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?