The Science Fiction Genre Part 2

Like every other genre that people seek out in great numbers, science fiction now has sub-genres. Nothing spectacular about them, you’ll find the same ones in other genres.  Except steampunk.  I’m not sure that’s anywhere else.  Let me know if it is, I don’t read a lot of it so I might have missed it elsewhere.

The thing I find fascinating about science fiction sub-genres is that they always existed, they just weren’t labeled.  The Wild, Wild, Wild, Wild West was an early version of steampunk.  I’m not sure I have the right number of ‘wild’s in the title, but you get the idea.  It was a fun TV show that paved the way for the steampunk that’s out there now in many types of media, including several movies.

I loved Asaac Asimov’s  Caves of Steel.   It never occurred to me that it was science fiction mystery.  That’s because it was written before sub-genres came into existence.

Science fiction romance is a little different.  Romances were often included in every kind of science fiction story out there but they weren’t the main focus of the story.  The thing is, even now when there are web sites that cater to science fiction romance, the romance isn’t always as prominent as it is in most romances.

And there’s science eco-fiction.  Think Dune, which was one of the first.  Or many of Jules Verne’s books.

There are as many sub-genres as you’d expect in a wildly popular genre.

But always, always, in science fiction, the backbone of the story is the science… or what passes for science in the writer’s mind … and everything else is layered onto that.  Make no mistake, characters and their journey through whatever situation they face is so essential that a story that contains wonderfully compelling science and lousy characters won’t sell.  But, without that basic science component, it won’t even make it through the editing process. Not so with romance, in which the characters can be the whole story.  Not so either with mysteries in which the detective can be as important as the mystery.

In science fiction, the science is truly important and there’s a way science fiction writers use it to help them create a story.  It’s called world-building, it’s important, and more about it later.

A Chance For Charity

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003PPCTS8

Book Review:  A Chance for Charity by S.L. Baum

A nice read.  Probably Young Adult or New Adult, but I like those kinds of books, partly because I like ‘clean’ romances that don’t go into endless detail about sexual encounters.

This is the story of a woman who, years earlier, learned she was practically immortal and had powers other people don’t.  A familiar theme in books of this kind.  By the end of the book I thought the author had gone a bit over the top with too many super powers that various characters posses.  There are vampires,shapeshifters,  etc.  But those characters come in at the very end so if you don’t care for a plethora of paranormal characters, don’t worry, there aren’t too many of them, they don’t come into play until almost the end, and they are likable.

The thing that I thought raised this book above others that are similar was Charity’s love interest, a very human male who is mortal and, therefore, has a shorter life span than Charity herself, though the author deals with that problem rather neatly.  I didn’t care for the somewhat contrived connection that brought them together but it didn’t distract from the story so I’m okay with it.  The story moves at a good pace and is readable, things I like when I’m sitting down to enjoy a couple hours visiting the world of fiction.

The book was edited and formatted in a decent manner.  Nothing took me out of the story.  Thank you S. L. Baum for taking the time to do your job right!

And I’ve decided against stars unless the review is going up on Amazon or elsewhere that stars are required and then I’ll only do stars if I can’t avoid them. So no stars for this book from me but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it.  I did.