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Genre Guide: Science Fiction

Sean's picture

Welcome to another installment in our Genre Guide series! This post focuses on Science Fiction.

Science Fiction books generally take place in the future, in space, on a different world, or in a different universe or dimension. Science Fiction is often mixed or combined with Fantasy, because they share some similar elements. However, there are clear distinctions between the two. Science Fiction is often thought of as the literature of change. Specifically, it deals with change in science and change in technology, as well as how humanity and society are affected by these changes. While Science Fiction deals with science and technology, Fantasy, on the other hand, deals more with magic and mythical creatures. Science Fiction, while not factual, contains realistic elements and often includes partially true-partially fictitious laws or theories of science.

There are many subgenres within Science Fiction. The most notable ones are: Space Opera, which are grand, good guy vs. bad guy adventures that take place in space, on different planets, and even in different galaxies; Military Science Fiction, which focuses on military strategy, the chain of command, and the carnage of warfare on other planets and with futuristic weaponry; Steampunk, which brings modern or futuristic concepts and technologies to settings that take place in the past (usually 19th century); and Dystopian/Utopian, which deal with imperfect societies dealing with issues like police states and repression (Dystopian) or perfect societies where war is no longer needed and technology has gotten rid of all unpleasant things (Utopian).    


Top 5 Classic Authors

Isaac Asimov Philip K. Dick Ursula Le Guin Arthur C. Clarke Jules Verne

Top 5 Up-and-Coming Authors

J. Patrick Black Wesley Chu David D. Levine Nisi Shawl Alexander Weinstein



Top 5 Classic Books

Cover art for Dune by Frank Herbert
The War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells
Cover art for The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
Cover art for Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Cover art for Neuromancer by William Gibson
Cover art for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


Top 5 New Titles

Cover art for Eternity's Mind by Kevin J. Anderson
Cover art for Take Back the Sky by Greg Bear


Apes and Angels by Ben Bova
Cover art for Apes and Angels  by Ben Bova
Cover art for Alliance of Equals by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Cover art for Shadow of Victory by David Weber



My Favorite 5

Cover art for Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
Cover art for Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


Cover art for The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Cover art for 1984 by George Orwell
Cover art for Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein