Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blog Chain: Why I Love Speculative Fiction (in pictures)

Topic from Michelle McLean

What elements in your favorite genre make it your favorite? For instance, if your favorite genre is romance, what elements do you like in a romance story? A tortured hero? A spunky heroine? Steamy love scenes? Sweet romance? If your fave genre is sci-fi, what elements do you love the most (the characters, the science, the possibilities?), etc?

My favorite genre is kind of an umbrella genre: 

It's speculative fiction. 

This spans widely between sci-fi, dystopia, fantasy, paranormal, and just a touch of magical realism. What do I love about it?

List time!

  • hello, it's magic! Or science stretched to the limits of imagination. Either way, it's a heck of a lot cooler than what generally goes down at the 7-11... or Circle K.
Something is afoot at the Circle K.
  • symbolism. Contemporary and literary novels can also have symbolism, and it's done really well by those genres all the time, but nobody does symbols like speculative fiction does. There's just so much freedom to run wild with them (A Wrinkle in Time). Sometimes it's downright allegorical (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien). Love it!
Wrath of the Ents (Lord of the Rings)
Inner courage and beauty (Chronicles of Narnia)
The Old Ones, wisdom (A Wrinkle in Time)
  • larger-than-life conflicts really force me to suspend my disbelief and let me get completely lost in the story.

  • unfamiliar settings, often exotic and/or terrifying. The setting also often provides the main source, or an additional source, of conflict (see above).
Peeta Mellark in the Hunger Games arena
Diagram of the ship Godspeed in Across the Universe
(it looks spacious, but you can't ever leave!)
  • character diversity - speculative fiction gives us an opportunity to delve into sensitive subjects like racism and other forms of prejudice in a safe place where the reader doesn't feel judged by the author. Many of my favorite books deal with these kinds of war-scale conflicts between groups who hate each other just for one shared trait, like a certain magical power (Beautiful Creatures) or descent (Star Trek, Twilight and Harry Potter), or maybe the district they were born into (Hunger Games).
Statue in the Ministry of Magic (Harry Potter)
Star Trek - know your alien races
  • gadgetry! Yes, I'm confessing. I'm something of a gadget geek. Whether it's science fiction, futuristic dystopian, or even steampunk and fantasy, there are often gadgets of some kind or another involved. A holly wood wand with a phoenix feather core (Harry Potter), a pill that erases only traumatic memories that have just been shared (Memento Nora), automatons that may or may not be trying to kill you (Soulless), a well-designed spaceship that doubles as the claustrophobic setting (Across the Universe).
Couldn't resist adding my favorite doctor with his sonic screwdriver
Plush pill (this one won't make you forget)
Holly wood wand with phoenix feather core
These automatons look murderous

These are the main reasons I love speculative fiction, which is why I love working for Month9Books! It's all speculative fiction all the time, and in my favorite categories: MG and YA.

What's your favorite genre, and why?

Next stop by

 Christine Fonseca's blog to see yesterday's blog chain post, 

and check out Demitria Lunetta's tomorrow.

Also don't miss the BLOG TOURS going on right now for Sidekick: The Misadventures of the New Scarlet Knight and Pity Isn't an Option (both tours linked at the top of my sidebar as well). There are giveaways involved!
Katrina's blog pic


  1. That is an awesome list - I love all of those things!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kate! (and the spreadsheet. That will help so much!)

  2. Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Love and agree with all of this including David Tennant :)


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