Friday, January 31, 2014

What I'm talking about when I talk about Science Fiction

Science Fiction is a continually compelling genre. For me, anyway. Judging from the number of space and clone and and and things coming out, it is for a lot of people.

So, what's my first mental impression when I think "Oh, SciFi"?

Space. Really and primarily, space. Space travel, space ships, worlds that are not Earth. Worlds that may once have been Earth. I sometimes think about things like my brain in a robot body (or a cloned body! Thanks Richard K. Morgan, for Altered Carbon and the subsequent two books. I'd love for there to be more).

If there's a science for it, there's a fiction for it, so Science Fiction possibilities, in my mind, are fairly infinite. But when it comes down to it, when I write (or make gestures at writing) what I think of as "Science Fiction", I'm reaching back to that Golden Age of Space Travel and Possibilities, where Man willingly travels at the behest of his (or her; I'm using "Man" as the gender neutral noun here) government to Explore and Discover and what have you. I want that mood of the indomitable spirit, the inquisitive attitude, the endless question of "What will we find and how will we survive it?"

I've already got an idea somewhat laid out for a near-future Moon novel. I now, I think, have the most nascent dream of a novel somewhere along that timeline, after the events of Untitled Moon Novel are said and done, and we (meaning Earth People) have moved even further.

What do you think of when you think of SciFi, be it books or movies? 


  1. I think for me, "sci-fi" brings to mind 1) advanced technology and 2) something that is not human (aliens, cyborgs, AIs, etc.) Unless, of course, they're elves or dwarves, then that's "fantasy"! :D

    One of my friends summed up the distinction (for him) as sci-fi being something that *could* one day happen, while fantasy is pure, well, fantasy. Obviously there's a bit of overlap, and I think you can have sci-fi elements in a fantasy world.

    I think people will be discussing/arguing about this for centuries....

    1. I think that's a good distinction, and works in general. I've heard of, say, Star Wars referred to as Sci Fantasy (in addition to Space Opera). So there's that.

      It definitely isn't a question with a conclusive answer, and it's always interesting (to me) when we get new books at the library and the person who finishes processing them before they get shelved calls me and goes "Okay, Jen, where does ______ go?"