggested I read the Host but more cause of a type of chapter they reviewed of mine and they thought I should read the Host then consider how I would write that story.

Megan - I have read the first book in that one and it was pretty good but I haven't read the rest yet.

Teresa Coltrin - There are some good movies, like 5th Element. Woot.

Sandy Campbell - True, all of the genres appeal some but not others.

Jessica Peterson said...

I try to give all genres a fair chance and will read pretty much anything that jumps in my path. However, sci-fi is not typically a genre I gravitate towards. I think those who love it love, and those who don't stay away from it.

Have fun with a-z.

Dawn Embers said...

Jessica Peterson - It is a good idea to at least give a genre a try. Sure it's okay to not like it but at least giving it a try will let you learn more about writing in general.