NEWEST RELEASES

NEED YOU TONIGHT

Now available!

               Find Out More! | Read an Excerpt

 

RIDING DESIRE - Alpha Bad Boy Bikers Boxed Set

14 novellas for 2.99 - Available Now!

A NYT and USA Today Bestseller! 

Find out more

 

FIFTY FIRST TIMES - A New Adult Anthology

Available now!

               Find Out More!

 

 

CAUGHT UP IN YOU

Available Now!

THE GIRL WHO'S SPENT HER LIFE RUNNING IS ABOUT TO BE CAUGHT...BY LOVE

               Find Out More! | Read an Excerpt

 

 

 

NOT UNTIL YOU

A serial novel - Read all 8 installments

ONCE A GOOD GIRL DARES TO CROSS SOME LINES, IT'S HARD TO TURN BACK...

               Find Out More! | Read an Excerpt

  

ALSO AVAILABLE

CRASH INTO YOU

Sometimes the past can bring you to your knees...

Erotic Romance/Berkley Heat

               Order Now!| Read an Excerpt    

 

~

MELT INTO YOU

2013 RITA® Finalist for Best Contemporary Romance

Her first love has returned, and he's brought a friend...

               Order Now!| Read an Excerpt

~

FALL INTO YOU

He'll do anything for you, but you'd better say please...

               Order Now! | Read an Excerpt

 

 

WANT THE LATEST NEWS?

*This does not subscribe you to my blog.

FOLLOW ME


       

Search This Site
Powered by Squarespace
Latest From the Blog
Dig Through the Archives
100+ reading challenge 2010 about me adverbs agent agents ashley march author author blog author branding author intrusion author platform author voice author websites authors award awards backstory bad boy balance berkley heat best writing links beta club beta reader beta readers blog tour blog tours blogfest blogger blogging blogging tips book book covers book deal book marketing book promotion book reviews book title books branding characters comments contest contests crash into you creativity critique critique group critiquing dear author debut author deep point of view deep POV dialogue ebooks editing editors endings e-publishing excerpt face off friday feedback fiction fill-me-in friday first chapter first draft first novel genre genre fiction goals guest blog guest blogging guest post harlequin historical romance hook how to write humor ideas indie publishing inspiration interview joan swan Julie Cross kindle kissing blogfest kristen lamb links literary agent literary fiction love scenes marketing mashup melt into you memorable moments middle grade motivation motley crue movies muse music mystery mystery writing Nelson Literary Agency new years resolutions novels opening chapter opening lines openings overediting panster pantser paranormal pen name perfectionism pitching plotter plotting poll promotion publishing queries query query letter querying question of the day reading reading challenges rejection repost revising revisions romance romance author romantic suspense rough draft royal street rules RWA RWA nationals sagging middle Sara Megibow save the cat self-editing self-publishing sequels series sex scenes sierra godfrey social media social networking speed writing submissions suspense suzanne johnson teens tempest tiffany reisz time management TMI traditional publishing tumblr twilight twitter update urban fantasy voice WIP wip wednesday women's fiction wordiness work in progress wednesday workshops write tip writer writer toolbox writers writer's block writers' conference writer's toolbox writetip writing writing blogs writing contest writing craft writing goals YA young adult
« Is Blogging Dead? | Main | Fill-Me-In Friday »
Monday
Sep192011

Steampunk, Werewolves, and Spaceships—What’s All That About? by Suzanne Johnson

 

Hope everyone had a great weekend! :) It's genre Monday time, and Suzanne is helping us with something I know I was definitely in need of--a breakdown of all the different types and hybrids of fantasy and science fiction. There are so many genres being crossed and straddled, that it makes my head spin when I looking through book choices. So take it away, Suzanne...

 

