Part One: Genres
Section B: Science Fiction.
Science Fiction, (which is one of my favorites to read, write, act, or watch) is a large, exciting genre that can be split up into many mini genres such as: Hard Sci-Fi, Soft and Social Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk, Time Travel, Alternate History, Military Sci-Fi, Superhuman, Apocalyptic, Space Opera, Space Western. The ones I just listed are just the main ones but there are many smaller sub-genres that I could cover but also could fit into the ones listed above.
Science Fiction, generally is a story set up in the future or an alternate past and can include, time travel, aliens, different galaxies, highly advanced technology, dystopias or utopias, faster than light travel and robots/droids.
The first sub-genre of Sci-Fi I will write about is Hard Sci-Fi. Hard Sci-Fi is when the author tries to be extremely accurate on scientific and technical detail so that the advancements are actually plausible. A lot of books in this genre can be either be set in outer space or in the future. Some well known authors are-Isaac Asimov. Greg Bear, and Hal Clement.
Second, is Soft and Social Sci-Fi. Soft and Social Sci-Fi focuses more so on physiology, ecomnomics, politics and character's emotions more than how the science and technology works. Notable authors of this genre include Ursula K. Leguin and Phillip K. Dick.
Next is Cyberpunk. Cyberpunk was first created in the early 1980s by authors who combinded cybernetics and punk. Cyberpunk is normally about dystopias in the near future that include the Internet(cyberspace) and artificial intelligence. Notable authors of this genre are William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, and Pat Cadigan.
Time travel is the next genre and by the name you can probably guess what its about-time travel! This genre started appearing during the 18th and 19th centuries, one of the first novels being "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain. Another famous novel is H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" and what started the idea of a machine that could travel through time.
Alternate History is the next genre I will describe. Anternate History novels will take events in history and change them up to show what might have occurred if things had panned out differently. Some popular novels are "Bring the Jubilee" by Ward Moore where the South wins the civil war, and "The Man in the High Castle" by Phillip K. Dick where Germany and Japan win World War II. Another book I read that is from this genre is called "In the Year of the Hangman" where the British win the Revolutionary War.
The next genre I will discuss is Military Sci-Fi. Military Sci-Fi is about war-whether it be between national, interplanetary, or interstellar forces. The viewpoint is generally from a soldier's perspective and describe military procedures, rituals and other such things. Popular books include "War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells, and "Starship Troopers" by Robert A. Heinlein.
Superhuman...hmmm...this should be interesting! When you hear the word "superhuman" the first thing you might think about is 'superheros.' Well, this is true since the Superhuman genre is about humans who have strange and different abilities. Some novels in this genre are: "Odd John" by Olaf Stapeldon and "More Than Human" by Theodore Sturgeon.
Apocalyptic, what a cheery subject(sarcasm). Apocalyptic fiction is about the end of the world whether it be by war, plague, astronomic impact, ecological disaster, or the destruction of humankind's self-destruction. This genre typically is depressing and can sometimes scare people but generally these stories are quite good.
Novels include: "On the Beach" by Nevil Shute, "The Last Man" by Mary Shelley, "When Worlds Collide" by Phillip Wylie and Edwind Balmer, and "The Wind From Nowhere" by J.G. Ballard.
Space Opera, and no, I'm not talking about the singing kind of opera but one of my favorite sub-genres of Sci-Fi. A Space Opera is an epic that usually takes place in outer space or other worlds and galaxies. The stories usually emphasize action and heroics and the conflict is generally on a large scale.
Some popular space opera's are the masterpiece Star Wars trilogies, Star Trek, the Dune series by Frank Herbert, and The Ender series by Orson Scott Card.
Space Western, that might sound a little strange but its a real sub-genre, a sub genre to a "space opera" actually. A Space Western is a story set in a futuristic space frontier, mostly stories that include colonies on new worlds that are similar to the American west. Space Westerns include the t.v show "Firefly" and the accompanying movie "Serenity." Others include the Japanese comics and animated t.v. series' Trigun, Outlaw Star, and Cowboy Bebop.
You may ask, can you mix more than one genre in my story? Well, the answer to that will differ from person to person but my answer is yes. Many good stories are a mix of two or more genres or sub-genres. My book series is even a mix of several Sci-Fi genres which are: Space Opera, Military Sci-Fi, and Soft and Social Sci-Fi
So there you have it, a short introduction to the amazing genre of Sci-Fi.
Till next time, where I shall discuss another genre-Fantasy.