Tag Archives: science fiction subgenres

Interlude 2: More snarky, sci fi stuff from my dad.

20 Sep

(You can see generational shifts any number of ways. My dad prefers the earlier science fiction writers, authors who were curious about what the world would be like in the future. I prefer the Gnostic weirdoes, the sixties and seventies writers who were more interested in the breakdown of reality itself, not so much in what things may come. He loves military science fiction, while I prefer more existentialist fare. One of my favorite novels is Solaris; he prefers Strangers in a Strange Land. Anyway, he’s been sending me emails a la our little exchange, and I thought as a second interlude I would share. This entire entry is in his words. I’ve resisted commenting. As to his tone, he’s [mostly] joking. I think. )

I note that you didn’t even try to defend you revisionist SF trash over my more carefully researched list. Probably because you have not read much less even heard the names of most of them. More likely you are simply stupefied over your ignorance. I also note that you didn’t attempt to address the uniqueness of each submission. Shame, shame.

As to your list, I shall shout ‘”Tripe!” whenever tripe is served.

By the by—Dick is over-rated and there are infinitively more than four major strands of science fiction: dystopian, utopian, first contact, and for lack of a better term, technological.   I tend to view them more prosaically than you but to name a few:

1. Mythology/fantasy such as most pointedly stated by Tolkein in his Lord of the Rings series, the more prosaic Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or The Game of Thrones series Or T.H White’s The Once and Future King.

2. Magic fantasy such as Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series.

3. Science fantasy such as The Princess of Mars or The Lost World.

4. Time-based science fiction, such as Timeline or Fortchen’s The Lost Regiment Series. Or even Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. “If historical events were changed” stories such as Guns of the South which supposes the South wins or Social science fiction such as 1984 (this is what Heinlein excelled in—predicting major societal changes in Farnham’s Freehold,  Stranger in a Strange Land, and his short story future history series).

5. Science science fiction such as Crichton’s Andromeda Strain or Jurassic Park.

6. Military science fiction—David Drake (Belisarius Series or Cross the Stars) are good examples.

7. Blends—such as the Childe Cycle—which are both societal based but also mystical/science.

8. Pure adventure—Andre Norton’s works are the best examples—where scifi is simply her vehicle to explore adventure/relationship.

9. Re-drafted real events put to the tune of Sci fi.  Examples are Drake’s Northworld series Simmons Hyperion Series.

10. End of the world sci fi. There are many substrata of this species. Examples should include Drake’s General series or S.M Sterling or Stephen King’s The Stand as well as The Road.  One also has to include William’s Fortchen’s book One Second After.

11. Horror sci fi—Frankenstein is the obvious example although there are others, such as World War Z and Colson Whitehead’s Zone One.