Do You Know Your Audience? Pt. 10

Sheenah Archive, Writing Advice 3 Comments

Why hello there, readers and writers!

There’s been a long hiatus due to massive projects, but here it is! Part 10!!! This is the blog post all about

Science Fiction

Yes, that’s right. Science fiction. I don’t know how long I planned on waiting to write the inevitable, but I did procrastinate long enough, didn’t I? What makes a book a science fiction book?

Star Trek 2

Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek because the world needs more Benedict Cumberbatch.

Now most people would respond that it needs to have space ships and aliens and be set in the FUTURE and have all of this high-tech gadgetry that, for whatever reason, the author just assumes you understand how it operates with little explanation. Or the author realizes you have no idea what they’re talking about and goes into every single detail about the technology, right down to the specs that make your head explode. And to all of that, I say: YES. That is science fiction, but it’s only a small fraction of science fiction (or what I like to call the hardcore sci-fi/space operas). To truly understand if you’re incorporating science fiction elements or have written a science fiction novel, you need to look at the core of the novel.

What science fiction is, at its core, is all about the possible, whereas its opposite is fantasy, the genre of impossible things.

…science fiction, to be credible, has to be based on some degree of plausibility; fantasy gives you no limits at all.

— L. Ron Hubbard, An Introduction to Science Fiction

Hang on, you might say. What about contemporary and romances! And–

I’m going to stop you before you go on. Of course contemporary and romances and all the like are quite possible and grounded in reality. But remember, the keyword in science fiction is, well, science.

This doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen now or that it’s going to happen at all, but the possibility of life on Mars or Alien Invasions or even the simplicity of Space Travel lifts my hope for the future. Sci-Fi, when done well, is at its core inspirational.

— Pavarti K Tyler, What is science fiction, really? It’s time to define the genre

Spiderman

Spiderman’s powers are actually POSSIBLE, which makes this superhero story science fiction.

And you know what? Science fiction really is inspirational! Think about it. Science fiction, I think, is truly for the scientists — that is, the ones who are captivated by science and go out of their way to learn more science-y things. They read about a robot in some book and they might think, “I could build that.” And then they do. Whereas, someone reads about sorcery in a fantasy book and though the struggles of that character might be an inspiration to them, there is no way that person would ever be able to have the power to perform sorcery because it’s impossible.

But there’s usually more than just the typical science that you might be thinking about. Science, after all, isn’t always The Big Bang Theory jibber-jabber. It’s medicine. It’s psychology. It’s sociology. It’s anthropology. It’s the ability to create the most fleshed out societies you could ever imagine; they build cultures that seem as if it could really happen in our future. Pure science fiction, to me, has the technology, yes, but it also tackles real-world issues and makes us really question some of the things happening in society today. Because once you’re eyes are open to the problems of today, you can take steps to build a better future. And that, in itself, is inspiring to me.

Catch up on the latest “Audience” series and see what’s upcoming!

Comments 3

  1. Pingback: Do You Know Your Audience? Pt. 1

  2. This is great! I loved that you explained scifi. I think it helps authors to categorize what they write. It also helps readers to know what to look for.

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  3. Pingback: Writestream Tuesday welcomes Robert Bertrand and Sheenah Freitas on May 21 – UPDATED : Daria DiGiovanni

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