Science Fiction Genre Primer
The Science Fiction Genre
Fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.
Themes include: Robots, interstellar travel, time travel, parallel universes, aliens, post-apocalyptic worlds.
Apocalyptic / Dystopian Fiction
Dystopia is often used to describe a place that looks perfect on the surface but is bad underneath. Apocalyptic fiction involves a world that has been devastated by disease, famine, war, or natural disasters. Well known examples include: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Insurgent and Divergent by Veronica Roth, and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.
Hard Science Fiction
Military Science Fiction
Features the use of science fiction technology, mainly weapons. Main characters are often members of a military organization and the action takes place in outer space or on a different planet. Some popular titles include: Ancillary Justice by Anne Lecki and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
Has an historical setting and involves steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. Good steampunk for the unfamiliar reader includes: Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel, His Dark Materials trilogy begining with The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, and The Difference Engine by William Gibson.