Welcome to another addition of All Things Writing. I have a special guest here today to share her thoughts on GENRE. Susan Gourley/Kelley has published novels in multiple genres and crossover genres. If you aren't following her blog, I urge you to give her a read. Her blog is one of my favorite stops in this Blogger journey. She doesn't write solely about writing, but covers a broad range of topics... including writing.
Susan, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts today. Without further ado... Susan Gourley/Kelley from Susan Says....
Some Hard Speculation
My last two romances and my current WIP are all science fiction novels. My publisher labels them futuristic, and they are that, but I prefer the science fiction label because I, well, I love science. Though my college major was health and physical education and my masters is in health education, I also carried a minor in science. I even taught biology one year. So when I write my futuristic romances, there is some real science in there along with the science I crafted during my world building.
When people talk about science fiction novels they often distinguish between them using the words, hard-core versus soft. There are many ways to describe those two types of writing but I taught high school for quite a few years so I know how to make things simple.
In hard-core science fiction, a large portion of the story is about the technology and how it’s used. There may be long descriptions of guns or space vessels. Battles may be determined by the level of advancement in an enemy’s weapons. The characters take second place to the plot’s factors in the futuristic world. Usually the story revolves around the ‘hard’ sciences like chemistry, physics and astronomy. Writers and readers of hard-core term biology, psychology and ecology as vague or soft sciences.
In soft science fiction, the story revolves around the characters and their growth and personal challenges. The world around them may be filled with big guns and fast space ships, but the plot is about the personal battles and struggles of the characters. Writers and readers of this kind of science fiction never call it soft but usually will call it by one of its subgenres like dystopian, steampunk, or perhaps space opera.
There are fans of both types and some fans who overlap when a novel manages to combine both intriguing technology and world building with vibrant, engaging characters. One point I should make is that hard-core or soft, the science can be just as realistic in either type of writing.
In my science fiction romances, I try not to break any real laws of physics, but if a novel is going to involve space travel, some science must be invented. A long-burning fuel source would be needed for space travel, so my intergalactic space vessels use a mineral called crystallized iron. But one of the metals they need to build their technologies is iridium. And just like on Earth, the deposits my characters discover are from meteor strikes. It’s still a rare element in my futurist setting as dramatized in my most recent release, The Marine’s Heiress.
A lot of the science I use in my Recon Marine series is biology, specifically genetics. Mankind is discovering new things about our genetic codes and how our DNA determines our intellect, ability to fight diseases and more things about our health and well-being. My Recon Marines have been genetically engineered to be perfect soldiers. The drama ensues when the marines decide they no longer want to be used as weapons of war.
The definitions I’ve applied to science fiction are my own opinions and you know what they say about those. I’m sure a hundred writers could come up with one hundred different descriptions. Speculative fiction is a term that covers a lot of area so maybe we should use that one.
The Marine's Heiress, Book #2 of The Recon Marines, takes up the story of Vin. If you read the first book, you know who Vin is. At the end of the first book, Vin left his marine brothers, alone in his anger and need for revenge. The second book will delve further into the origins of the genetically enhanced soldiers and the people responsible for their creation and downfall. Can there be a happily ever after for a man who believes his one chance at a normal life has been lost.