Steampunk, Werewolves, and Spaceships—What’s All That About?
by Suzanne Johnson
It’s a common question we all get as authors: “So, what kind of books do you write?” I used to say “urban fantasy with a touch of romance”—to which I’d get a lot of polite, blank stares.
Then I’d try to qualify it more: “You know, my books are sort of Harry Potter and Stephanie Plum meet Stephen King, except in a real city.” Blank stares turn to the type of nodding looks usually reserved for the crazy aunts we keep locked in our attics down here in the South.
Now, I just wave my hand around and say, “oh it’s kinda like science fiction,” which seems to satisfy them.
Except, really, it’s not. So, here we go, my attempt at a Lexicon of Speculative Fiction. Next time someone throws a term like “steampunk” or “historical paranormal romance” at you, you’ll know what to expect. It’s a whole brave new world out there!
I do a series of monthly columns for my publisher’s website (the oh-so-fabulous Tor.com) called “Fiction Affliction,” in which I look at all the speculative fiction books being released the next month. So I’ll divide the speculative sub-genres here much as I do there.
First, there’s SCIENCE FICTION. Sci-Fi is the granddaddy of speculative fiction, of course, and basically refers to any alternative reality or futuristic story that has its basis in science (as opposed to magic). All may have romantic elements, though romance is secondary to the plot in most, and books in each category are published for either adult and Young Adult (YA) readers. Common sub-genres within Sci-Fi are:
·         Space Opera. These are the stories set on space ships, on other planets, or that have alien critters running around on Earth.
·         Hard Sci-Fi. Just what it sounds like. Usually some technological advance that goes awry or is misused in some way.
·         Apocalyptic/Dystopian. “End of the world” stories that usually involve a radically degraded culture due to environmental negligence, a virus, or technology run amok.
·         Cyberpunk. Sort of a street-level science fiction, if you will. I’ve heard it called “high-tech, lowlife” fiction. Tends to be violent and dark.
·         Alt History. Want to find out what happened if the South won the Civil War, or if Hitler had prevailed in Europe? Alt History’s your genre.
·         Steampunk. Stories are set in the late 1800s, reimagining what life might have been like had the rapid (often steam-driven) technological advances of that era run amok. A newer subgenre called “Weird West” sets the wacky technological marvels in the American Wild West. (Cowboys in airships, anyone?)
·         Time-Travel. This is self-explanatory and can be either science fiction or fantasy, depending on whether the time-travel results from scientific advances or magic.
·         Sci Fi Romance. Can be any of the above subgenres, only the romance is the centerpiece of the story, and there’s at least a happily-for-now ending.
Next, leaving science fiction behind, we have FANTASY. High fantasy, also known as epic fantasy, features stories based on the magical or supernatural, either in character or plot or setting.
·         Sword and Sorcery. These are the “dungeons and dragons” kinds of stories, set in imaginary realms, with lots of swordplay and magic.
·         Quest. A band of oddly matched travelers, who might or might not be human-like, work to achieve something noble like saving the world. Think Lord of the Rings.
·         Historical Fantasy. Often set in imaginary, medieval-like worlds, and featuring warring kingdoms or political factions.
·         Fantasy Romance. Could be any of the above fantasy subgenres, only the romance is the centerpiece of the story, and there’s at least a happily-for-now ending.
Finally, we have the FANTASY HYBRIDS, the genres that have really taken over in the last two decades, beginning with Harry Potter and then Twilight and True Blood and now Hunger Games. Fantasy hybrids involve paranormal creatures such as vampires, werewolves, zombies, wizards, mermaids...you name it...but in a real-world setting.
·         Urban Fantasy. A head-on collision between the fantasy world and the real world. Usually set in a real urban area but with magic or paranormal creatures. Urban fantasy often has romantic elements, horror elements, or both.
·         Paranormal Romance. Basically, urban fantasy where the romance is the central focus of the book, with the requisite happily-for-now ending.
So there you have it—a handy guide to speculative fiction. There are other sub-sub-genres, but we’ve at least hit the high points. Now...a recommending reading list? Here are a few:
*Sci-Fi/Time-Travel/alt history: Kill three birds with one book by reading Connie Willis’ Blackout and sequel, All Clear.
*Epic Fantasy: You can’t go wrong with anything by George R.R. Martin, but try his A Song of Ice and Fire series, beginning with A Game of Thrones.
* Urban Fantasy: This is my genre and there are so many I love, but try Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, beginning with Moon Called.
* Paranormal Romance: For hot and sexy, read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, beginning with Dark Lover. For hot and funny, go for Jeaniene Frost’s Dark Huntress series, beginning with Halfway to the Grave.


Suzanne Johnson is an author of urban fantasy “with romantic elements.” Her first book, Royal Street, a magic-based fantasy set in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina, will be released by Tor Books on April 10, 2012. Two more in the series will be released in Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. Find Suzanne online at her Preternatura blog, or read about her books at her website.

 

*Look for more from Suzanne here every 3rd Monday of the month!

 

 



 

 



"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order! Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>