Welcome to part two of Science Fiction sub-genres. If you missed part one, click here to catch up.
Why are there so many science fiction sub-genres? Because they’re pretty different from each other, and everyone’s taste is different. It’s hard to say that a story about virtual reality belongs in the same category as a story about First Contact. While many of these sub-genres can be found blended together, it’s safe to say that any one of them is strong enough alone to tell a good story.
Cyberpunk is a glorious blend of cybernetics technology and less than highly evolved people. These are fighters, teched-out, basically.
There are definitely aspects of cyberpunk to Station 86. There are always going to be people using tech that they don’t really understand. There are sure those people around today.
Some examples of cyberpunk would be Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, and a new show on Netflix called Altered Carbon.
Pretty self-explanatory, and scary because it will become a science fact one day, the Dying Earth science fiction subgenre is about the Earth in its last days. It’s not what I’d call happy, except for an episode of Dr. Who that involved watching Earth blow up.
I wouldn’t classify any story that involves a disaster destroying the Earth under this sub-genre, though. These are more stories about an old world, at the end of its natural life.
Some examples of the Dying Earth sub-genre include The Time Machine by HG Wells and The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson.
This is a science fiction subgenre that I think we’re all quite familiar with. Dystopian stories are highly popular these days. (I wonder why.) It’s a story about a less than ideal future, in which our society has broken apart, become a nightmare, or devolved entirely. My favorite book, The Giver is a good example, as is Hunger Games, 1984 and Idiocracy.
One thing that I love about these books is that they always show someone fighting against what the world is like. It’s like the human spirit to fight, to make things better, can never be beaten.
First Contact stories are generally about the first-time humans make contact with an alien race. Pretty standard. Station 86, my series, is similar to a first contact story, but I don’t actually classify it as such. It’s more like an ‘a few years after First Contact’ story.
My personal favorite example of the First Contact subgenre is the Star Trek movie, First Contact. It’s easily the best Star Trek movie ever. I will fight someone on this if need be.
Again, this is a science fiction subgenre that we’re all pretty familiar with. I bet you head a certain song in your head when you read the words.
A Galactic Empire story is all about a group of worlds that either voluntarily or through war, are all part of the same giant unified political force.
Yes, Star Wars is an example. Another example that most people don’t know about is a series by Issac Asimov called Foundation.
I’ve never read a Generation Ship subgenre story, but I really want to. I also want to write one.
A generation ship story is about people who are on a spaceship heading somewhere new. They know that they won’t reach their destination, but their children will. What an amazing ideal, a group of people willing to spend their whole lives on a ship so that their children can start a whole new world.
Some examples of Generation Ship stories are Dust and Chill, by Elizabeth Bear Inside Out and Outside In, by Maria V. Snyder
I hope you’ve enjoyed our series of Science Fiction subgenres. Part three is coming up next Friday.
In Devon’s world, magical work is as common as turning a pot or fletching an arrow. What isn’t common is a man with thread magic. When Devon finds that he is a seer, weaving prophetic tapestries, his family tries to keep it a secret.
But the family can’t hide Devon’s visions after he predicts a devastating plague in the dragon lands of Coveline. He travels there to help the dragon queen save her people.
Meanwhile, Devon’s sister Lenore joins the Church of Singular Light. As Lenore learns to serve, and falls in love with her city, she discovers a dark underbelly to the church.
Lenore fights for her city, and Devon rushes to find a cure to the plague, while an unseen enemy raises an army to destroy Septa from within.