Friday, December 30, 2011

SF subgenres and plots


Back to io9 for their list of the Ten plotlines you'll find in science fiction: my favorite is definitely interstellar travel, with post-apocalyptic world and alien invasion coming in at joint second place (as long as neither is too militarized). Stargate is given as a modern example of the interstellar travel subgenre, and while that was a fun show, I gotta say I prefer spaceships running around in space to a magic portal and mostly land-based adventures. So Firefly would be my modern example - technically interplanetary travel, not interstellar, but you couldn't tell the difference.

The list does not include body snatcher, which is probably my least favorite subgenre (as a subset of horror). Every TV show had its version of a body snatcher episode. I really don't like watching a story where you don't know if someone is who you think they are, and in books the concept tends to come across as a cheap trick.

Also not keen on godlike aliens, although really powerful ones are fine. Arthur C Clarke said that "any sufficiently advanced alien is indistinguishable from a god" - but magical beings that can poof! things into existence are kind of boring.


What are your most and least favorite SF subgenres?

3 comments:

Tez Miller said...

I will be using 1. Robots. Only mine's more Bionics ;-)

Which do you want to write?

Lynn August Linse said...

Haha - mine wasn't in the list.

My favorite kind of story is the one where a normal guy/gal stumbles upon some ancient 'secret' (time-travel is okay ... so the secret came back in time 3000 years :) ) and they need to decode the mystery to save their small world.

Examples would be Kaena:The Prophecy, 5th Element, Clark's Rama series and to some extend the Indiana Jones movies.

Sam_Wiser said...

I'm a fan of post apocalyptic, or really any futuristic world that's suffered a big environmental or war-related or sociological change. Seems to be a big YA trend at the moment.