Friday, September 28, 2012

Dissecting Genre: Science Fiction

I don't know about you but when I was younger, when I heard science fiction, I thought Star Wars and aliens and other crazy-eyed creatures that maybe had green rubbery skin and, well, think Randall from Monsters, Inc.

So suffice it to say that I was never terribly interested in reading science fiction books until I had critique partners who were writing it. And now that I've been introduced to these amazing novels, all of which do NOT have slimy, rubbery Randall-esque characters, I know it's a genre I'll always love. There are just so many things you can do with it. So many.

Let's start with two of my favorites that defy my old beliefs:

CINDER by Marissa Meyer was everything I never knew I wanted in a young adult novel. Well, okay, I do love those old fairy tales, so that's mostly why I picked this one up. But what I didn't expect was to find myself rooting for a cyborg who's character I grew attached to within pages. The world in CINDER is painted with such an expertise that every single moment and every single aspect of the story become believable. And isn't that the hardest part about writing a novel that isn't based in reality? The author has to make us believe. Marissa Meyer does that easily.

Source: via Misty on Pinterest

OBSIDIAN by Jennifer L. Armentrout creates another world  of believability. With it's surprisingly high alient counts and hot alien boy-next-door, OBSIDIAN is all kinds of fun. As a book blogger herself, the main character Katy is likeable and easy to connect with. And let's not forget Daemon. He's gorgeous, a total jerk, and did I mention totally otherworldly? What Daemon loses in likeability, he makes up for in chemistry and witty dialogue. So while one element of the story is something as foreign as aliens, the majority of the story isn't really about aliens at all.

And that brings me to my main point: It's not the genre that sells me as a reader. It's the story. If an author chooses to write about pixies who sniff charcoal to keep their hair black, and dragons who dress like pirates, I'll still read it if I can connect with the characters. Science fiction is no different. Aliens and spaceships won't convince me to read a book, but a well thought out plot will. 

I know I won't enjoy every single science fiction novel out there. Not every book is for every person and all that jazz, but I no longer shirk them in favor of some other genre that I feel more comfortable with. I enjoy being pleasantly surprised, and what better surprise is it than when you find yourself totally engrossed in a book you would haven't normally picked up? 

Some of our favorite science fiction books are (aside from those mentioned above):

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
For Darkness Shows the Stars
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
Hourglass by Myra McEntire

What are your favorite science fiction novels? Share with us in the comments! 


1 comment:

  1. Great post, Cindy! I also was never really a sci-fi girl... and yet I can think of many novels I do enjoy in the genre. I totally agree with you that It's about the story! I'll definitely check out Cinder and Obsidian!