Science fiction genre


Science fiction genre

A science fiction genre is a sub-category within the broader context of the science fiction genre as a whole. Science fiction may be divided along any number of overlapping axis. Gary K. Wolfe's "Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy" identifies over 30 definitions of SF, not including speculative fiction and science fantasy.

Subgenres

Science

Genres concerning the emphasis, accuracy, and type of science described include:
*Hard science fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
*Soft science fiction - focus on human characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
*Social science fiction - concerned less with technology and space opera and more with sociological speculation about human society

Characteristics

Themes related to science, technology, space and the future, as well as characteristic plots or settings include:

* Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic science fiction
** Cosy catastrophe
* Biopunk - uses elements from the hard-boiled detective novel, film noir, Japanese anime, and post-modernist prose to describe the nihilistic, underground side of the biotech society
* Dying Earth science fiction
* Military science fiction
* Mundane SF
* Steampunk - denotes works set in (or strongly inspired by) an era when steam power was still widely used — usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian England
* Time travel
* space colonization
* Space opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
* Spy-fi

Movements

Genres concerning politics, philosophy, and identity movements include:
* Christian science fiction
** Clerical fiction
* Feminist science fiction
* Gay science fiction and Lesbian science fiction
* Libertarian science fiction

Eras

Genres concerning the historical era of creation and publication include:

* Cyberpunk - noted for its focus on "high tech and low life" and taking its name from the combination of cybernetics and punk
** Postcyberpunk - typically examining the social effects of a ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, genetic engineering and modification of the human body, and the continued impact of perpetual technological change
*Golden Age of Science Fiction - a period of the 1940s during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published
*New Wave science fiction - characterised by a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content
*Pulp science fiction
*Scientific romance - an archaic name for what is now known as the science fiction genre, mostly associated with the early science fiction of the United Kingdom

Combinations

Genres that combine two different fiction genres or use a different fiction genre's mood or style include:
*Alternate history science fiction - fiction set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known
*Comic science fiction
*Science fiction erotica
*Gothic science fiction - a subgenre of science fiction that involves gothic conventions
*New Wave science fiction - characterised by a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content
*Science fantasy - a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements
*Science fiction romance - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and romance genres
*Science fiction Western - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and Western genres
*Space Western - a subgenre of science fiction that transposes themes of American Western books and film to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers.

Creation

The marketing section of the science fiction publishing house or of a film production company will define the genre and subgenre of a work from experience (see genre fiction). Many publishers and production houses now specialize in genre and subgenre work. Publishers normally publish what they have experience with, so the criteria for defining genre or subgenre is whatever else is out there that is similar. A new definition usually comes about as a result of a buzzword included in the work that is considered an original subgenre. It is rare that a publisher will take on the challenge of a non-established genre or subgenre. Established writers are mostly responsible for creating new subgenres. On occasion a publisher may change the genre or subgenre of a work. They may also use multiple genres and subgenres.

Additional themes

*Alien invasion
*Artificial intelligence
*Astrobiology
*Biopunk
*Biorobotics
*Communalness
*Cybernetic revolt
*Cyberspace
*Cyborg
*Edisonade
*Extraterrestrial life
*Hollow earth
*Hyperspace (science fiction)
*Immortality
*Multiverse
*Parallel universe
*Planes of existence
*Planetary romance
*Posthumanism
*Retro-futurism
*Robots
*Science fiction sitcom
*Science tales
*Shapeshifting in fiction
*Sword and planet
*Synthetic biology
*Time travel
*Transhumanism
*Utopian and dystopian fiction
*Voyages Extraordinaires
*Wetware computer
*World government in science fiction

See also

*List of science fiction themes
*List of science fiction topics


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