Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Alien Musings


OK...so I'm a science fiction writer. I've written a few novels (my newest is coming out this November from Dragon Moon Press, called "Darwin's Paradox"...more on this later). I've published a few SF short stories here and there. I've even had some of them translated and reprinted in magazines abroad (e.g., into Polish [Nowa Fantastika], Hebrew [Bli Panika] and Greek [the Dramaturges of Yan]). I also review SF movies and books (check them out on Gotta Write Network or Strange Horizons). But here's my question...What is SF? I've got a crazy discussion going on with fellow romance writers right now on one of my other listserves. We're having a hard time defining it. Is it speculative fiction? Or is that a sub-genre? And who the @%*& cares, you might ask? Well, the bookshop owners care, that's who. They're the ones who stock the bookshelves so you, the book buyer, can find them better. AHH!! But that's all going by the wayside now, you say, because we now have online bookstores like Amazon.com and Chapters.ca and Fictionwise, etc. who've dispensed with those mortar and brick bookshelves by using virtual bookshelves. Well, I don't know about you, but I still like to browse in a real bookstore, flip and smell the pages, glance at all the glossy covers, lose myself in a maze of paper. And in a place like that, you need categorization. Categories. Genres. So, we're back to SF and what is it? Or, more to the point, WHERE is it?

5 comments:

Jennifer Rahn said...

Nina, could you please ask your chauffeur to move the mothership *off* my Toyota? Thanks.

sfgirl said...

Was that your Toyota? Geez, we thought it was a Volkswagon. So, sorry...That's what you get when you don't pay the hired help, I guess. Anyway, you didn't answer my question. What's SF these days? Is your new book, "The Longevity Thesis" SF or Fantasy or cross-over?

Jennifer Rahn said...

Oh, I would say that LT is dark fantasy. It used to be cross-over, but alla that got cut out during various edits.

Virginia said...

I like your genre description. Wouldn't scare me away.

Anyone have any good links for cross-genre categories? What publishers are using? Anyone, anyone?

sfgirl said...

That's the sixty-four dollar question, Virginia! I don't think the publishers even know. We're having a lively discussion at the "Write on, Vancouver" conference listserve right now on this very topic. It's a question I intend on asking Anne Groelle and others at the conference this May. I'll let you know what they have to say.