Thursday, July 31, 2014

SF genres: where do I fit in?

mixing it up in SF genres
One of the really difficult things I have found about writing SF is that there are so many subgenres. I have been doing research so I can be certain which one(s) I fall into.

After reviewing the various sites that explain SF subgenres, I sat down to list the qualities that exist in my Students of Jump series: 
  • time travel 
  • crisis of character 
  • interpersonal relationships 
  • alternate history 
  • family dynasty 
  • Retro Futurism: I write in a style I remember from my days of reading science fiction as a preteen and teenager, and apparently they have a name for that. 
  • strong female characters 
  • light romance 
  • genetic engineering
  • artificial intelligence 
  • soft science

I found a pretty good list at SciFi Lists.  The explanations were brief but adequate enough to help me decide if my work fit in the category.  

My intention for looking into the subgenres was to make sure I was tagging mine correctly.  After all, I don't want to have people searching for novels in the style I write and have mine slipping by them because I have used tags that don't describe my work well.

I found three that seemed to cover my series: time travel, alternate history and artificial intelligence under the umbrella of Retro Futurism.  Three of these tags I need to add to my books.
Now I am not certain I fit under Retro Futurism, but I do know I was heavily influenced by the writers that it is named for: Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Anderson, Savage, the list goes on. I've read plenty of Crichton, Pohl, Niven, Pournelle, and Norton, but I don't feel they influenced me as much.

How did you decide what genre best described you?  Did you look at what authors influenced you, what you read, make a list like I did or some other means to select what best covered your work?


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