Science fiction is a genre that’s grown in readership in the past ten years. It’s also grown in capacity with sub-genres like dystopian and steampunk. But at it’s core, it’s often exploring issues of science, technology and future worlds. Here are a few things that we think make it special.
We don’t mean to get all English Lit. 101 on you, but Science Fiction has awesome imagery. Yes, they create a world for you, but they also allow for your imagination to soar. A time machine with a million buttons becomes YOUR time machine with a million buttons.
We tip our hats to the writers who create world’s like Paolo Bacigalupi’s epic novel The Windup Girl.
Science fiction allows for a lot of interesting character creation because there are no limits to what characters are capable of doing or being. Think of all those bots in Star Wars. They have unique functionality and personalities to go along with that. But characters don’t have to be strange and futuristic. They can be human and layered and living in a world that binds them in unique ways.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood now makes many best fiction lists and that’s a testament to the rich characters she builds along with her sci-fi world.
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction but we love it. Mostly for the costumes. Victorian worlds with mini-hats, parasols, and amazing dresses are A-OK in our book. And that’s only touching on the apparel. Machinery like dirigibles and weaponry that excite the imagination are crucial to the vast plots of steampunk.
Books like Soulless, the first in The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger are a great entry into this realm and a welcome addition to any sci-fi collection.
Few can do what Kurt Vonnegut does in science fiction. His blend of humor, the absurd, but mixed with very deep and thoughtful observations about our world.
His bibliography touches on issues like race, class, intelligence, religion, war, the list goes on and on.
What are we missing? Let us know in the comments.