What are the science fiction subgenres?
- Space Opera
- hard science fiction
- military science fiction
Space Opera? What’s special about it?
- It’s a travelogue. You can see a lot of places.
- Some of it verges on soft military fiction, such as Lois McMaster Bujold.
- I think it’s the missing link between science fiction and fantasy.
- Space Opera has a compelling main character who has a really good sense of wonder adventure.
- Space opera is about having fun. Fun before science!
Why are the subgenres important?
- There’s one category of writers who need to be able to categorize their work while they are writing to stay on task. There’s another category of course that think all of this talk of categories is restrictive and artificial. They should just write what they are passionate about.
- Two reasons: one to allow you to identify similar works and think about it as a business; two to draw the right audience.
We need to do a future episode on submissions
Military SF? What is it?
- Stories that describe military life, weapons technology, tactics
- who: David Weber, David Drake, John Ringo, Elizabeth Moon, John Scalzi, Chris Bunch
- to write it you need to have credibility as a military person
- it’s basically Space Marines kicking butt
- you need to make sure you’ve read in the field: Tom Clancy
Hard science fiction?
- Science is paramount. It has to be correct, believable, and plausible.
- Hard science fiction has attitude. You have to understand numbercrunching.
- It’s predicting the future.
- You have to know your science, and must not lose sight of character and conflict.
Actually in all of this, character, setting, and plot must be there.
- near future dystopian
- heavy modifications of the human form
- often blurring the line between humanity and technology
- big oppressive somethings are in control
- trend projection
We’re not really going to talk about the dystopian, but it’s really bad.
So – Space Opera goes out there and has an adventure, Mil SF lets the Space Marines kick butt, Hard SF means you gotta get the science right, and Cyberpunk can’t pass a Turing test? How’s that for a misguided summary?
Current Mood: cheerful
Current Music: Nothing On But The Radio, Gary Allen